Nectarines vs Peaches

Two of the most well-liked stone fruits that are readily accessible during the summer are nectarines and peaches. Despite having a similar appearance, they differ significantly in taste, texture, and nutritional content. It’s critical to comprehend the distinctions between the two if you’re unsure which to pick.

Ripe peaches in basket on wooden background

Nectarines and peaches are genetically similar fruits that belong to the same family.

They do, however, differ slightly in terms of texture, flavor, and appearance. Nectarines are slightly smaller and firmer than peaches, and they have smooth skin.

The skin of peaches is fuzzy, and they are often bigger and softer than nectarines.

Although nectarines and peaches both have sweet and juicy flavors, nectarines are frequently thought to be a little tarter than peaches.

It is thought that nectarine and peach trees were first domesticated in China more than 2,000 years ago.

The Persians introduced them to Europe in the first century AD, while Spanish adventurers introduced them to America in the sixteenth.

Nectarines and peaches are farmed all over the world now, including the US, Spain, Italy, and China.

Key Takeaways

  • Nectarines and peaches are closely related genetically but have some differences in appearance, taste, and texture.
  • Nectarines have smooth skin and are slightly smaller and firmer than peaches, while peaches have fuzzy skin and are usually larger and softer than nectarines.
  • Both fruits have a sweet and juicy flavor, but nectarines are often considered to be slightly more tart than peaches.

Nectarines Vs Peaches: An Overview

You’re not the only one who wonders what distinguishes nectarines from peaches.

fresh ripe nectarines with leaves on a wooden table in a garden

Due of how similar these two fruits look and taste, many people are perplexed.

But you should be aware that there are a few significant differences between the two.


The most noticeable distinction between nectarines and peaches is how they look.

Peaches have fuzzy skin, while nectarines have smooth skin. This is so because nectarines are a genetic variation of peaches that do not contain the gene that causes the fuzz to grow.

Nectarines’ skin is smoother and more delicate than peaches’, giving them a somewhat different texture.


Nectarines and peaches taste quite similar to one another. Both fruits are sweet and juicy, as is typical of stone fruits.

While some people favor the more subdued flavor of peaches, others contend that nectarines are slightly sweeter and delicious than peaches.


Nectarines and peaches are fairly comparable in terms of nutrients.

Both fruits are a healthy addition to your diet because they are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals.

Nectarines, on the other hand, have marginally more vitamin A and vitamin C than peaches, making them a potential superior alternative if you’re trying to strengthen your immune system or enhance your vision.

Overall, nectarines and peaches are both wonderful, healthful fruits that are excellent for smoothies, baking, and snacking.

You can’t go wrong with either of these delectable stone fruits, whether you favor nectarines’ smooth skin or peaches’ fuzzy skin.

Origins and History

Stone fruits, which have their roots in ancient China, have been a favorite for generations.

Peaches with leaves in a wooden box with peach in halves on top.

Examples include nectarines and peaches. Following this, the fruits were transferred to Persia, where they quickly gained popularity before being eventually transported to Europe by the Romans.


It is thought that nectarines first appeared in China more than 2,000 years ago.


The fruit was then transported to Persia, where it eventually ended up.

The Latin word “nectar,” which means a sweet liquid, is where the name “nectarine” originates.

Nectarines were first brought to America in the 1800s and immediately gained popularity.

Today, California is the state that produces the most nectarines in the country.


Peaches were also first grown in China, where they were there for a very long time.

A group of ripe peaches in a bowl

After that, the fruit was brought to Persia and eventually reached Europe. The Latin word “persica,” which means “Persian,” is where the term “peach” originates.

Early in the nineteenth century, peaches were introduced to the US and immediately gained popularity.

Georgia is currently referred to as the “Peach State” and is the country’s top producer of peaches.

Overall, people have been consuming nectarines and peaches for thousands of years and have a long history of doing so.

Physical Characteristics

Peaches and nectarines are extremely similar in terms of their physical attributes.

Fresh Yellow Peach fruit in wooden bowl on wooden background

They are both members of the Prunus persica species and are similar in size and form, often measuring 2-3 inches in diameter. But their skin has a noticeable difference.

Nectarines have a smooth skin, whereas peaches have a fuzzy one.

The genetic mutation that gives nectarines their distinctive appearance is to blame for this.

Many individuals frequently prefer nectarines with smooth skin because it is simpler to peel and has a more enjoyable mouthfeel.

The hue of the flesh should be taken into account as another physical trait.

Nectarines contain yellow or white flesh, which is frequently more vivid in color than the white or yellow flesh of peaches.

Some people prefer the sweeter flavor of yellow-fleshed peaches or the tangier flavor of nectarines with white flesh, which can impact the flavor and texture of the fruit.

Nectarines typically weigh a little bit less than peaches, although the difference is not very large.

Both fruits normally weigh between 100 and 150 grams, which is a comparable weight range.

However, the fruit’s weight might change based on the variety, level of maturity, and growth circumstances.

Peaches and nectarines are physically extremely similar to one another, with the main distinction being the texture of the skin.

It frequently boils down to taste and personal preference when deciding between the two.

