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Hepatitis C Lifestyle: Peaches Are a Great Summer Snack

Nicole Cutler L.Ac. July 31, 2013

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Did you know that August is National Peach Month? Discover five good reasons to munch on fresh peaches instead of worrying about Hepatitis C this summer.
Hepatitis C Lifestyle: Peaches Are a Great Summer Snack

Peaches ripen naturally in the summer months, and make an ideal treat for people with a liver ailment like chronic Hepatitis C. Besides being a tasty stone fruit, peaches contain a number of nutrients that are supportive of liver health.

Removing chemicals, waste and other toxins from the bloodstream, the liver is our body’s master filter. Thus, those with chronic liver disease are continually working towards keeping their master filter operating optimally. Because it continually assaults liver cells, living with Hepatitis C frequently means navigating snack options with great care; the right one will aid the liver’s ability to filter and the wrong one could hamper it. When peaches are in season this summer, take advantage of their narrow ripeness window – doing so fulfills the quest to find a delicious sweet treat that supports the body’s master filter.

5 Reasons to Eat Peaches

We all get occasional cravings for something juicy and sweet. Choosing a peach over a dessert loaded with fat, sugar and devoid of nutrients is a wise decision for anyone with a compromised liver due to Hepatitis C. The following five nutritious aspects of the peach should put this tasty stone fruit on the top of your snack list.

  1. Potassium – A large peach provides about 333 milligrams of potassium. This essential mineral helps maintain healthy blood pressure, an important facet of living well with Hepatitis C. Healthy blood pressure helps prevent worsening of portal hypertension – a complication of severe liver scarring. In addition, Hepatitis C treatment can cause diarrhea – causing people to lose too much potassium. To restore proper electrolyte balance, experts suggest choosing foods and drinks high in potassium, like peaches, following diarrhea.
  2. Vitamins – Peaches contain 10 different kinds of vitamins: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K and six of the B vitamins. While each vitamin has a specific benefit for maintaining the health of our master filter, Vitamins E and C tend to be especially promising for Hepatitis C. In a Japanese study published in a 2006 edition of the journal Nutrition, researchers found that supplementing with Vitamin E and Vitamin C during combination therapy helped protect cells from damage typically incurred from conventional Hepatitis C therapy.
  3. Fiber – A large peach provides about 3 grams of fiber, an important substance for a healthy digestive system. In addition, dietary fiber helps regulate cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of fat accumulation in the liver. Because the Hepatitis C virus is more apt to cause damage to a fatty liver than a lean one, increasing fiber intake is wise for overall liver and digestive health.
  4. Phenolic Compounds – Stone fruits (such as peaches) have especially high levels of phenolic compounds, which are bioactive substances that are potent antioxidants. According to studies by Texas AgriLife Research, the peach’s phenolic compounds help fight against “metabolic syndrome” – a problem involving the liver that can lead to serious health issues. Because these phenols have anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties, peach consumption can help prevent liver cell oxidation – a precursor to liver damage.
  5. Chlorogenic Acid – Another type of potent antioxidant, chlorogenic acid is found in the flesh and skin of peaches. In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, researchers found that the chlorogenic acid in peaches helps neutralize damaging free radicals – reducing the progression of chronic diseases like Hepatitis C.  In addition, chlorogenic acids are believed to help ward off cancer and reduce body inflammation – both valuable functions for preserving the wellness of the body’s master filter.

During the summer, you are likely to find that peaches are more available and particularly yummy. Thanks to potassium, vitamins, fiber, phenolic compounds and chlorogenic acid, those with Hepatitis C have every reason to choose peaches as their go-to summer snack – and can feel confident that they are caring for their body’s master filter.

References:

http://www.almanac.com/plant/peaches, Peaches, Retrieved July 7, 2013, Yankee Publishing, Inc., 2013.

http://www.hepatitis.va.gov/patient/hcv/treat/side-effects-single-page.asp, Side Effects Guide: Entire Lesson, Retrieved July 7, 2013, US Department of Veteran Affairs, 2013.

http://www.hepatitis-central.com/mt/archives/2006/02/vitamins_sugges.html, Vitamins Suggested During Combination Therapy, Retrieved July 7, 2013, Hepatitis Central, 2013.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/408214-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-peaches/, What Are The Health Benefits of Peaches?, Andrea Cespedes, Retrieved July 7, 2013, Demand Media, Inc., 2013.

http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/16467/20130612/health-benefits-of-peaches-low-calorie-fruits-bioactive-compounds-healthy-fruits.htm, Health Benefits of Peaches, Susan Scutti, Retrieved July 7, 2013, MedicalDaily.com, 2013.

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/peach-10-healthy-facts, The Peach: 10 Healthy Facts, Chloe Thompson, Retrieved July 7, 2013, WebMD, LLC, 2013.

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