Are donut peaches good for you?

Donut peaches, also known as Saturn peaches or doughnut peaches, are a small, flattened variety of peach shaped like a donut. Their unique shape and sweet flavor make them popular at farmers markets and grocery stores during peach season in mid-summer. But are these trendy peaches actually good for you? As a nutrition-focused dietitian, I decided to take a closer look at the nutrition facts and potential health benefits of donut peaches. Keep reading to learn if donut peaches are a nutritious addition to your diet this summer!

What are Donut Peaches?

Donut peaches are a variety of peach scientifically known as Prunus persica var. platycarpa. They likely originated in China over 2,000 years ago before making their way along the Silk Road trading routes to the Middle East and Europe. Donut peaches are considered a flat peach variety, meaning they have a flattened, donut-like shape compared to the more rounded, spherical peaches commonly found in grocery stores.

Other key identifying features of donut peaches include:

  • Small, averaging 2-3 inches in diameter
  • Bright yellow to golden orange skin with a vibrant red blush
  • Smooth, creamy white flesh
  • Sweet flavor with notes of honey and apricot
  • Small central pit
  • Thin, delicate skin

Donut peach season runs from June through August, with the peak harvest time in July. They are highly perishable due to their thin skins and cannot be shipped long distances. Look for donut peaches at farmers markets, farm stands, and some specialty grocery stores during summer.Handle them gently and eat soon after purchasing.

Nutrition Facts

So what’s the nutrition profile of donut peaches? Here is the nutrient breakdown for a 5 ounce (140 gram) serving of raw donut peaches:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 50
Carbohydrates 12 g
Sugar 10 g
Fiber 2 g
Protein 1 g
Vitamin C 10% DV
Vitamin A 15% DV
Potassium 5% DV

*Percent Daily Values (DV) based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

This data shows that donut peaches are low in calories and rich in important vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Let’s analyze some of the key nutrients in donut peaches and how they contribute to your health.


Each serving of donut peaches provides 2 grams of dietary fiber. This equates to about 8% of the daily fiber recommendation for adults. Fiber supports digestive health, gut microbiota, weight management, and heart health. The skin of the peach contains much of the fruit’s fiber, so be sure to eat it if you can tolerate it.

Vitamin C

Donut peaches are an excellent source of vitamin C, providing 10% of the daily value per serving. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that supports immune function and iron absorption. Just one donut peach meets your entire daily vitamin C requirement.

Vitamin A

These peaches also contain 15% of the daily recommendation for vitamin A, which supports eye health and your immune system. The vitamin A in peaches comes from beta carotene, which acts as an antioxidant in your body.


With 5% of your daily potassium needs, donut peaches can help regulate fluid balance and blood pressure. Many people do not get enough potassium in their diet, so eating potassium-rich fruits like peaches is important.

Potential Health Benefits

In addition to their stellar nutrient profile, donut peaches may offer some additional health perks. Here are some of the top potential health benefits associated with eating donut peaches:

May protect against certain cancers

The antioxidant compounds in donut peaches, including vitamins C and A, chlorogenic acid, carotenoids, and polyphenols, can neutralize free radicals and protect your cells against oxidative damage linked to cancer development. Population studies associate higher peach intake with reduced risks for lung, oral cavity, pharynx, and esophageal cancers.

May boost heart health

Donut peaches provide potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and choline, which all support a healthy heart in different ways. Potassium regulates blood pressure. Fiber reduces cholesterol levels. Vitamin C improves blood vessel function. And choline keeps your blood cholesterol levels in check.

May aid blood sugar control

Despite their sweet taste, peaches have a low glycemic index, meaning they do not cause major spikes in blood sugar. Fiber slows the absorption of sugars, preventing blood sugar spikes. Eating low glycemic fruits like donut peaches is linked to better blood sugar control.

May support hydration

With their high water content, donut peaches can help you meet your fluid needs, especially in hot summer weather when you are at higher risk of dehydration. One donut peach provides around 90 grams of fluid. Staying hydrated is vital for all aspects of health.

