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Apricot Health Benefits And Nutrition Facts

Apricots are the yellowish-orange fruits that belong to the family of Rosacea or prunus. In
appearance and size, Apricots are small in size and a fully matured fruit can be between 1.5 cm
to 2.5 cm. They are covered in a velvet-like skin which is smooth and soft to touch owing to a
fine hairy cover. Apricot is available and consumed in both fresh as well as dried form. Both
are equally nutritious in their content.
In their unripe form, Apricots are green in color and they turn to a golden yellow or orange
shade ones they start ripening. They are usually available in the summer season. However you
can relish the canned and dried variety all through the year. Their flesh is quite firm and they
are sweet and have a musky, faint tartness in their taste sometimes. Apricots are grown in
many countries of the world. They are most popular in countries of North America, South

America and New Zealand.


Apricots were basically first grown in China, but due to international trade and exchange they
spread to Europe via Armenia. This explains the scientific name of the plant Prunus
Armenaica. They came to America in the eighteenth century. The weather conditions of the
United States are well-suited for the growth of Apricots.
Not only are they consumed in their fresh and dried forms, they are also used in making
pastries, jams and marmalade. They also find usage in liquor industry where they are used in
making brandy and liqueur. A rare form of oil is distilled from the pit of the peach fruits and
is known as bitter almond oil or oil of almond. Some of the leading producers of apricots in
the world are Italy, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Greece, France and the United States.

Apricot Nutritional Value


Apricots are highly rich in nutritional content. It is closely related to peach and plum in the
way it tastes. Following chart gives a detailed story of its rich nutritional value per 100 grams
serving.
Energy

48 Kcal

Carbohydrates

11 gms

Dietary fiber

2 gms

Fats

0.4 gms

Protein

1.4 gms

Vitamin A

96 ug

Beta Carotene

1094 ug

Lutein Zeaxanthin

89 ug

Vitamin B1

0.03 mg

Vitamin B2

0.04 mg

Vitamin B3

0.6 mg

Folate

9 ug

Vitamin B5

0.24 mg

Vitamin B6

0.054 mg

Vitamin C

10 mg

Vitamin E

0.89 mg

Vitamin K

3.3 ug

Calcium

13 mg

Magnesium

10 mg

Iron

0.4 mg

Phosphorus

23 mg

Potassium

259mg

Sodium

1 mg

Manganese

0.077 mg

Zinc

0.2 mg

A 100 grams serving of fresh apricot provides you with 12% of Vitamin C, 12% of Vitamin A,
6% of Potassium and just 48 Kcal ! It is a low fat fruit and contains high amount of sugar. In
this article, we will introduce our readers to various health benefits lent by Apricots in details.
Also, a few factors to be kept in mind as a caution.

Apricot Health Benefits


1. Is good for your eyes
Many studies have shown that consuming apricots is highly beneficial for your ophthalmic
health. Consuming two or three servings of apricots in a day has shown to be beneficial in
preventing age-related Macular Degeneration. Macular degeneration is a disorder of the eye
and is one of the major causes of loss of sight in older people. It also helps in strengthening
the optic nerves in your eyes.
It also lowers the risk of another major eye related illness called Neovascular ARMD. The
carotenoids and the various vitamins especially Vitamin A and Beta Carotene present in
apricots are responsible for reducing the risk of developing this disorder.
Vitamin A with Carotene and Lutein prolongs vision in people suffering
from retintitispigmentosa and delays the loss of peripheral vision. It is also considered a great
remedy for alleviating dry eyes symptoms. In younger people it has been found to slow the
progression of Stargardts disease- an inherited eye disease.
Wrap up: Vitamin A and Beta Carotene in Apricots strnethens optic nerves of eyes and protect from
macular degeneration and other eye diseases that result in complete or partial loss of vision.

