Summer’s best: Why you need to eat more stone fruit

Sweet and juicy, stone fruit are not only delicious but also pack a nutritious punch. Here are our top picks for the season, and how to enjoy them.

Summer is stone fruit season, which means we can take our pick from plump and juicy favourites like peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines and more right now. 

The Nutrition Guy Joel Feren says while stone fruit offer similar health benefits to year-round staples like apples and oranges, their taste makes it easy to boost our daily fruit intake.

“The stats show that overwhelmingly, most of us are not getting our daily fruit requirements, so when we have these quintessential summer fruits around, it’s a wonderful opportunity to up our intake,” Joel says.

Nutrition Australia dietitian Leanne Elliston says eating plenty of stone fruit not only means getting more vitamins and minerals, but also provides “plenty of fibre, which we need,” and compounds that bring a list of health benefits, from improving our skin to helping us fight cancer.  

Here are some compelling reasons to eat more stone fruit, plus easy ways to enjoy them:

Peaches and nectarines

Similar in nutritional value, both of these fruits are full of goodness.

“Peaches tend to hog the limelight, but both are a really good source of vitamin C and potassium, which can help with blood pressure,” Joel says.  

“They also have plenty of vitamin A, which helps with skin health and immunity.” 

Interestingly, peach peels contain a higher amount of antioxidants than the flesh so, for maximum nutrition, be sure to eat the peel, too.

Peaches and nectarines are really versatile when it comes to recipes – these stone fruits make great additions to meat dishes, salads and desserts.


Nothing says Christmas like a big bowl of cherries.

While they are on the expensive side compared to other stone fruits, cherries are very nutritious and low in calories.

“Around 20 cherries provide the equivalent kilojoules to a slice of bread, so they are really low in energy,” Leanne says.

“They’re also a really good source of vitamin C, and they have that dark colour – a sign of having lots of antioxidants.”

However, cherries are not the right snack for everyone.

“They’re not FODMAP-friendly, so some people may find that cherries upset their gut,” Leanne explains.

But, Joel adds, cherries can reduce uric acid, which makes them a great summer snack for anyone who suffers from gout.

You can eat cherries fresh, use them to create delicious desserts, or whip up a low carb treat like these choc cherry bombs.


They may have a heart of stone, but these small orange fruits are a terrific source of vitamins A and C, according to Leanne.

Apricots also have plenty of beta-carotene, which supports eye health, and are jam-packed with fibre, which means they’re good for gut health.  

“They’re good fresh, but people need to be careful they don’t eat too many dried apricots,” Leanne says.

“Once you dry them, it’s easy to eat lots – and that’s way too much sugar.”

If you’re not a fan of eating fresh apricots, try adding small amounts of dried apricots to homemade muesli and snack bars.


These small, richly coloured fruits come in an array of varieties and have many of the same benefits as their stone fruit cousins.

But they also bring additional wellness benefits.

Some plum varieties can be dried into prunes, which may help ease anxiety, may support bone health, and can be used as a natural laxative to help get the bowels moving

Plums are perfect for jams or crumbles; add prunes to breakfast oats, or blend prune juice into smoothies.


Often overlooked in the stone fruit category, lychees are full of natural goodness.

“These little guys are really interesting because they’re actually incredibly high in vitamin C,” Joel says.

“They’re also a good source of folate, vitamin B6, phosphorus, potassium, and some of the bioactive compounds that can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.”

Lychees are a fabulous addition to fruit salad and taste delicious in mocktails, he adds.