Fun fact: Apricots originally were grown in China over 4000 years ago and were brought to California by the Spanish in the late 18th century.
One popular fruit pick during summer is the apricot. Setting aside its sweet and refreshing taste, apricot is also known for its antioxidant benefits and high nutritional value. With its origin in China, apricots have spread in Europe through Armenia. Now, apricots are widely grown in countries like Greece, Italy, Spain, France, and in the United States.
Such fruit may be consumed as either fresh or dried, both with impressive nutritious content. Through time, apricots have been used in making jams, oil, pastries, and even liquor. The versatility of apricot is the primary reason why it is important to dig deeper into its nutrition value.
Abovementioned was the fact that apricots are low in calorie content. One hundred grams of apricots, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), contain 50 calories with zero cholesterol and very low quantity of fat.
Apricot is an excellent source of energy for the body. It holds 11g of carbohydrates, which is 8.5% of the daily-recommended intake (DRI), and 1.4g or 2.5% DRI of protein. Once digested, these macronutrients are converted into sugar or amino acids, which are used by the body as energy.
This fruit is notable for its supply of potassium at 5.5% DRI. Potassium interacts with sodium to regulate the amount of water in between cells. It also stabilizes the blood pressure level while assisting in the absorption and use of calcium by the body.
It is significantly high in vitamin A with 64% DRI. Vitamin A, along with the soaring quantity of phytonutrients like beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin and lutein zeaxanthin, improves ophthalmic health. While strengthening the optic nerves, the said elements prevent eye diseases like macular degeneration.
Apricot promotes metabolism of the macronutrients through its abundant supply of B vitamins like pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and niacin.
It likewise provides 16% DRI of vitamin C, which assists in the production of collagen. As a natural antioxidant, vitamin C develops body resistance to prevent occurrence of certain diseases.
Moreover, apricots are rich in minerals such as iron, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and calcium.
Iron is an essential mineral to enable the transportation of oxygen by the red blood cells. Magnesium works with phosphorus and sodium to ensure proper performance of the nerves and muscle function. Zinc finds importance in DNA activities and at the same time advances healing and immunity. Calcium regulates blood pressure while protecting and strengthening bones and teeth.
The Amazing Health Benefits of Apricots
Apricots are very popular because of the high amounts of fiber it contains. Fiber is beneficial to the body in many ways. Primarily, foods rich in fiber regulate proper bowel movement. Fiber cleanses the digestive tract for smooth movement of food intake and clears out the intestine for prompt and appropriate travel of stool. Sometimes we encounter digestive issues such as constipation because of excessive laxative compounds in the digestive tract. Eating foods rich in fiber is very effective in preventing as well as treating constipation because it assures healthy peristaltic motion in the digestive tracts. This will result to regular and proper bowel activity. Fiber also acts as stimulator for the nutrients to be absorbed by the body. The more you indulge in foods rich in fiber, food breakdown is regulated and the nutrient absorption ability of the body is boosted.
Normalizes Body’s Fluid Levels
It is very important to maintain normal fluid levels in the body. Every organ and every part of the body needs fluid in order to function accordingly. Because apricots are rich in potassium, it is able to normalize the body’s fluid levels. Potassium and sodium are two important factors in maintaining normal body fluids and apricots have shown considerably high levels of these two properties. Intake of apricot assures that body organs and muscles have balanced fluid levels for them to work as expected.
Maintains Healthy Bones
The role of iron, manganese, phosphorus, and calcium is very significant to the health of our bones. Good thing with apricots is that they contain material amounts of these minerals. This explains why their consumption can promote healthy and strong bones even as you age. Eating apricots regularly will ascertain growth and development of healthy bone tissues. Eating apricots will also help battle bone issues such as osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Promotes Heart Health
Consumption of apricots helps in warding off many types of heart disease and illness. Because of its richness in Vitamin C, it stabilizes the condition of the heart. Vitamin C is a very strong antioxidant that eliminates accumulation of free radicals and strengthens the walls of arteries and vessels that contributes in reducing risks of heart ailments, stroke, or worst heart attack. Apricots also have potassium that relaxes the veins and arteries from proper blood circulation. Overall, this fruits allows the heart to function optimally avoiding irregularities that can cause various heart ailments.
Helps in Treating Fever
The extract of apricot is proven to relieve fever because of its considerably high levels of vitamins and minerals. Apricots also have detoxifying effects that help in preventing and treating allergies, bacteria build-up, etc. that cause fever. Apricot juice will help in soothing the body to normalize its temperature.
Treats Skin Issues
The extract of apricot is very healthy for the skin. It helps in maintaining a young-looking and revitalized skin structure not only from the outside but from the inside as well. Apricot oil also soothes skin diseases as well as skin irritations. Applying apricot oil directly to the skin makes it moisturized. Studies have also proved that apricot can treat skin irritation and skin diseases such as scabies, eczema, dryness, and others more. This is because of the richness of apricots in powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants maintain healthy skin cells. If you want to achieve a young-looking and healthy beautiful skin, consumption of apricot is of great help.
High levels of iron and copper in apricots promote hemoglobin formation. This is good news for those who are anemic. Basically, anemia is caused by insufficient iron in the body. If the body lacks iron, it tends to be weaker, more exposed to fatigue and lower metabolic rates. Regular consumption of apricot helps in increasing red blood cells because of this fruit’s high iron levels. On top of its iron content, apricots also have copper that works together with iron in battling anemia. These properties keep normal counts of red blood cells for each organ of the body to function accordingly.
There have been various researches that proved the ability of apricot extract to prevent and cure asthma. Apricot is naturally an anti-asthmatic property because it avoids respiratory and lung stress. It stabilizes the lungs and respiratory system that eliminates asthma triggering factors.
Reduces Risks of Cancer
Because of their powerful antioxidants, apricot wards off free radical formation and their unhealthy effects in the body. Free radicals affect the production of cells. Instead of producing healthy cells, damaged and cancerous cells are formed instead. It is important to consume foods rich in antioxidants as much as possible because antioxidants remove toxins from the body. These toxins primarily cause cancer and other serious illnesses.