Is the Peach Diet a Fad? Or a Healthy Weight Loss Solution?

Weight Loss & Diets | Written by Nathan | Updated on 8 January 2022

Are you looking for a diet to tone up for the summer but don’t want to eat tasteless, bland food? Not only are peaches the perfect sweet treats for weight loss, but they’re also packed with valuable vitamins, minerals, and more healthy bits that have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.  

So it’s safe to say that peaches are healthy for you, but is the peach diet a restrictive fad diet, can you actually use this method long-term for sustainable weight loss and what exactly does it entail?

What is the Peach Diet?

The peach diet is just what it sounds like – you eat 3-4 meals a day, each containing at least one peach-based item. This diet is pretty flexible, and you can follow it for as long as you’d like since the diet isn’t overly restrictive and peaches can be used in all sorts of tasty recipes.

The main goal of this peach-based diet is to reduce the number of calories you consume and to keep dieters feeling full. Because you’ll be eating primarily healthy, homemade recipes, you’ll detox your body and reduce the calories you eat at the same time.

Can You Lose Weight By Eating Peaches?

Peaches can be incorporated into any weight loss regimen as long as you burn more calories than you eat. 

The table below shows peaches are fairly low in calories, with a medium raw peach clocking in at just about 50-60 calories. So replacing calorie-dense junk food with peaches is bound to make you lose weight.

Peaches are also high in soluble fiber, which means they keep you full for longer. A cup of peach pieces contains 7.5-10% of your daily recommended fiber intake [1].

They have no added sugar, so you probably won’t crave dessert, and they’re also high in water content which makes them more filling. In addition, peaches regulate blood sugar levels, reduce hunger pangs, and contain numerous beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Nutritional Value of Peaches

When looking at the macronutrients of peaches, it’s clear they’re a great source of fiber, low in calories, and contain a fair amount of sugary carbs, but at least it’s naturally occurring unrefined sugar.

  • Calories: 51
  • Carbohydrates: 12 g
  • Protein: 1.2 g
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • Fiber: 2 g

However, this doesn’t begin to paint the full picture since vitamins and minerals aren’t taken into account. Some of the vitamins in nutrients found in peaches include: 

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Potassium
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Iron
  • B vitamins

But wait, there’s more. Peaches are also… 

Full of Antioxidants

Peaches contain chlorogenic acid and many other antioxidants which are anti-inflammatory compounds that fight free radicals (unstable cells associated with diseases) in your body and prevents oxidative, or cell damaging stress that leads to inflammation. Antioxidants also slow down aging and combat disease [2].

On top of this, peaches are also rich in phytonutrients and phytochemicals like phenolic compounds and carotenoids. Both phenolics and carotenoids have antioxidant properties and contribute even more to the anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties of peaches. 

Besides these phytonutrients, if you eat a cup of diced peaches, you also get 11.1 milligrams of Vitamin C, which comes out to 12.33% of the daily required amount for males and 14.80% for females, according to the United States Department of Agriculture [3]. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, too, besides being good for your skin [4].

Some studies even show that fresh peach juice begins to demonstrate antioxidative effects within 30 minutes of drinking in healthy men [5]. Making it an exceptionally effective way to incorporate vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and even fiber into your diet. 

Improve Digestion

Since a full-size raw peach provides about 2 grams of fiber – about 7.5% of the daily recommended amount – peaches can help maintain good digestion [3]. 

If you have constant stomach problems or are always hungry, this fruit might make your life easier – half the fiber in peaches is insoluble, while the other half is soluble. The insoluble part adds bulk to the waste your body produces, so it moves faster through the digestive tract and lessens the chances of constipation [6]. 

The soluble part keeps you full while providing good bacteria for your intestines. These bacteria create short-chain fatty acids like acetate, propionate, and butyrate and these acids are not only anti-inflammatory, but may also alleviate symptoms of digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease, IBS, and others [7] [8].

On the other hand, peach flowers, used to make herbal peach tea, may also improve digestion by improving gut contractions and helping your body maintain a rhythm to keep food moving along smoothly [9].

Replacing a few sweet treats with a couple of peaches a day can significantly improve your fiber intake, keep you feeling full and ease up bowel movements!

Good for Your Skin

Peaches can improve your skin’s ability to retain moisture, keeping it feeling silky smooth throughout the day and preventing it from picking and flaking [10]. If you apply peach extract directly to your skin, you may even prevent UV damage, like sunscreen, and keep your face looking fresh and plump [11].