2. Rich source of antioxidants


Apricots when ripened naturally are a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are required
by the body to aid the bodys natural functioning. Higher the amount of antioxidants in the
body, higher is the rate of elimination of toxins from it. Toxins are harmful substances that
accumulate in the intestines and the digestive tract. Anti-oxidants also get rid of free radicals
produced naturally in the body on exposure to oxygen. Free radicals if not scavenged
regularly, can damage the body on cellular level. Apricots have the capacity to increase the
production of antioxidants.
They are also rich in carotenoids and other strong antioxidant phytonutrients. Apricots are
rich in vitamin A content due to the presence of high levels of beta-carotene in them which is a
precursor to Vitamin A. Vitamin A is a strong antioxidant. Its presence is useful for the growth
of cells in the body and helps in improving the immune system. By optimizing the immune
function, it leads to an overall improvement in the health of the human body.
Wrap up : Apricots are rich in antioxidants and help in eliminating free radicals and toxins thereby
strengthening the immune function.

3. High Fiber Content


Dried and fresh apricots are one of the best sources of dietary fiber. Though fiber is generally
good for the human body, apricots contain a special kind of fiber that is even more beneficial.
They contain the rich soluble fiber that dissolves easily in the body, this helps in absorbing
essential nutrients. It melts into a gel-like substance and helps in breaking down fatty acids.
Once fatty acids are broken down, they help in the excretion of digested food particles and in
the easy bowel movement.
The high amount of dietary fiber also helps in keeping you safe from gastrointestinal
disorders. It ensures a regular emptying out of intestines and protects from constipation and
constipation induced piles.
Wrap up: Apricots have a high amount of soluble fiber which aids digestion function and protects from
constipation and other gastrointestinal disorders.

4. Healthy for your heart


The high amount of soluble fibers is also beneficial to the heart health. How are the two
related? The high fiber content is useful in reducing the LDL or bad cholesterol content in the
body, thus lowering your risk of developingcardiovascular diseases. At the same time, it also
helps you increase the levels of HDL or good cholesterol. Consuming just half a cup of apricots
every day is useful and beneficial to the health of your heart.
Potassium in Apricots further balances the electrolyte and ensures that the muscles of your
heart work to the best of their ability and remain healthy. The anti-oxidants in apricot stunt
the age related heart diseases and weaknesses.
Wrap up: The antioxidants, potassium and fiber in Apricots optimize the health of entire
cardiovascular system including heart.

5. Potassium for a healthy you


Fruits like apricots and those belonging to the same family are high in potassium content.
Optimum levels of potassium are extremely beneficial to your body. When potassium
combines with sodium or salt, it regulates the water levels within and between cells. This
water or fluid is called electrolyte and is responsible for carrying neurotransmissions. Potassium is also required to keep the blood pressure levels stable.
Deficiency of potassium is known to be deterrent to the body as it increases the possibility of
developing hypertension. Hypertension, in its most severe forms can lead to the possibility of
heart attacks. Eating half a cup of apricots is enough to give you a whooping 21% of your
required potassium intake every day.
Wrap up: Potassium in Apricots maintains electrolyte balance, optimizes the blood pressure and
reduces the chances of hypertension led stroke.

6. Non-heme Iron
All the plant items that contain iron contain the type that is called Non-heme iron. Most of the
dry fruits contain this type of iron. The specialty of this iron is that it is not easily absorbed by
the body. This way the amount of unabsorbed iron stays for a longer period of time in the
body and is more efficient when absorbed slowly. For better absorption, however, one can
consume this with any other sources of Vitamin C.
The iron content in apricots is helpful in preventing you from developing anemia. Anemia is a
common blood related condition wherein blood contains a lower level of Red Blood
Corpuscles and hence, a lower level of haemoglobin content in the body. It is often
characterized by dizziness, weakness, fatigue, nausea and inability to carry out day to day
activities due to persistent tiredness. According to the World Health Organization, it is one of
the most severe form of nutritional disorders in the whole world. Young girls and especially
the women are more prone to developing anemia than men because they lose blood every
month during menstruation. Loss of blood also indicates loss of iron content and nutrients.
Wrap up: Apricot contains non-heme iron which gets absorbed slowly, gradually and much more
effectively thus protecting from Anemia.

