Apricot health benefits and nutritional values includes relieving constipation, strengthening the bones and boosting metabolism, also very useful in treating ear pain and more.
Apricot is also helpful in treating skin conditions, treating anemia, combating asthma, promoting eye health, treating fever, improving the quality of blood, help prevent cancer, and improving heart health.
Understanding What Apricot Are.
Apricot, scientifically known as Prunus armeciaca, is a nutritious fruit belonging to the Rosacea family. Its scientific name is derived from Armenia, where it is believed to have originated. It has been cultivated in India for more than 3000 years. It is a small, orange colored fruit with a soft, tangy flesh and a thin skin.
In a 100-gram amount, raw apricots supply 48 Calories and are composed of 11% carbohydrates, 1% protein, less than 1% fat and 86% water (table). Raw apricots are a moderate source of vitamin A and vitamin C (12% of the Daily Nutritional Value each).
Dried apricots are a type of traditional dried fruit. The world’s largest producer of dried apricots is Turkey. When treated with sulfur dioxide (E220), the color is vivid orange. Organic fruit not treated with sulfur dioxide is darker in color and has a coarser texture. When apricots are dried, the relative concentration of nutrients is increased, with vitamin A, vitamin E, potassium and iron having Daily Nutritional Values above 25%.
Apricot health benefits and nutritional values has increased Apricots has been discovered to contain various phytochemicals, such as provitamin A beta-carotene and polyphenols, including catechins and chlorogenic acid. Taste and aroma compounds include sucrose, glucose, organic acids, terpenes, aldehydes and lactones.
Apricot Kernels. (seeds) contain amygdalin, a poisonous compound. On average, bitter apricot kernels contain about 5% amygdalin and sweet kernels about 0.9% amygdalin. These values correspond to 0.3% and 0.05% of cyanide. Since a typical apricot kernel weighs 600 mg, bitter and sweet varieties contain respectively 1.8 and 0.3 mg of cyanide.
Apricot Nutritional Values.
Apricot health benefits and nutritional values are due to the wide range of nutrients present in it. Apricot is rich in vitamins like beta-carotene, Vitamin A, C E and K, and in minerals like iron, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus. also a good source of antioxidants, dietary fiber and flavonoids.
|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%|
Apricots can be consumed directly, or dried and then eaten as a variety of dried fruit. It is also used in the preparation of various juices, jams, squash, and jellies. Apricot oil can also be obtained from its kernel, and those powerful essential oils also have a lot of nutritional values.
The total antioxidant or ORAC value of fresh apricots is 1115 μmol TE/100 g. Most of this value attributed to some important health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin.
Altogether, these compounds act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging, cancers and various disease process.
Zeaxanthin, a carotenoid selectively concentrated in the retinal “macula lutea” in the human eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective UV light-filtering functions. Thus, consumption of fruits rich in zeaxanthin helps eyes protect from age-related macular disease (AMRD), especially in the older adults.
Apricot Health Benefits.
Apricots have an abundance of health benefits. Let us take a look at them below.
Apricots have moderate or considerable quantities of all the minerals needed for bone growth and development such as calcium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, and iron. So, eating apricots on a daily basis can help enhance your bone health and help steer you clear of a variety of bone related diseases such as osteoporosis.
Apricot oil is known to cure earaches. Drop a few drops of apricot oil into the affected ear canal for quick relief.
Apricot juice is believed to cure fever. Its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties affect the body’s overall temperature, curing fever. Prepare a concoction using apricot juice and water. Add 1 tablespoon of honey to this concoction. Drink this concoction twice a day to relieve cold, cough and fever.
Apricot is an excellent fruit for maintaining heart health. Research has found that people who eat foods rich in Vitamin C are less susceptible to heart diseases.
The high levels of dietary fiber remove the excess cholesterol from the arteries, reducing strain on the heart. It protects the low-density lipoprotein from oxidation, preventing heart diseases and stroke.
Potassium in apricot regulates the balance of intracellular and extracellular water levels, thereby regulating blood pressure. Half a cup of apricot provides the body with 10% of the recommended amount of potassium.
Apricot is an excellent source of iron, a mineral which plays a very important role in the formation of hemoglobin. In addition, apricot also contains copper, which aids in iron absorption. This improves the blood flow in the body, preventing anemia.
This low calorie fruit will make an excellent addition to your weight loss regime. One hundred grams of apricot contain 45 calories. The insoluble fiber in apricot absorbs water and keeps the stomach full for a longer time. Fiber also promotes quick movement of food through the digestive tract.
Fresh fruits contain vitamin-C, another natural antioxidant. Vitamin-C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals therefore protecting the immune system.
It is also believed that apricot oil is anti-asthmatic in nature and helps in treating the disease and its related symptoms. It has certain expectorant and stimulant qualities due to its essential oils. One of these can help to relieve pressure and stress on the lungs and respiratory system, thereby preventing asthma attacks before they begin.
Regular consumption of apricot helps to maintain the elasticity and suppleness of the skin. Vitamin E in apricot helps to delay the signs of ageing. It also tones and firms the skin. You can use apricot paste as a facial mask to soften the skin.
Potassium in apricot helps to maintain the fluid balance in the body, ensuring that energy is equally distributed throughout the organs. A healthy balance of electrolytes ensures that you have more energy and stamina to deal with day-to-day activities.
Apricot oil is believed to be anti-asthmatic in nature. It is very beneficial for treating respiratory disease and its related symptoms. The oil has expectorant and stimulating qualities, which helps to relieve pressure and stress from the respiratory system. This helps to prevent asthma attacks.
Treat skin damage:
Apricot contains oleic acid and Vitamin A, which prevent skin damage. The anti-inflammatory properties of apricot are helpful for soothing minor skin conditions like eczema and dry skin.
Apricots are very beneficial for pregnant women. It contains several essential nutrients, which can help in the growth and development of the fetus. Pregnant women are advised to consume dried apricots as it contains high amounts of iron. Iron will facilitate the circulation of blood in the body, preventing anemia. The dietary fiber in apricots prevents indigestion and constipation in pregnant women.
Dried apricots often bleached with sulfite gas which prevents them from oxidation to extend their shelf life. Bleaching is also done with other dried fruits like raisins, figs, etc. However, consumption of sulfite-treated bright orange apricots may cause acute bronchospasm in sensitized people who are suffering from asthma episodes. Sulfite sensitive individuals can instead safely use un-sulfured dry fruits that have a brown color. (Medical disclaimer).