Peaches, plums and nectarines have been shown to fight obesity-related heart disease and diabetes, according to new research out of the US.
With funding from the California Plum Board and the California Grape and Tree League, researchers say that the phenolic or plant compounds in stone fruits have anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties and may also reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol LDL, which is associated with cardiovascular disease.
The findings are to be presented at the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia in August and are the first to show that the bioactive compounds of a fruit can work on different fronts against a disease, researchers claim.
"Our work shows that the four major phenolic groups -- anthocyanins, clorogenic acids, quercetin derivatives and catechins -- work on different cells -- fat cells, macrophages and vascular endothelial cells," explained lead author Luis Cisneros-Zevallos. "They modulate different expressions of genes and proteins depending on the type of compound.
Meanwhile, the same group has also shown that advanced breast cancer cells died in lab tests after treatments with peach and plum extracts, while leaving normal cells intact.
But it's not just stone fruits which are high in phenolic compounds, which can strengthen the immune system.
Cherries, red grapes, berries, artichokes and potatoes are also high in phenols. Granny Smith and Fuiji apples are also good sources.