Known for its acidic taste and its distinctive apricot color, this nutritious fruit is good for much more than just making jams or baked goods. With an extensive nutritional profile and a long list of benefits, apricot is equally rich both in taste and in beneficial health properties, as are apricot seeds. Apricot is a type of edible fruit that comes from the apricot tree. It is a member of the genus Prunus, or stone fruit, which also includes plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines and almonds. Apricots are believed to be native to Armenia, China or Japan, and are now widely cultivated throughout the world.
Apricots are considered a nutrient dense food and are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C. They have also been credited with a wide range of health benefits, from reducing inflammation to treating the eye. dry and more. In addition, they are super versatile and can be eaten raw or can be used for baking and cooking, which makes them an excellent way to give your diet a healthy update.
1. Protect the liver:
2. High antioxidant content
3. Reduce inflammation
4. Support regularity
5. Promotes eye health
1. Protect the Liver:
- In addition to being the largest internal organ of the human body, the liver is also one of the most important.
- It has a long list of functions, from producing proteins that help blood clotting to breaking down fats for energy.
- Some research suggests that apricot fruit benefits the health of your liver and may even protect it against liver disease.
- In an animal study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, apricot was able to protect against liver damage, as well as fatty liver, a condition characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver.
- Another study with animals in Turkey found that supplementing rats that had part of their liver removed with sun dried organic apricot helped promote liver regeneration.
- Eating an anti-inflammatory diet, reducing stress levels and getting more physical activity can also help stimulate liver function.
2. High Antioxidant Content:
- In addition to providing a wide range of important micronutrients, apricots are also loaded with antioxidants.
- Antioxidants are compounds that protect against free radicals and prevent damage to cells.
- They can also reduce the risk of certain chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
- Apricots are loaded with carotenoids, a type of pigment with antioxidant properties.
- According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, apricots are especially high in carotenoids such as beta carotene, betacriptoxanthin and gamma carotene.
- In addition to apricots, other fruits and vegetables, as well as herbs and spices such as turmeric and coriander, are also antioxidant-rich foods that you can easily incorporate into your diet.
3. Reduce Inflammation:
- Inflammation is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it is a perfectly normal response triggered by the immune system to keep out foreign invaders and protect the body from injury.
- On the other hand, chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on your body and contribute to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Some studies have found that apricots could possess potent anti-inflammatory properties to help protect against diseases.
- Apricot seeds, in particular, are believed to be effective in relieving inflammation.
- In an animal study, the administration of apricot oil extract to rats helped protect against ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease.
4. Support Intestinal Regularity:
- Apricots are loaded with fiber, providing about 3.1 grams – or up to 12 percent of your daily needs – in just one cup.
- Fiber moves through the body without digesting, helping to add volume to stool and prevent constipation.
- An analysis consisting of five studies showed that increased fiber intake helped increase the frequency of bowel movements in patients with constipation.
- Sweet apricot seeds, which are commonly sold as snacks, can supply even more fiber.
- A 1/4 cup serving contains an estimated five grams of fiber, satisfying up to 20 percent of your daily fiber needs.
- In addition to apricots, other fiber-rich foods that can help relieve constipation include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.
5. Promotes Eye Health:
- Apricots are an excellent source of vitamin A. Only one cup of raw apricots can eliminate 60 percent of the vitamin A you need throughout the day, while one cup of dried apricots can almost meet your daily vitamin A needs. by themselves.
- Vitamin A plays a central role when it comes to eye health. In fact, vitamin A deficiency can cause symptoms such as night blindness, dry eyes and loss of vision.
- In addition to being rich in vitamin A to increase vision, apricots can benefit eye health in other ways. An animal study conducted in 2016, for example, showed that topical application of apricot kernel extract helped reduce dry eye by promoting tear fluid production in mice.
- You may also be interested in reading: The 4 Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Apricot Nutrition Facts:
Raw apricots are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium, as well as several other important micronutrients. They also contain a good amount of carbohydrates, and most apricot calories come from carbohydrates instead of fat or protein.
One Cup of Raw Apricot Halves Contains Approximately:
- 4 calories
- 4 grams of carbohydrates
- 2.2 grams of protein
- 6 grams of fat
- 1 grams of fiber
- 2,985 international units of vitamin A (60 percent DV)
- 5 milligrams of vitamin C (26 percent DV)
- 401 milligrams of potassium (11 percent DV)
- 4 milligrams of vitamin E (7 percent DV)
- 1 micrograms of vitamin K (6 percent DV)
- 1 milligrams of copper (6 percent DV)
- 1 milligrams of manganese (6 percent DV)
- 9 milligrams of niacin (5 percent DV)
In addition to the nutrients mentioned above, apricot also contains riboflavin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, magnesium and phosphorus.
The nutritional profile of dried apricots varies a bit. Dried apricots contain more than four times more calories and carbohydrates, but they also provide a more concentrated amount of fiber, vitamin A, potassium, vitamin E and other micronutrients.