Nutritional Profile

There are certain similarities and differences to take into account when comparing the nutritional profiles of nectarines and peaches.

fresh peaches on wooden table

Both fruits are excellent choices for anyone trying to maintain a healthy weight and aid in digestion because they are low in calories and high in fiber.

Nectarines contain higher vitamin B1, vitamin B3, iron, phosphate, and copper than peaches, according to a Foodstruct comparison.

Peaches, on the other hand, have lower levels of saturated fat and higher vitamin C, vitamin B2, and vitamin K than nectarines.

The macronutrient profiles of the two fruits are largely comparable. About 60 calories, 1 gram of protein, 15 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber are included in one medium-sized nectarine.

About 60 calories, 1 gram of protein, 14 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber are included in one medium-sized peach.

It’s important to keep in mind that the nutritional value of nectarines and peaches might change depending on ripeness, growth conditions, and storage practices.

However, both fruits are typically regarded as being nutritious and healthful food options.

Nectarines and peaches are rich in nutrients, but they also provide antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene that can help the body fight off oxidative stress and inflammation.

Additionally, these antioxidants may have anti-aging properties and promote general skin health.

Overall, nectarines and peaches are both delicious and nutrient-rich fruits that can be included in a balanced diet.

Both fruits offer a variety of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that can promote your health and wellbeing, regardless of whether you favor the slightly fuzzier texture of a peach or the smooth skin of a nectarine.

Health Benefits

Peaches and nectarines both provide a number of health advantages. Some of the main advantages of adding these fruits in your diet are as follows:

Sweet ripe nectarines in basket on grey background

1. Rich in Nutrients

Peaches and nectarines are both high in nutrients and low in calories.

One medium-sized nectarine or peach has between 60 and 70 calories and is a good source of potassium, fiber, fiber-soluble vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and fiber.

These nutrients assist a healthy immune system, digestive system, and overall health.

2. Supports Heart Health

Peaches and nectarines are also heart-healthy fruits. They have a high potassium content and a low sodium content, which helps control blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart disease.

These fruits include antioxidants that can also help lower inflammation and shield against oxidative stress, both of which can increase the risk of heart disease.

3. May Improve Digestion

The high fiber content of nectarines and peaches can aid in better digestion and avoid constipation.

These fruits’ fiber content aids in controlling blood sugar levels and may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

4. May Help with Weight Loss

Because they are low in calories and high in fiber, nectarines and peaches are excellent options for weight loss.

These fruits’ high fiber content makes you feel fuller for longer, which might help you stop overeating and encourage weight loss.

5. May Boost Immune Function

Vitamin C, which is crucial for the health of the immune system, is abundant in nectarines and peaches.

White blood cells, which defend against infections and illnesses, are produced more quickly thanks to vitamin C.

In addition, these fruits’ antioxidants can aid in preventing oxidative stress and inflammation, which can impair the immune system.

In conclusion, nectarines and peaches are two delightful and wholesome fruits that have a number of health advantages.

You can support heart health, enhance digestion, encourage weight loss, and strengthen the immune system by consuming these fruits.

Frequently Asked Questions

fresh peaches on wood background

What’s the difference between nectarines and peaches?

Nectarines and peaches are very similar fruits. They are both members of the same species, Prunus persica, and they are both part of the stone fruit family. The main difference between the two is that nectarines have smooth skin while peaches have fuzzy skin. Additionally, nectarines tend to be slightly smaller and more acidic than peaches.

Are nectarines and peaches good for you?

Yes, both nectarines and peaches are good for you. They are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. They also contain antioxidants that can help protect your cells from damage. However, they do contain natural sugars, so it’s best to eat them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Can you substitute nectarines for peaches in recipes?

Yes, you can usually substitute nectarines for peaches in recipes. Since they are very similar fruits, they have a similar taste and texture. However, keep in mind that nectarines are slightly more acidic than peaches, so you may need to adjust the amount of sugar you use in a recipe if you make the substitution.

How do you choose ripe nectarines and peaches?

When choosing nectarines and peaches, look for fruits that are firm but slightly soft to the touch. They should have a sweet aroma and a bright color. Avoid fruits that are bruised or have soft spots, as these may be overripe. If the fruit is not yet ripe, you can leave it at room temperature for a few days until it softens.

Fresh sweet nectarines with fresh green leaves on wooden background in the garden


In summary, nectarines and peaches are both delightful and wholesome stone fruits that are excellent for baking, cooking, eating, and more.

There are some important differences between the two that you should be aware of despite the fact that they have comparable flavors and nutritional profiles.

Compared to peaches, nectarines are a little bit harder, smoother, and have a somewhat more acidic flavor.

In comparison to peaches, they are slightly lower in calories and carbs and contain more vitamin A.

Peaches, on the other hand, have a sweeter, juicier flavor and a softer, fluffier peel. Additionally, they contain a little bit more potassium and vitamin C than nectarines.

It ultimately comes down to personal preference and availability when deciding between nectarines and peaches.

Nectarines are a good choice if you want a firmer, slightly tartar fruit. Choose peaches if you like a fruit with a softer texture that is sweeter and more juicy.

Whatever variety you choose, make sure it is ripe and aromatic so you can enjoy the great flavor and health advantages of these magnificent stone fruits.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.