Besides, a peach diet is abundant in vitamin C, so it can enhance how your skin looks and increase collagen production as well. And as you may know, collagen is the main compound that improves skin strength and elasticity, preventing premature wrinkles [12].

Enhance Heart Health

Studies show that the flavonoids in peaches lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol, promoting heart health [13]. Peaches may also bind to bile acids which the liver synthesizes from cholesterol. In turn, your body expels these bile acids along with the cholesterol they collect, which can further decrease cholesterol levels [14]. 

Not only that, but peaches also reduce triglyceride levels or fats found in your blood that can increase your risk of heart disease if they’re too high [15]. 

If you really want to boost your heart health, some sort of vigorous exercise should be done in addition to eating a healthy diet. 

Better Eye Health

While eating more fruit, in general, reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration or diminishing eyesight in old age, the phytonutrients in peaches specifically help preserve good eye health. 

Peaches also contain compounds like lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect your eyes from light damage and may help prevent vision loss [16]. Peaches are a source of beta-carotene as well, a red-orange pigment in fruits which your body turns into vitamin A – and of course, vitamin A is essential for healthy eyesight. 

Naturally Detox

Peaches act as a diuretic, encouraging your body to detox your kidneys and your bladder. The antioxidants present in peaches may also detox your liver, and a study where smokers consuming peach extracts experienced an increased rate of nicotine removal from their bodies [17].

This fuzzy fruit can also help expel excess water from your body, reducing water retention and belly bloating and making you appear slimmer even if you don’t lose any weight. 

Reduce Chances of Cancer

As mentioned, peaches are full of antioxidants that combat free radicals and may help reduce the likelihood of certain cancers. Specifically, vitamin C, carotenoids, and caffeic acid, all present in peaches, have anti-cancer properties [4] [18] [19]. 

Studies have shown that postmenopausal women who eat at least two peaches a day have a 41% lower risk of developing breast cancer [20]. This effect may be due to polyphenols, the antioxidants that reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells. They may even kill cancer cells without damaging healthy cells [21].

Though eating peaches isn’t a sufficient substitute for chemotherapy, it can help reduce the risk and enhance treatment. Researchers suggest that polyphenols effectively stop the growth of a particular type of breast cancer in animals, implying that it may help with other cancers, too, and the amount of polyphenols used in the study are equivalent to eating 2-3 peaches a day [22].

Alleviate Allergy Symptoms

If you’re tired of the allergies spring brings, rejoice! When your body meets an allergen – something it’s allergic to – it releases certain chemicals known as histamines. These histamines trigger allergy symptoms like sneezing, itching, or coughing. 

Peaches may alleviate allergy symptoms by preventing the release of histamines into the bloodstream and reducing the inflammation caused by allergens [23]. Research shows that peach pit extracts may also help dial down your body’s allergic response. 

Though more research is needed, these facts imply that peaches may benefit your immune system. Of course, peaches aren’t a miracle cure for severe allergy, but you can try upping your peach intake to reduce minor allergy symptoms. 

Supplement Potassium and Iron

Ten million folks in the US are iron deficient, and most find it hard to get enough potassium in their diets [24]. Peaches are a moderate source of both of these hard-to-get nutrients, with a cup of diced peaches providing 219 mg of potassium and 0.42 mg of iron. 

According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, potassium aids in proper cell function, reducing the risk of diseases like hypertension or high blood pressure, stroke, and kidney stones [25]. On the other hand, iron is essential to forming hemoglobin and transporting oxygen through the body. Lack of hemoglobin might also cause fatigue, pale skin, and shortness of breath.

Though peaches alone don’t provide enough potassium and iron to keep deficiencies at bay, they’re a beneficial fruit to add to your diet in combination with other fruits like apples, bananas, pomegranates, etc.

Is the Peach Diet Plan a Fad?

The peach diet plan might be a fad because it comes and goes, but it’s not an extremely restrictive fad diet like many are. Some diets suggest you eat one type of food for days on end, but luckily the peach diet recommends other foods in addition to incorporating peaches. So it  isn’t a fad if you combine it with other sources of protein, carbs, and healthy fats, so you don’t deprive your body of the essential nutrients it needs to function correctly. 

It functions more like a cleanse, and it’s an excellent way to get into the groove of weight loss without robbing your sweet tooth of delicious satisfaction or severely restricting your intake. 

Essentially, this diet lowers the number of calories you consume while adding more beneficial nutrients like vitamin C, fiber, protein, and healthy fats to your diet. These help detox your system and get your digestion in order, while the decrease in calories makes you lose weight without trying!