7. Cancer
Free radicals in the body are harmful and attack the DNA structure at cellular level causing
abnormal growth of cells. Free radicals inhibit the natural course of cell growth and in long
term invade the healthy cells and destroy them as well. The production of free radicals is
direct result of some molecules reaction with oxygen. Antioxidants are essentially body
cleansing compounds that control these free radicals.
The rich levels of antioxidants in apricots is helpful in lowering your risk of developing cancer.
In fact apricot kernels better known as its seeds have been found to kill cancerous growths
without apparent side effects. Antioxidants in the body keep it clean from free radicals. It thus
saves the body from many different types of cancers, including cancers of the lungs,
oesophagus and the larynx.
Wrap up: Rich content of antioxidants in apricots lend it cancer inhibiting properties that controls and
prevents the growth of cancerous cells in the body.

8. Skin benefits
The high level of antioxidants like vitamin A , Vitamin C and phytonutrients that are present
in apricots are highly recommended for maintaining skinhealth. The antioxidants in apricots
slow down the process of ageing by facilitating faster cell production which replaces the layer
of dead and worn out cells. This renews the skin layers and removes the fine wrinkles giving
your skin a taut appearance. Vitamin A also ensures that the skin is free from acne and other
such general skin problems.
Wrap up: The antioxidants in apricot make skin youthful, healthy and delay the appearance of ageing
on face.

9. Helps you lose weight


The high amount of dietary fiber that the apricot fruit is gifted with is useful for those people
who are looking at losing a few kilos. High fiber content improves the digestive and excretory
systems in the body and helps improve the rate of metabolism. To add to this wonderful
character, apricot also contains extremely low amount of calories.
Consumption of apricots make for a healthy snacking if you are following a dietary regime to
lose excessive weight and working out as well. Apricots can restore the electrolyte balance and
fill your stomach without adding the calories that eventually build up the weight of the body.
Wrap up: Fiber, low calories and mineral content of apricot make them an ideal snack for people on
strict diet and facilitates the weight loss as well.

10. Strengthens your bones


Apricots are rich in calcium and potassium content. Calcium is required by the body in bone
formation and bone development. Lack of calcium leads to a disorder of the bones called
Osteoporosis. The high calcium content is thus beneficial in the keeping of bone health and
saves you from brittle bones.
However, one important mineral that regulates the absorption, distribution and excretion of
calcium in our body is Potassium. Without potassium all calcium that you consume and
calcium contained in the bones would be released in blood stream eventually getting evicted
from the body. This will not only affect the bone health but will also choke the bladder which
purifies the blood.
Wrap up: Apricots maintain strong and healthy bones owing to their calcium and potassium content.

11. Electrolyte content


Proper functioning of the cells requires a good balance of the electrolyte levels in the body.
Electrolyte is required for transporting ions and neuro-transmission from brain to rest of the
body and back. It also maintains a stable fluid level which is necessary for proper expansion
and contraction of the muscles. Apricots contain healthy level of potassium and restrained
quantity of sodium. These are important minerals required by the body to optimize the
electrolyte levels in the body.
Wrap up: Electrolyte levels in the body are maintained by Potassium and sodium amongst other
minerals and both of these are contained in apricots in ideal quantities.

A few After Words


Orange or yellow is the natural shade of the apricot fruit but if you come across apricots that
have an additional reddish tinge, be careful before buying. The reddening of the apricot fruit
is due to the presence of sulfur dioxide which is a preserving agent. It is inorganic and is
harmful to the human body upon consumption. The best way to consume apricots is in its dry
form as it is most natural and safe this way. Moreover, the dried variety of apricots is available
in the markets throughout the year and therefore you need not go looking for it.

Those suffering from asthma or have known to have sulfur-sensitivity should be extra
cautious when consuming apricots. Sulphides are often added to preserve the fruit by
preventing oxidation. Oxidation is the process by which the contents in the fruit react with the
oxygen in the environment and begin to rot.
So next time you feel hungry any time of the day, you know it is Apricots that you may
consume! Cut it, slice it, squeeze it in the form of juice or add it to your dessert, but make sure
you consume apricots some way or the other and bask in its wonderful health benefits.