After a long and shivery winter, we are more than happy to welcome the shiny summers. We are looking forward to a bevy of seasonal produce that the warm weather brings with itself. Of all the food items, superstores will be brimming with plentiful of fruits. While most fruits share common nutrients profile, each class of fruits may have their unique characteristics. Stone fruit, for instance, is a versatile yet distinguished source of multiple nutrients providing overall well-being to humans. A stone fruit, also called drupe, is a fruit which has a soft and fleshy outer layer but has a hard stone inside it. Hence, the name 'stone fruit' was coined. We often take the stone as the seed of the fruit but the truth is that the seed is actually inside the stone.
If you didn't realise till now, many of the fruits you have been relishing for years, fall into the category of stone fruits. Peaches, mangoes, lychees, plums, cherries, apricots, green almonds, raspberries and blackberries, mulberries and dates are some of the most commonly known stone fruits. Stone fruits thrive only in hot climate as they require constant access to air and protection from cold, harsh winds.
Also Read: Stone Fruit Crumble Recipe
So, this is the season of stone fruits and you should definitely stock them up in your pantry, not just because of their sweet and sour taste but also for the many health benefits they provide -
Delays Pre-mature Ageing -
Stone fruits fight the early signs of ageing with the backing of inflammation-fighting phytonutrients. This is the same element that renders the fruits their vibrant orange, red and yellow colours.
Promotes A Healthy BMI -
Most of these fruits are quite low in calories, fat and sugar content. The high density of fibre is another factor that maintains the body mass index and keeps obesity in check.
Boosts Immunity -
Stone fruits contain Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, which produces disease-fighting antibodies and protects the body from various common infections.
Improves Eye Health -
Apricots and mangoes are robust in beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that plays an essential role in maintaining good eye-sight.
Aids In Sleep -
Stone fruits, especially cherries and peaches, are melatonin-rich, which relieves the mind of depression, restlessness and anxiety, resulting in a peaceful night's sleep.
Maintains A Healthy Heart -
As stone fruits have antioxidants and fibres in abundance, they retain the normal functioning of the cardiovascular system. The various minerals present in the fruits regulate the levels of cholesterol and blood pressure.
Also Read: 8 Amazing Benefits Of Apricots
The various nutritional benefits are not the only reason that stone fruits are loved universally. The versatile fruit can be consumed in different ways to suit individual taste preferences. Of course, you can relish the fruit by biting into them directly; or can be creative and use the following methods to consume them -
As stone fruits can withstand high temperatures, grilling them is a good idea to bring out their natural sweetness. Have them with a scoop of creamy ice-cream or serve them as a side dish with grilled steaks.
Use stewed fruit as a sweet pairing for savoury dishes or mix in morning breakfast meals like oatmeal or cornflakes.
You can roast chopped stone fruit in an oven and toss the chunks in a salad or make a sugar-free yogurt with the same.
Peel and chop stone fruit and add vinegar to it. Cook the fruit in a pan till it gets a butter-like texture. You may or may not add sugar to it while cooking.
5. Eat As Is -
Chopped or ground stone fruits can be directly made into sweet-and-sour salsa sauce, or juice, or a sweet smoothie with honey.
Do you need any more reason to include stone fruits in your daily diet? Embark on this bright and hot weather by enjoying the freshness of these beneficial yet delicious fruits.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Neha GroverLove for reading roused her writing instincts. Neha is guilty of having a deep-set fixation with anything caffeinated. When she is not pouring out her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can see her reading while sipping on coffee.