Sample Peach Diet Meal Plans

You can follow these peach-heavy meal plans to the tee, or you can use them as a guide to creating a balanced peach diet of your own. These recipes combine the goodness of peaches with other healthy food options that you’re more than welcome to replace…

Day 1

Breakfast – Diced peaches, yogurt, and hemp seeds (blending optional) along with peach tea.

Lunch – Salad with spinach, romaine lettuce, peaches, parmesan cheese, and avocado.

Dinner – Grilled chicken smothered and marinated in peach juice and a side of sautéed mushrooms mixed with the remaining chopped peaches.

Smoothie – Peaches, bananas, cinnamon, spinach, blended with a dash of honey and vanilla.

Day 2

Breakfast – A peach crisp made with sliced peaches spread on the bottom of a baking pan, covered with oats, hemp, flaxseed, and cinnamon along with a sprinkle of honey and baked until brown.

Lunch – Fresh peach salad with diced peaches, smoked Gouda cheese, baby arugula, pecans, and black peppers, dressed with red wine vinegar and honey.

Dinner – Shrimp grilled with peaches and green onions and various spices, topped off with lemon.

Smoothie – Peaches blended with apricot nectar and fat-free yogurt with a dash of vanilla and ice.

Day 3

Breakfast – Overnight peach oatmeal made with rolled oats, almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and, of course, ripe peaches!

Lunch – Peach, corn, and avocado salad with grilled salmon or tuna and a Greek yogurt and lime dressing.

Dinner – Grilled chicken cooked in a mixture of sliced peaches, onions, salsa, jalapeno, and lime juice and served with brown rice.

Smoothie – Ripe peach blended with orange juice, cinnamon, low-fat yogurt, and honey.

Peach Diet FAQ

This peach-based diet is healthy and balanced, so you shouldn’t have any trouble eating enough on it. We suggest pairing the diet with a little daily exercise walks around the neighborhood to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way.

Canned vs. Fresh Fruit?

Try to use fresh peaches instead of canned ones whenever possible since fresh ones have fewer calories than canned peaches, and it’s easier to overeat canned peaches since they contain less fiber and fill you up a lot less. 

Plus, fresh peaches still have the skin on and require you to chew for longer, so they take more time to eat and feel more satisfying.

Canned peaches also contain fewer antioxidants, taking away from some of the benefits of peaches. If you can only find canned peaches, though, go for those stored in water instead of syrup to stay low on calories.

Which Peaches Should I Choose?

Got a sweet tooth? Select peaches with a sweeter smell. The sweeter a peach smells, the riper it’ll be. Avoid browning or bruised fruit, or fruit with wrinkled skin, as these might be damaged or overripe and won’t taste as good, demotivating you from your diet.

If a peach is too firm, set it on the kitchen counter for a few, and it should be ready to go!

How Do I Store Peaches?

Store peaches in the fridge if you’re not going to eat them for over a week. Refrigerated peaches are also cooler, so they’re a great way to refresh yourself over the summer! You can also freeze them, but cover them in lemon juice first, so they don’t brown too much.

Should I Try this Diet?

The peach diet will be perfectly suitable for most as long as they’re not restricting their calories to less than 1200 calories or solely eating peaches. 

However, if you have a medical condition or a digestive disorder, be sure to consult a doctor before beginning any diet, including this one, to make sure it won’t have any ill effects on your health. 

Otherwise, the peach diet is tasty, healthy, and sustainable so feel free to try it out and jump start your weight loss!

References

[1] Mayo Clinic Staff. (2021, January 5). High-fiber foods. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved December 22, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/high-fiber-foods/art-20050948

[2] Fusco, D., Colloca, G., Lo Monaco, M. R., & Cesari, M. (2007). Effects of antioxidant supplementation on the aging process. Clinical interventions in aging, 2(3), 377–387. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2685276/

[3] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. https://health.gov/our-work/nutrition-physical-activity/dietary-guidelines/previous-dietary-guidelines/2015

[4] Office of Dietary Supplements. (2021, March 22). Vitamin C – Consumer. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved December 22, 2021, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/

[5] Ko, S. H., Choi, S. W., Ye, S. K., Cho, B. L., Kim, H. S., & Chung, M. H. (2005). Comparison of the antioxidant activities of nine different fruits in human plasma. Journal of medicinal food, 8(1), 41–46. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15857208/

[6] Yang, J., Wang, H. P., Zhou, L., & Xu, C. F. (2012). Effect of dietary fiber on constipation: a meta analysis. World journal of gastroenterology, 18(48), 7378–7383. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23326148/