One Cup of Dried Apricot Fruit Contains Approximately:
- 313 calories
- 4 grams of carbohydrates
- 4.4 grams of protein
- 7 grams of fat
- 5 grams of fiber
- 4,686 international units of vitamin A (94 percent DV)
- 1,511 grams of potassium (43 percent DV)
- 6 milligrams of vitamin E (28 percent DV)
- 4 milligrams of copper (22 percent DV)
- 5 milligrams of iron (19 percent DV)
- 4 milligrams of niacin (17 percent DV)
- 3 milligrams of manganese (15 percent DV)
- 6 milligrams of magnesium (10 percent DV)
- 2 milligrams of vitamin B6 (9 percent DV)
- 3 milligrams phosphorus (9 percent DV)
In addition, dried apricots contain some pantothenic acid, calcium, selenium, vitamin K and riboflavin.
Apricot vs. Peach:
It is easy to confuse apricots and peaches. Not only do they belong to the same family of fruits, but they share many similarities both in their appearance and in the nutrients they provide. Apricots are smaller than peaches and have yellowish and orange fluff-covered pulp. Peaches, on the other hand, are slightly larger, may vary in color from white to bright yellow or red, and like apricots they are covered with fine hairs. Apricots tend to have a slightly sour taste that is a great addition to baked goods and desserts. From the nutritional point of view, the two fruits are very similar, with some minimal differences. Gram per gram, apricots are slightly higher in calories, protein, carbohydrates and fiber.
“Apricots also contain more vitamin A and vitamin C, although both contain comparable amounts of other micronutrients, such as vitamin E and vitamin K”.
That said, both are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and including a few servings of each can be a healthy and nutritious way to boost your diet.
How to Eat an Apricot?
Apricots are easy to enjoy and full of flavor. If you eat raw, simply wash it and feel free to consume all the fruit, skin and all. You can use a spoon to help gently remove the large bone, or apricot kernels, found in the middle of the fruit. For a simple and healthy treat, try adding apricot to a bowl of Greek yogurt or even use it to complete your next bowl of oatmeal or cold cereal. Alternatively, try using fresh or dried apricots in your cooking and baking recipes to increase both the flavor and nutritional profile of your dishes.
Uses and Recipes of Apricot:
If you feel a little creative, there are many ways to enjoy apricots besides chewing the whole fruit. Some of the most common ways to use apricots include making baked goods and apricot sweets, as well as salads, sauces and even meat dishes. Also, instead of going for the dried apricots bought in the store, you can even try to dry them at home. Simply use a dehydrator or put them in the oven, bake at the lowest level for 10-12 hours and enjoy. From the sweets that use dried apricot to the main dishes that use it to incorporate a touch of sweetness, the possibilities are endless. Here are some ideas for fresh and dried apricot recipes:
- Easy Apricot Chicken
- Low sugar apricot jam
- Chicken Salad with Basil and Apricot
- Unbaked apricot, almond and coconut energy bars
- Apricot Almond Butter Oat overnight
The history of apricot remains controversial. Because of its scientific name, Armenian Prunus – or Armenian plum – as well as its long history of cultivation in Armenia, many people believe that it actually originated there. Others argue that it was actually found for the first time in China or in India thousands of years ago. Regardless of their true origins, apricots have been a staple food in many cultures around the world for centuries. The Egyptians, for example, commonly used apricots to make a traditional juice, while English settlers used apricot oil in the 17th century to reduce inflammation and treat tumors. Today, most of the commercial apricot production in the United States takes place on the West Coast. In fact, almost all apricots come from California and a smaller amount comes from Washington and Utah. Globally, Uzbekistan produces the most apricots, followed by Turkey, Iran and Italy.
- Although apricot kernels are often enjoyed as a sweet snack, bitter apricot kernels can contain a large amount of amygdalin, a compound that can raise cyanide levels when consumed in excess. If you eat apricot seeds, be sure to opt for the sweet variety to avoid potential toxicity.
- In addition, while dried apricots have a high content of beneficial nutrients, they also have a high carbohydrate and calorie content, which can lead to weight gain and an increase in blood sugar level. Keep your consumption in moderation and look for fresh apricots whenever possible to avoid overdoing it.
- Some people may also experience food allergy symptoms after eating apricots. If you suspect you may have an allergy to apricots or have any adverse side effects after eating them, discontinue use and talk to your doctor.
- Apricots are a stone fruit and are closely related to plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines and almonds.
- Raw apricots are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C. Dry apricot nutrition, on the other hand, contains a higher concentration of calories, carbohydrates, fiber and micronutrients.
- Apricot is also loaded with antioxidants and has been shown to reduce inflammation, support regularity, protect the liver and promote eye health.
- Because of their acidic taste, apricots are incredibly versatile. They are a suitable complement for both sweet and savory dishes, and can be used in bakery products, main dishes, jams and sauces.
- Enjoy apricot in combination with a healthy and balanced diet to make the most of the multitude of health benefits it can bring.