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Vitamins and Minerals Found Inside Nectarines

nectarinesSweeter and more nutritious than peaches, nectarines are loaded with nutrients our bodies seek and are highly valued for their delicious taste. 

Nectarines can be both nutritious and delicious when made into smoothies alone and/or with other ingredients and are great for juicing. Here are a few of the questions we attempt to answer about Nectarines.

  • What vitamins in Nectarines make Nectarines so good for us?
  • What is the best method for juicing Nectarines?
  • What are some buying and storing tips for Nectarines?

Plus, we'll do our best to provide some general information about Nectarines that you might not find so easily elsewhere on the Internet.

Let's begin our exploration of Nectarines...

Vitamins and Minerals in Nectarines

Nectarines are probably best known for being loaded with beta carotene, but they are also quite high in Potassium and valued for their benefits for eyes and joints. Here is a snapshot of their nutrient make-up.

Vitamins in Nectarines

  • Vitamin C
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Folate
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • beta Carotene
  • beta Cryptoxanthin
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin
  • Trace amounts of Thiamin, Riboflavin, and Vitamin B6.

Minerals in Nectarines

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Zinc

The yellow flesh of nectarines is rich in bioflavonoids which make them rich in antioxidants. Nectarines are also high in pectin, a soluble fiber that is believed to help control blood cholesterol levels.

The next time you think about nectarines, as delicious and nutritious as they are to eat, think about how they might add a powerful boost to your daily nutrition when added to smoothies, or perhaps when juicing?

Tips for Juicing Nectarines

Nectarines were named for the Greek god, Nekter; their juice was later called the drink of the gods... what a great way to think about it as you sip on your own fresh-made nectarine juice!

Nectarines, like peaches and apricots, are all variants of plums, with a smooth fuzz-less skin and include a pit.

WARNING: Nectarine pits contain amygdalin, a compound that is converted to cyanide in the stomach! You will want to remove the pit when juicing nectarines.

Unlike most other variants of plums, nectarines tend to have a fairly firm flesh which can make them well-suited to juicing.

As with any fruit, you will want to wash nectarines thoroughly in a biodegradable fruit and vegetable wash before preparing them for juicing.

They can be juiced skin-on... but, as stated above, remove the pit prior to adding pieces to your juicer.

As with peaches, nectarines exhibit enzymatic browning after slicing and/or juicing. A small amount of lemon juice will slow the browning process and can be complimentary for the taste of your nectarine juice, too.

Purchasing Tips for Buying Nectarines

vitamins and minerals in nectarinesHere are a few tips for buying nectarines that may help you get the freshest ingredients. We'll also include a few storing tips for nectarines that you might find helpful.

The lack of skin fuzz can make nectarine skins appear more reddish than those of peaches, contributing to the fruit's plum-like appearance. The lack of down on nectarines' skin also means their skin is more easily bruised than peaches.

Select nectarines that are moderately firm but brightly colored.

Reject nectarines that are hard or have a greenish skin. These were harvested too early; even though they will soften, they will never achieve peak sweetness or flavor.

The fruit is ready to eat when the flesh yields to gentle pressure and has a sweet, fruity fragrance.

Hard nectarines can be softened at home at room temperature, though it probably will not get any sweeter. You can speed up the softening process by storing nectarines in a paper bag (similar to ripening bananas) which concentrates the ethylene gas they emit as they age (after picking).

When the fruit is soft, it can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days to slow further changes.

General Information About Nectarines

This article wouldn't be complete if we didn't include a little general information about Nectarines, as well as a few helpful links if you want to explore Nectarines further.

The history of the nectarine goes back to the early part of the Christian era, then merges with that of the peach. Sturtevant writes that the first mention of nectarines was made by Cieza de Leon in the mid-fourteenth century when he described the Caymito of Peru as "large as a nectarine." However, U.P. Hedrick is convinced that Pliny's "duracinus" (A.D. 79) is the nectarine.

The botanical name for nectarine is prunus persican meaning 'Persian plum' but they are thought to have originated in China over 2000 years ago. Today, California grows over 95% of the nectarines produced in the United States.

Peach trees will sometimes produce a few nectarines, and nectarine trees a few peaches. They’re close relatives; nectarines’ scientific name is Prunus persica var. nectarine, and in fact, they’re only one gene different from peaches - it’s the gene that controls the fuzz.

Nectarine trees are prone to a disease called leaf curl, which usually does not directly affect the fruit but does reduce the crop yield by partially defoliating the tree. Nectarine fruit is very susceptible to brown rot.

The peach often plays an important part in Chinese tradition and is symbolic of long life.

Other members of the prunus persican family include fruits like cherries, almonds, and apricots.

Additional Sources and Resources for Nectarines

Additional Sources and Resources for Nectarines


Be sure to check out both our "Juicing" and our "Smoothies" sections for delicious recipes and more using Nectarines!