[7] Macfarlane, S., Macfarlane, G. T., & Cummings, J. H. (2006). Review article: prebiotics in the gastrointestinal tract. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 24(5), 701–714. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16918875/

[8] Di Sabatino, A., Morera, R., Ciccocioppo, R., Cazzola, P., Gotti, S., Tinozzi, F. P., Tinozzi, S., & Corazza, G. R. (2005). Oral butyrate for mildly to moderately active Crohn’s disease. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 22(9), 789–794. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16225487/

[9] Han, W., Xu, J. D., Wei, F. X., Zheng, Y. D., Ma, J. Z., Xu, X. D., Wei, Z. G., Wang, W., & Zhang, Y. C. (2015). Prokinetic activity of Prunus persica (L.) Batsch flowers extract and its possible mechanism of action in rats. BioMed research international, 2015, 569853. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25821812/

[10] Koikeda, T., Tokudome, Y., Okayasu, M., Kobayashi, Y., Kuroda, K., Yamakawa, J., Niu, K., Masuda, K., & Saito, M. (2017). Effects of Peach (Prunus persica)-Derived Glucosylceramide on the Human Skin. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 17(1), 56–70. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5740493/

[11] Kim, Y. H., Yang, H. E., Park, B. K., Heo, M. Y., Jo, B. K., & Kim, H. P. (2002). The extract of the flowers of Prunus persica, a new cosmetic ingredient, protects against solar ultraviolet-induced skin damage in vivo. Journal of cosmetic science, 53(1), 27–34. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11917253/

[12] Pezdirc, K., Hutchesson, M., Whitehead, R., Ozakinci, G., Perrett, D., & Collins, C. E. (2015). Can dietary intake influence perception of and measured appearance? A systematic review. Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.), 35(3), 175–197. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25600848/

[13] Li, G., Zhu, Y., Zhang, Y., Lang, J., Chen, Y., & Ling, W. (2013). Estimated daily flavonoid and stilbene intake from fruits, vegetables, and nuts and associations with lipid profiles in Chinese adults. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 113(6), 786–794. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23522824/

[16] Mares J. (2016). Lutein and Zeaxanthin Isomers in Eye Health and Disease. Annual review of nutrition, 36, 571–602. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5611842/

[17] Kim, H. J., Park, K. K., Chung, W. Y., Lee, S. K., & Kim, K. R. (2017). Protective Effect of White-fleshed Peach (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch) on Chronic Nicotine-induced Toxicity. Journal of cancer prevention, 22(1), 22–32. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28382283/

[18] Mackinney G. (1937). CAROTENOIDS OF THE PEACH. Plant physiology, 12(1), 216–218. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC439899/

[19] Rajendra Prasad, N., Karthikeyan, A., Karthikeyan, S., & Reddy, B. V. (2011). Inhibitory effect of caffeic acid on cancer cell proliferation by oxidative mechanism in human HT-1080 fibrosarcoma cell line. Molecular and cellular biochemistry, 349(1-2), 11–19. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21116690/

[20] Fung, T. T., Chiuve, S. E., Willett, W. C., Hankinson, S. E., Hu, F. B., & Holmes, M. D. (2013). Intake of specific fruits and vegetables in relation to risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer among postmenopausal women. Breast cancer research and treatment, 138(3), 925–930. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641647/

[21] Vizzotto, M., Porter, W., Byrne, D., & Cisneros-Zevallos, L. (2014). Polyphenols of selected peach and plum genotypes reduce cell viability and inhibit proliferation of breast cancer cells while not affecting normal cells. Food chemistry, 164, 363–370. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24996346/

[22] Noratto, G., Porter, W., Byrne, D., & Cisneros-Zevallos, L. (2014). Polyphenolics from peach (Prunus persica var. Rich Lady) inhibit tumor growth and metastasis of MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cells in vivo. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry, 25(7), 796–800. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24745759/

[23] Kim, G. J., Choi, H. G., Kim, J. H., Kim, S. H., Kim, J. A., & Lee, S. H. (2013). Anti-allergic inflammatory effects of cyanogenic and phenolic glycosides from the seed of Prunus persica. Natural product communications, 8(12), 1739–1740. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24555287/

[24] Miller J. L. (2013). Iron deficiency anemia: a common and curable disease. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine, 3(7), a011866. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3685880/

[25] Office of Dietary Supplements. (2021, March 26). Potassium – Health Professional Fact Sheet. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved December 22, 2021, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Potassium-HealthProfessional/

About the Author

Nathan

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.