This yellowish-orange fleshy fruit is thought to have been originally cultivated in China, from where it found its way to the Mediterranean and then the Americas (where the fruit thrives today). Apricot tastes both sweet and tart, and just 100 grams of the fruit give you 12% of vitamins A and C and 6% of potassium that you need daily. Well, there’s more. Just keep reading.
In This Article
- How Are Apricots Good For The Body?
- What Are The Benefits Of Apricots?
- What is The Nutritional Profile Of Apricots?
- Apricots Vs. Peaches – What’s The Difference?
- How To Eat An Apricot
How Are Apricots Good For The Body?
Scientifically called Prunus armeniaca, apricot is replete with nutrients. While the vitamin A in the fruit boosts eye health and immunity, the fiber takes care of the digestive health. The fiber does good to your heart by regulating the levels of blood pressure and cholesterol.
The various antioxidants in the fruit fight inflammation and even boost the health of your skin and hair. This is just the brief. The details are what we get to now.
What Are The Benefits Of Apricots?
1. Apricots Boost Digestive Health
The soluble fiber in the fruit promotes healthy bowel movement as it adds bulk to the stools. The fiber also breaks down the fatty acids fast – and this enhances digestion. The fiber in the fruit also treats other digestive issues like constipation and bloating.
2. Can Aid Diabetes Treatment
Apricots are quite low in calories and carbs (one fruit contains just 17 calories and 4 grams of carbs) – and this is good news for diabetics. They can very well be a part of a diabetes diet. And the fiber they contain can regulate blood sugar levels.
Apricots also have a low glycemic index – which means they have a sustained effect on your blood sugar levels and don’t spike the levels too fast. The fruit is also rich in vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant that improves blood sugar levels.
According to a Spanish study, nuts and dried fruits make for a healthy addition to a diabetes diet. Apricots, being dried fruits, undoubtedly serve this purpose (1).
3. Help Fight Inflammation
Not just the fruit, but the seeds have also been found to be effective in relieving inflammation. In fact, one animal study states how apricot seed oil extract protected against ulcerative colitis, which is an inflammatory bowel disease (2).
According to a report by the Arthritis Foundation, apricots are rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, a chemical that can prevent osteoarthritis and other inflammatory forms of arthritis (3). The magnesium in the fruit can also ease inflammatory pain.
4. Improve Vision
Regular fruit intake has been linked to a reduced risk of vision loss. But more importantly, apricots are rich in carotenoids and xanthophylls – nutrients that researchers believe can prevent age-related vision ailments. And they also contain vitamin A, another important nutrient for the eyes. Also called retinol, it prevents age-related macular degeneration.
As per studies, topical application of apricot kernel extract can reduce dry eyes by stimulating tear production (4).
5. Apricots Prevent Liver Damage
As per studies, apricots can protect against liver damage and ease the symptoms of fatty liver disease (accumulation of fat in the liver) (5).
More interestingly, organic apricots were found to be effective in promoting liver regeneration (6).
6. Protect The Heart
The potassium in the fruit can lower blood pressure levels and can hence prevent heart attacks. And the fiber in the fruit lowers cholesterol levels and prevents heart-related diseases like atherosclerosis.
7. Apricots Aid Weight Loss And Metabolism
The fiber makes it obvious – it can keep us full for long periods, and this definitely contributes to healthy weight loss. There is another bit of science attached to this – the nutrients in apricots stimulate certain brain cells (called tanycytes) that make us feel full and control our appetite.
The fruits might also speed up metabolism and cause weight loss as a consequence.
8. Boost Bone Health
Apricots are also rich in calcium, the mineral important for bone development and health. More importantly, potassium is also important for the proper absorption and uniform distribution of calcium – and apricots are rich in potassium too.
Studies also show that apricots can reverse bone loss and even alter bone metabolism in postmenopausal women (7).
9. Treat Anemia
Apricots are also good sources of iron, which helps treat anemia. Iron improves hemoglobin production, and this enhances the quality of blood as well.
10. Might Be Beneficial During Pregnancy
Apricots are highly nutritious, and this is reason enough to consume them during pregnancy. They are also rich in iron and copper, two particularly important nutrients during pregnancy. They help prevent fatal consequences during pregnancy.
However, there is very little research done in this regard. Hence, we advise you to stay away from apricots during pregnancy and consult your doctor first.
