Nectarines on a table

The health benefits of nectarines

Discover what makes these juicy, vitamin- and mineral-rich stone fruits so good for you, how many count as one of your five-a-day and healthy recipe ideas.

What is a nectarine?

Nectarines are a round, yellow-red stone fruit that are about the size of an apple. They have a smooth, firm skin on the outside and a white-yellow flesh inside – both of which are edible –and in the centre, a hard stone or kernel, which is inedible.

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Nectarines are related to peaches, but don’t have the same fuzzy skin.

Nutritional profile of nectarines

Nectarines contain around 85 per cent water per 100g, so they provide a lot of hydration. A 100g serving also provides 43 calories, around 10g of carbohydrates (of which all is sugar, as it’s a fruit), 1g protein, negligible fat and about 1g fibre.

Nectarines have a good nutritional profile, containing lots of vitamins and minerals, including beta-carotene, which gives them their yellow-red colour. The body can turn beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is needed to support the normal function of the immune system and the health of our skin and our eyes.

Nectarines also contain folate, needed for healthy red blood cell formation, as well as a little calcium, phosphorus and vitamin K, all of which play a role in bone health.

Nectarines are also a good source of antioxidants, and in particular, a certain polyphenol known as gallic acid that is currently being researched for its potential health benefits in a number of conditions including diabetes, certain cancers, brain health and obesity. 

Do nectarines count as one of your five-a-day?

An 80g serving of nectarine counts as one of your five-a-day – that’s roughly one nectarine.

Discover more in our infographic: What counts as five-a-day?

A selection of nectarines

Can you be allergic to nectarines?

Yes, some people do have a stone-fruit allergy. Speak to your GP if you experience any concerning symptoms after eating a nectarine.

Occasionally, an allergic reaction can be life-threatening and can include swelling of mouth and throat, difficulty breathing and blue lips or skin. This is known as anaphylaxis, and is a medical emergency. Call 999 immediately if this happens.

Read more from the NHS website about allergy symptoms.

How to buy the best nectarines

You can buy nectarines that are still firm and ripen them at home over one or two days, or buy ‘ready to eat’ nectarines – when gently squeezed, they should feel slightly soft under pressure. Do not buy any that are green, bruised or have any blemishes on the skin.

Healthy nectarine recipes

Summer fruit quinoa salad
Barley couscous & prawn tabbouleh
Charred nectarine & prosciutto panzanella
Almond crêpes with avocado & nectarines
Herby feta & nectarine salad with lemon poppy seed dressing

Now read

The health benefits of raspberries
The health benefits of watermelon
The health benefits of strawberries
The health benefits of cherries


This page was published on 26th February 2020.

Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist and works with both private clients and the corporate sector. She is an accredited member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Find out more at urbanwellness.co.uk.

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