May promote skin health

Donut peaches contain compounds like beta carotene and vitamin C that keep your skin healthy by protecting against sun damage and increasing collagen production. The antioxidants in peaches may also reduce inflammation involved in certain skin disorders like acne.

May reduce symptoms of constipation

The fiber and fluids in donut peaches can add bulk to stools and soften them, aiding elimination and reducing constipation. Peaches are often recommended as a natural laxative fruit to increase regularity.

Downsides of Donut Peaches

While donut peaches offer some nutritional and health perks, there are a couple potential downsides to keep in mind:

High in natural sugar

With 10 grams of sugar per serving, donut peaches are relatively high in natural sugars. This is not a major concern for healthy people, but those with diabetes or sugar sensitivity need to be mindful of portion sizes to keep their sugar intake within recommended ranges.

Seasonal and perishable

Donut peaches are only in season for limited months in summer. Their thin skins also mean they spoil quickly compared to regular peaches. Be sure to handle them gently, refrigerate promptly, and eat within a few days of purchase to prevent spoilage.

Who Should Not Eat Donut Peaches?

Donut peaches are safe for most people in moderation as part of a balanced diet. However, some individuals should exercise caution with peach intake:

  • People with peach allergies – Allergic reactions can range from mild symptoms like an itchy mouth to severe anaphylaxis.
  • People sensitive to fructose – Peaches contain the natural sugar fructose, which some people do not properly absorb.
  • People taking beta blockers – Beta blockers interact with potassium, so excessively high intakes from fruits like peaches could be an issue.
  • People following low carb or ketogenic diets – Peaches are relatively high in carbohydrates, so they may need to be limited on very low carb diets.

If you have any of these sensitivities, speak to your healthcare provider before adding donut peaches to your diet.

How to Pick and Store Donut Peaches

Follow these simple tips for selecting ripe, flavorful donut peaches and keeping them fresh:

Picking Donut Peaches

  • Look for plump peaches with smooth, unblemished skin
  • Opt for peaches that feel heavy for their size
  • Avoid extremely hard peaches – they are underripe
  • The red blush should cover 25-50% of the skin
  • Peaches should give slightly when gently pressed

Storing Donut Peaches

  • Keep unripe peaches at room temperature. Once ripe, move to the fridge.
  • Store ripe peaches loose in the fridge crisper, not in plastic bags.
  • Throw out any bruised or moldy peaches immediately to prevent spoilage.
  • Enjoy donut peaches within 3-5 days for the best quality.

Proper selection and storage helps maximize the flavor and shelf life of delicate donut peaches.

Simple Serving Ideas for Donut Peaches

Donut peaches shine in both sweet and savory recipes. Here are some easy ways to enjoy their unique flavor:

  • Slice fresh onto oatmeal, yogurt, or cottage cheese for breakfast
  • Puree into vinaigrettes, salsas, and chutneys
  • Grill halves and drizzle with honey or maple syrup
  • Roast to intensify flavor and caramelize natural sugars
  • Poach in white wine or fruit juice for a tasty dessert
  • Bake into cobblers, crisps, pies, and galettes
  • Blend into smoothies or freeze into popsicles
  • Pickle into a sweet and tangy relish for meat or cheese

Don’t let this seasonal fruit go to waste! Peach creativity in the kitchen helps you get the most nutritional bang for your buck.

The Bottom Line

Donut peaches may look fun and trendy, but they provide real nutritional and health benefits. Low in calories and high in beneficial compounds like vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and fiber, donut peaches make a wise addition to a healthy diet. Their unique flat shape and sweet honey-like flavor add seasonal flair salads, desserts, and snacks. While they are high in natural sugars, portion control makes it easy to fit donut peaches into a balanced eating pattern. Just be mindful of any individual sensitivities. Otherwise, feel free to go peachy this summer and reap the tasty rewards of this nutritious stone fruit.

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