This article looks at the health benefits of apricots but before that, lets look at what apricot is all about, brief history and some apricot nutrition data.
Apricot, scientifically known as Prunus armeciaca, is a nutritious fruit that is closely related to plums. They belong to the Rosacea family.
The scientific name is derived from Armenia, which is where most researchers believed to have originated from.
However, apricots are also presently cultivated in ancient Greece and Rome. Although many experts also claim that original cultivation happened in India more than 3,000 years ago. The disputed origin is not really important, we are really after the health benefits of eating apricots.
Apricots are small drupes that resemble peaches or plums and are typically yellow-orange in color with a slight red tinge on one side.
They have a soft, tangy flesh beneath a thin outer layer. In the middle is where the hard shell called the stone is enclosed.
Apricots can be enjoyed in a wide variety of ways, and every culture treats it differently.
They can be consumed directly, or dried and even eaten as a variety of dried fruits. It can also be used in the preparation of various juices, squash, and jams. Apricot oil which is obtained from its kernel has a lot of health benefits.
One of the reasons why this fruit has been so popular over the years is that they are directly linked to a number of health benefits due to their unique organic compounds and nutrients.
Just read on to see the health benefits of apricots.
Apricot Nutrition: Nutritional Facts of Apricot
The impressive health benefits of apricots are mainly due to its rich nutritional content.
Apricot is a rich source of vitamin A, C, E, K, and niacin. It is also very rich in minerals like potassium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus. In addition, they are also a good source of dietary fiber and flavonoids.
|Apricots (Prunus armeniaca), fresh,
Nutritive Value per 100 g,
Total-ORAC umol TE/100 g-1115.(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.4 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g||5%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.240 mg||5%|
|Vitamin A||1926 IU||64%|
|Vitamin C||10 mg||16%|
|Vitamin E||0 mg||0%|
|Vitamin K||3.3 µg||3%|
8 Impressive Health Benefits of Apricot
As mentioned earlier, the health benefits of apricots can be attributed to high nutrient contents. Some of the health benefits of apricots are outlined below.
1. Better Eye Health
Apricot is a rich source of vitamin A, C, carotenoids, and beta-carotene can help reduce the risk of eye disease.
Most eye problems like cataracts are caused by the degenerative effect of free radicals. And it can also lead to age-related macular degeneration.
The high level of beta-carotene in apricots helps improve blood flow to the eyes, reversing age-related macular degeneration. It also contains an antioxidant known as Zeaxanthin which provides light filtering functions thus improving vision.
2. Relieves Constipation
Apricots are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber which helps smooth bowel movements and in the treatment of constipation.
Most at times, it is often recommended to patients who regularly suffer from irritable bowel movement and constipation due to its laxative properties
Fiber bulks up the stool, making it very easy for excretion from the body. it also stimulates gastric and digestive juices that help absorb nutrient and breaks down food for easier processing.
Furthermore, fiber activates the peristaltic movement of the digestive tract. This makes apricot vital for digestive health.
3. Improves Your Heart Health
One of the most outstanding health benefits of apricot is its ability to maintain heart health.
The high level of dietary fiber and vitamin C, as well as potassium all, contribute to good heart health.
Vitamin C helps protects the heart from free radicals damage. Research shows that vitamin C helps lower the risk for cardiovascular disease.
Potassium helps regulate electrolyte balance, thereby regulating blood pressure. Dietary fiber, on the other hand, helps remove excess cholesterol from the lining of the arteries, reducing strain on the heart.
4. Improves Bone Health
Apricots contain all the essential nutrients needed for healthy bone growth and developments.
Minerals like calcium, phosphorus, manganese, iron and copper all play a vital role in bone growth and development.
Thus, regular consumption of apricots will ensure healthy bone growth and development.
It will also prevent age-related bone conditions like osteoporosis. This makes apricots important in relieving arthritis pain and gout.
5. Apricot Fights Anemia
Apricot is a rich source of iron, an essential mineral which plays a vital role in hemoglobin formation.
Additionally, it also contains copper, which aids in iron absorption. This property helps prevent anemia.
These two minerals present in apricots forms a great tool to boost metabolism and keep the body functioning properly.
6. Battles Cancer
One of the health benefits of apricot seed is in the treatment of cancer.
Being a rich source of antioxidants. They help mop up dangerous free radicals generated by cellular metabolism. These compounds can cause mutation in the DNA of the cells leading to cancer cell formation.
Therefore eating apricots regularly helps protect you from cancer.
In addition, study shows that apricot seeds contain a compound called B17 which proves effective in the treatment of cancer.
7. Relieves Fever
One of the health benefits of apricot juice is in fever treatment. It’s soothing and anti-inflammatory properties can impact the body’s overall temperature, curing fever.
Some people prepare a concoction using apricot and juice and water to relieve fever.
In addition, it can help reduce inflammation in other parts of the body, especially for people suffering from arthritis or gout.
8. Better Skin Health
Apricot oil is beneficial for skin health.
It helps moisturize the skin and can be quickly absorbed by the skin.
It is also effective in the treatment of skin diseases like eczema, itching, scabies and other irritating skin disorder. You should also know that some exfoliation products have Apricot extract in them. You can also get some apricot oil on Amazon.
Here are some of the best apricot oil extracts to buy on Amazon:
- NOW Solutions Apricot Kernel Oil,16-Ounce
- Eminence Apricot Body Oil, 8.2 Ounce
- Pure Apricot Oil for Face Healthy Skin and Hair Growth
- 100% Pure Kernel Oil Apricot Kernel Seed Oil for Face Skin and Hair Growth
There are no established dangers of eating apricots, except for normal allergies that some people might have.
But you should be wary of dried fruit which apricot is frequently made into.
Sulphites have been found in large amount in most dried foods. This could have a serious impact on asthma and induce asthmatic attacks.
Other than this, enjoy your fruit and read 9 fruits rich in antioxidants next.