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Apricot health benefits are impossible to ignore, as it has safely established itself as one of the world’s superfoods. This small yellow, fuzzy fruit hasn’t just been making waves in the health community for it’s delicious and refreshing taste, but for its contributions to your wellbeing. From nicer complections to fighting cancer, the advantages of this little fruit packs a huge punch.
What Is An Apricot?
An apricot is a small yellow fruit produced by the Apricot tree which is found in
mountain slopes with good drainage. It belongs to the Prunus Armeniaca, which belongs to the Rosaceae family.
The fruit is uniformly four to five centimeters in size and has a thin skin with a tangy flavor similar to plumbs. When the tree blooms it’s light pink flower it attracts bees who make delicious honey with the nectar collected.
The fruit has a pit that contains a kernel that recently has come into the spotlight as a possible cancer preventative, only the sweet apricot is safe to ingest in large quantities. The bitter almond comes with some pretty heavy limitations on how much can be safely ingested as it contains higher levels of cyanide.
The Health And Nutritional Values Of Apricots
Before we dive into the 10 nutritional benefits of our favorite fuzzy fruit, let’s first get a quick breakdown of the nutritional values.
PrincipleNutrient Value Percentage of RDA
- Energy - 48 Kcal - 2.5%
- Carbohydrates - 11.12 g - 8.5%
- Protein - 1.4 g - 2.5%
- Total Fat - 0.4 g - 1%
- Cholesterol - 0 mg - 0%
- Dietary Fiber - 2 g - 5%
- Folates - 9 μg - 2%
- Niacin - 0.600 mg - 4%
- Pantothenic acid - 0.240 mg - 5%
- Pyridoxine - 0.054 mg - 5%
- Riboflavin - 0.040 mg - 3%
- Thiamin - 0.030 mg - 2.5%
- Vitamin A - 1926 IU - 64%
- Vitamin C - 10 mg - 16%
- Vitamin E - 0 mg - 0%
- Vitamin K - 3.3 µg - 3%
- Sodium - 1 mg - 0%
- Potassium - 259 mg - 5.5%
- Calcium - 13 mg - 1.3%
- Copper - .078
- Iron - 0.39 mg - 5%
- Magnesium - 10 mg - 2.5%
- Manganese - 0.077 mg - 3%
- Phosphorus - 23 mg - 3%
- Zinc - 0.2 mg - 2%
- Carotene-α - 19 µg
- Carotene-ß - 1094 µg
- Cryptoxanthin-ß - 104 µg
- Lutein-zeaxanthin - 89 µg
(Source: USDA National Nutrient database)
Some of the benefits of apricots are its high amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Niacin, and Potassium are part of the allure of this tasty fruit. There are more apricot nutritional benefits below.
1. Rich In Fiber
One of the benefits of apricots is the fact that they are high in fiber, the apricot is a good choice to turn to for better regularity of bowel movements and is routinely recommended as a laxative and a calmative for stomach distress. Regulating fiber is crucial in keeping your bowel movements normal.
2. Gives Your Metabolism That Extra Boost
Increased metabolism is one of the better reasons to eat apricots. Apricot nutritional benefits include the presence of sodium and potassium to help regulate electrolytes so that energy is available to all of the organs and muscles throughout the body. This will keep energy levels good and reduce cramping.
3. Apricots Are Great For Your Skin
High in antioxidants, specifically lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin, free radicals are targeted allowing better skin tone, elasticity, and moisture retention. Apricot oil rubbed into the skin reaches deep into your pores rejuvenating cells leaving the skin with a noticeable glow. It will also clear up rashes, acne as well as treat dermatitis and eczema.
4. High Levels Of Iron And Copper Help Treat Anemia
Anemia is a lack of iron in the blood. This can be a fatal disease if not treated. Other apricot nutritional benefits are the high levels of iron and copper. These minerals help replace iron in the blood and alleviate the latitude common to anemia
5. Maintain Your Vision
Other benefits of apricots are the protection by the presence of zeaxanthin, an antioxidant thought to protect the eyes from macular degeneration.
6. Get Rid Of Your Fever
Apricot Health benefits include an anti-inflammatory quality. This quality can reduce fevers and sooth bouts of coughing. Apricot juice can be added to water with a bit of honey to inhibit coughing.P
7. Help Prevent Cancer
While manufacturers cannot make claims of curing cancer as a selling point for apricot health benefits, they can and do point out the high concentration of amygdalin, also called vitamin B-17. Although the B-17 is not officially recognized as a Vitamin, the presence of amygdalin has been theorized to protect against Cancer.
8. Keep Your Heart Healthy
The high content of potassium in apricots protects the heart as it helps to maintain heart rate and blood pressure. Its fiber content helps to rid the body of cholesterol. Excess cholesterol can build up in the arteries causing heart attacks and strokes.
9. Strong Bones Come From Apricots
As apricots have the minerals calcium, iron, manganese, copper and phosphorus, they are a good choice in maintaining bone health. Bone health is crucial to prevent such diseases as osteoporosis, and poor bone density that can result in brittle bones that break easily.
10. Stop Asthma In Its Tracks
Apricots contain an oil that is unofficially recognized as an anti-asthmatic. Its essential oils possess expectorant and stimulant qualities. These oils can soothe the respiratory tract to prevent asthma attacks before they occur.