AS spring creeps slowly towards summer we're going to be introducing peaches and nectarines to our fruit boxes in the next few weeks. These seasonal fruit will be joining others such as apples, bananas, pears, clementines, plums and grapes. There's only one major difference separating these two types of fruit; a peach has fuzzy skin, while a nectarine does not. This difference is due to a recessive gene which determines whether or not the fruit will be fuzzy. If both parent trees pass on a copy of this gene to a seedling, the result will be a nectarine. A native of north-west China they may be the same species but they are regarded commercially as different fruits. The nutrition of nectarines and peaches are very similar although the former has more minerals and vitamins. To get the most of the health benefits, you should eat them with the skin on, which contributes to insoluble fibre that prevents constipation. The health benefits of peaches and nectarines are numerous: Protect against cancer The flesh is rich in bioflavonoids, and especially carotenoids and these antioxidants help to protect against cancer and other diseases by reducing the cellular damage caused when the body burns oxygen. Keep the ticker healthy They are a good source of potassium and fibre, both of which are nutrients which keep our heart healthy. They also help to promote healthy cholesterol levels and good gut health thanks to their rich fibre content. Free the radicals! Peaches and nectarines are a good source of antioxidants _ which are converted into vitamin A in the body _ which help fight free radicals in the cells. Free radicals that are created after the exposure to sunlight can easily be eliminated if you include these two fruits in your diet, meaning they protect us from harmful UVA rays. Let's hear it for the collagen The vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, that is present in peaches and nectarines play a vital role in keeping tissue strong. It also helps to produce collagen, a structural protein that helps to hold tissue together and promotes healing after an injury. Ascorbic acid boosts immunity and helps to fight infections, as well as helping to repair cartilage and bones. It makes up part of a protein responsible for producing skin, scars, tissue, tendons and ligament. Digestion booster Potassium present in nectarines improves the metabolism, regulates pH balance, and helps in photosynthesis and with the digestion of carbohydrates. Fight the flab They are a low calorie fruit which makes it a perfect food for losing weight. With just 44 calories per 100 grams and no saturated fats the fibre in them also helps to manage hunger and aids in weight control. Boost the blood pressure It's a known fact that potassium rich food help improves blood pressure, and a single peach or nectarine contains around 285 mg of potassium which balances the effect of sodium. However, a high potassium diet can be harmful for elderly people and those with kidney disease; so be careful. All Countrywise fruit comes fresh from Hull_s historic fruit market the morning it is delivered. We look to supply the freshest fruit both locally and from around the world, ensuring continuity throughout the year. And if you want a different mix or any other favourites adding we're more than happy to help. Our fruit boxes start at ?10 and go up to ?20. If you'd like to know more telephone us on 0800 0612193 or email our sales department.