Health Benefits of Apricot

What is an Apricot?

An apricot is a fruit, or the tree that bears the fruit, of several species in the genus Prunus. Usually, an apricot is from the species P. armeniaca, but the fruits of the other species in Prunus sect. Armeniaca are also called apricots.

Apricots (Prunus armeniaca) are stone fruits also known as Armenian plums.

Round and yellow, they look like a smaller version of a peach but share the tartness of purple plums.

There are many different apricot varieties to enjoy, the most popular being Blenheim, Tilton, and Moorpark.

IN THIS ARTICLE

  • Nutrients per Serving
  • Health Benefits
  • Food Preparation

Nutrients per Serving

One whole, fresh apricot contains:

  • Calories: 17
  • Protein: Less than 1 gram
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugar: 3 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
  • Sodium: 0 milligrams

Apricots are low in fat but rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene. These nutrients act as antioxidants to protect your cells from damage.

Apricots are also a good source of flavonoids, an antioxidant that helps to protect against inflammation and inflammatory illnesses, along with reducing your risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The main flavonoids in apricots are catechin, quercetin, and chlorogenic acids.

Fresh apricots contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, including:

7 Health Benefits of Apricots

1. Skin Protection

Antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C are known for their skin-boosting properties. They can help to protect skin cells from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, reduce signs of early wrinkles, and improve skin elasticity. Beta-carotene is another antioxidant that helps to protect your skin from sunburns and additional UV damage. Since apricots have high water content, they’re also a good way to hydrate your skin. One cup of apricots offers about 2/3 of a cup of water.

2. Healthy Vision

Rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, and other carotenoids, apricots are excellent for promoting eye health. Lutein helps to support retina and lens health, while carotenoids and vitamin E support overall vision. Apricot nutrients also help to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

3. Better Digestion

Apricots offer plenty of good dietary fiber to help your digestive tract. Their total fiber content is about half soluble fiber and half insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps your digestive tract retain enough water and encourages good bacteria to thrive. Insoluble fiber is also good for healthy gut bacteria levels.

4. High in potassium

Apricots are high in potassium, a mineral that also serves as an electrolyte. In your body, it’s responsible for sending nerve signals and regulating muscle contractions and fluid balance.

Two apricots (70 grams) provide 181 mg of this mineral, which is 4% of the DV.

As potassium works closely with sodium to maintain fluid balance, adequate intake may help prevent bloating and maintain healthy blood pressure.

One analysis of 33 studies found that a diet rich in potassium significantly reduced blood pressure and resulted in a 24% lower risk of stroke.

5. Very good at hydrating

Like most fruits, apricots are naturally high in water, which can help regulate blood pressure, body temperature, joint health, and heart rate.

One cup (165 grams) of sliced, fresh apricots provides almost 2/3 cup (142 ml) of water.

As most people don’t drink enough water, eating fresh fruit can help you reach your daily needs.

If you’re dehydrated, your blood volume drops, forcing your heart to work harder to pump blood. Furthermore, staying hydrated allows your blood to circulate waste products and nutrients throughout your body.

What’s more, eating apricots can be an easy way to replenish both water and electrolyte loss after exercise, as this fruit offers good amounts of water and potassium.

6. May protect your liver

Some data suggests that apricots may help protect your liver from oxidative stress.

In two animal studies, rats fed alcohol and apricots had lower levels of liver enzymes and markers of inflammation than rats given alcohol but no apricots.

This research suggests that apricots may help prevent liver damage because of their naturally high antioxidant content.

That said, it’s hard to know whether this fruit provides the same benefit in humans. More research is necessary.

7. Easy to add to your diet

Both fresh and dried apricots make for a quick, delicious snack or an easy addition to your favorite meal. You can add them to your diet in a variety of ways, including:

  • stirred into trail mix or granola
  • eaten fresh as a snack
  • sliced and added to yogurt or salad
  • used in jams, preserves, and salsas
  • stewed in a slow-cooker with meat, such as chicken or beef
  • added to desserts like pies, cakes, and pastries
  • Enjoy an apricot cobbler or crisp.
  • Poach apricot halves with fresh vanilla bean.
  • Bake a tart with apricot and pistachio.
  • Combine fresh apricot jam with red pepper flakes for a spicy-sweet sauce over chicken.
  • Top French toast with apricot compote.
  • Drizzle apricot glaze onto baked ham.

Create a pasta salad with chicken, apricots, almonds, vegetables, and lemon dressing.

As they’re sweet and tart, apricots can be used as a replacement for peaches or plums in most recipes.

It’s best to enjoy apricots whole and unpeeled, as the skin boasts large amounts of fiber and nutrients. Be sure to discard the stone, as it’s inedible.

Summary

Apricots may be small, but they’re big on both flavor and nutrition. These yellow-orange fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals, with a flavor ranging from sweet to sweet-tart, depending on the variety. The flesh of apricots is soft and somewhat juicy when ripe, and they have velvety skin with soft fuzz.

Rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, and other carotenoids, apricots are excellent for promoting eye health. Lutein helps to support retina and lens health, while carotenoids and vitamin E support overall vision. Apricot nutrients also help to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Please leave your comments and/or feedback below.

  • Do you eat apricot? Why or why not?
  • What other ways do you prepare apricot as a dish or as a dessert?
  • Do you have any illness that is relieved by intake of apricot?

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Disclaimer

Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We encourage you to do your own research. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.

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REFERENCES:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apricot

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/apricots-benefits

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-apricots#1

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