11. Can Treat Earache
Though there is very less research on this, some sources suggest that pouring two to three drops of apricot oil in the affected ear can relieve the pain.
12. Treat Respiratory Ailments
These include asthma, and cold and flu. Talking about asthma, research has established an inverse relationship between flavonoids and asthmatic symptoms.
The vitamin E in apricots also plays a role here. It acts like an antioxidant and fights free radicals. This process boosts immunity and prevents issues like cold and flu.
Apricots are also rich in beta-carotene, which help treat fever as well (8).
13. Make Your Skin Glow
Apricot scrubs can help in improving your skin tone by exfoliating the damaged skin cells. Thus, they prevent pigmentation to reveal the newer and lighter skin cells beneath.
You can use apricot oil with sugar to make a superb scrub for your face and body. This is an excellent exfoliant that removes dead skin cells and gives you smooth and soft skin. It also removes blackheads and unclogs pores. Just ensure your skin is deeply cleansed before using this scrub.
14. Apricots Delay Signs Of Aging
A scrub prepared from apricot kernels helps in getting rid of the old, dead skin cells on the surface of your skin and enables new skin cells to regrow. This exfoliating action helps in getting rid of fine lines and small wrinkles by eliminating the damaged surface cells from the skin.
Apricot oil helps in maintaining skin clarity, suppleness, and elasticity. It can be used with other fruit oils as a facial mask to soften your skin. It is often used in aromatherapy massage due to its revitalizing and nourishing effects on the skin. Being a very mild natural oil, it also is used in baby products.
15. Treat Skin Disorders
Being rich in vitamins C and A, apricot oil is great for sensitive skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties are effective for treating skin disorders like dermatitis and eczema.
Apricot oil, in combination with other essential oils, has a soothing effect on skin disorders. However, it is recommended to consult a doctor before using it to avoid any adverse side effects.
The flesh of apricots is beneficial in clearing acne. You can blend the leaves of apricot in a blender to get its juice. Applying it topically helps to get rid of the itching caused by sunburn, eczema, and scabies.
16. Apricot Oil Can Boost Hair Growth
The vitamin E in apricot oil supports healthy hair growth and prevents hair loss. This vitamin, in combination with fatty acids, acts as a preservative by preventing damage by free radicals.
17. Treats Scalp Issues
Apricot oil contains vitamins A and E, which support skin health and repair. Thus, it is a great home remedy for problems like dry scalp, psoriasis, dandruff, and eczema. This oil restores moisture to dry or flaky scalp or dull and dry hair.
We are done with the benefits. But did you know that apart from the nutrients we had discussed, apricots contain other important compounds as well?
What is The Nutritional Profile Of Apricots?
|Apricots (Prunus armeniaca), fresh.|
|Nutritive Value per 100 g. Total-ORAC umol TE/100 g-1115.|
|(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)|
|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%|
All good. But we have an important question to deal with.
Apricots Vs. Peaches – What’s The Difference?
Both are similar in terms of appearance and nutritional value. However, there are some differences.
Apricots are smaller than peaches and have a yellowish-orange flesh that is covered with fuzz. Peaches are slightly larger, and their color can range from white to bright yellow to red.
In terms of nutritional value, apricots are slightly higher in calories, protein, carbs, and fiber. They also contain a little more of vitamins A and C.
That settles it, right? But how can you eat apricots? How do you include them in your diet?
How To Eat An Apricot
If you are eating an apricot raw, which you can, simply wash it and consume the fruit as a whole. You can use a spoon to gently pull the large stone out from the center of the fruit.
You can also slice it and add it to a bowl of Greek yogurt. Or add the fruit to your breakfast oatmeal. You can also have apricot juice in the evening.
But be wary of the apricot kernels. Eating 50 to 60 of them can give you a lethal dose of cyanide. Even otherwise, there is little information on the safe number of kernels one can eat.
When they are replete with nutrients, why not include them in your diet? Tell us how the fruit has made your life better. And tell us how this post has helped you. Simply leave a comment below.
- “Nuts and dried fruits: An update…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Anti-inflammatory effect of...”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Summer fruits and veggies to relieve inflammation”. Arthritis Foundation.
- “Topical application of apricot kernel…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Protective effect of apricot…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Effects of organic apricot on...”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Dried plum’s unique capacity…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Starve a cold, feed a fever?”. WebMD.