Apricot, also known as Prunus Armeniaca, is a soft yellow or orange fruit that resembles plums and peaches. Of course, you’ll be amazed by the health benefits of apricots.
The scientific name of this fruit was derived from Armenia because most people think that it originated there.
However, apricot was also present in ancient Rome and Greek, and some experts claim that it was cultivated more than 30,000 thousand years ago.
You can enjoy it on a daily basis in many different ways. Some people like to eat it raw or fresh, and some eat it dried. Apricot is also used in jams, jellies, and squash.
Apricot has a large pit in the middle, which is not edible. So, it’s important to be careful while taking a big bite of this fruit.
12 health benefits of apricots:
This fruit has gained a lot of popularity with time, and the reason behind this is its impact on human health.
This fruit contains nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, which can be very beneficial for health. Some of the health benefits of apricot are listed below, which will make you eat that fruit:
1. Contains lots of nutrients:
Apricot is delicious in taste and contains a lot of essential vitamins and minerals, which help keep our body healthy. According to a research, 70 grams of apricot contains:
- Vitamin A: 8% of the daily recommended value
- Vitamin C: 8% of our daily recommended value
- Potassium: 4% of the daily recommended value
- Vitamin E: 4% of the daily recommended value
- Fiber: 1.5 grams
- Fat: 0.27 grams
- Calories: 34
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 8 gram
Besides the significant content of minerals and vitamins present in this fruit, it also contains many antioxidants like beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which reduce inflammation and fight free radicals in the body.
A large number of nutrients and fiber are present in the skin of apricot. To enjoy all of these nutrients, eat this fruit whole and unpeeled.
2. Rich source of fiber:
According to research in the world journal of gastroenterology, apricot contains a large amount of fiber, and therefore this fruit can help in smoothing the bowel movement.
Fibers help in regulating bowel movement, but they can also help in losing weight as it keeps you feeling full for a longer time.
This means you are less likely to eat more and can easily reduce your calorie intake. Fibers can also reduce the risk of many diseases like they can reduce bad cholesterol, which can cause heart disease. Apricot contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.
- Soluble fiber: this fiber can dissolve in water. It includes gums, polysaccharides and pectins. Soluble fiber helps in reducing blood cholesterol, and can reduce the risk of heart diseases. Soluble fiber is also good for people with diabetes as it keeps the blood sugar in control.
- Insoluble fiber: cannot be dissolved into the water and is present in the skin of the fruits. It includes cellulose, lignin, and hemicellulose. Insoluble fiber has the ability to regulate bowel movement. This fiber also helps in keeping you full for longer and aids weight loss.
3. High in antioxidants:
Apricots not only contain minerals and vitamins, but they are also a great source of some antioxidants like beta carotene and flavonoids.
These antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce inflammation by fighting off free radicals in the body.
According to research (Chang, 2016), apricots are high in flavonoids and polyphenol antioxidants, which can provide protection against illnesses like diabetes and heart diseases.
The main flavonoids present in apricot are catechins, chlorogenic acids, and quercetin. These all work together and neutralize the free radicals. These free radicals can be very harmful and damage the cells.
According to a study (Panche, 2016), free radicals can also cause oxidative stress. This oxidative stress can be further because by obesity, chronic diseases like stroke, and heart attack.
In another study of 2375 people (Cassidy, 2015), researchers develop a system to measure the changes in inflammatory markers.
They found that people with flavonoids and anthocyanin intake had lower inflammatory scores. Moreover, high flavonoids also lower oxidative stress to 56%.
4. Improves skin health:
Eating apricot can also provide benefits to the skin. According to the studies, the main cause of skin damage and wrinkles are environmental factors like sun damage, pollution, and cigarette smoke. This skin damage can be fought off with the help of a healthy diet that contains antioxidants like apricot.
Moreover, Vitamin C and E present in this fruit can also promote skin health. Vitamin C can provide protection against UV radiation and environmental pollution as it neutralizes the free radicals.
Research (Gandini, 2005) has shown the link between These UV rays and the risk of melanoma, a form of skin cancer.
Furthermore, these vitamins can also build collages and provide your skin with strength and elasticity, as eating a diet full of vitamin C can increase the healing process of skin damage by UV rays and also prevents wrinkles.
Apricot contains another skin-healthy nutrient, beta carotene, which can also protect against sunburn. But that doesn’t mean that you can go into the sun without sunscreen and just eat an apricot. Sunscreen is a must; eating apricot can offer additional protection.
5. Improve gut health:
Apricots can improve gut health as they contain a large amount of fiber. According to a study (USDA) 165 grams of apricot contains 3.3 grams of fiber, which is 8% recommended amount of daily dose for men and 13% for women.
Fiber can increase the release of gastric juices, which break down the food easily and absorb the nutrients.
This fruit can help in keeping your bowel movements regulated by activating the peristaltic motion. Therefore, apricot is recommended for those people who suffer from constipation or other digestive issues.
Fiber is also very beneficial for gut bacteria as it delays the movement of food through the digestive tract and feeds them. The healthier the gut microbiome, the lower will be the risk of obesity.
6. Improve eye health:
Apricot contains several vitamins which are essential for eye health like vitamin A and E. Studies (Rasmussen, 2013) have shown the benefits of these two vitamins in reducing diseases linked to the eyes.
Vitamin A helps prevent night blindness, a disorder caused by the lack of light pigment in the eyes. And vitamin E, on the other hand, is a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects the eye from free radical damage.
Moreover, an antioxidant, which gives apricot yellow, and orange color, beta carotene, can also serve as vitamin A, since the human body can convert it into vitamin A.
Apricot also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, found in the retinas and lenses of the human eye.
7. High source of potassium:
Apricots also contain a higher amount of potassium, which works as an electrolyte in the human body. It helps in sending nerve signals and muscles contraction.
Potassium is also responsible for fluid balance in the body. Two medium-sized apricots can provide a 4% or daily recommended dose of potassium.
Potassium can also prevent bloating as it works with sodium to maintain fluid balance in the body. It can maintain blood pressure.
Different studies have found that people who eat a diet rich in potassium have a lower risk of high blood pressure and heart diseases like stroke.
8. Can keep you hydrated:
Like many other fruits, the apricot is also high in water content and can help in regulating blood pressure and body temperature. Its hydrating property also improves joint health and maintains heart rate.
So, it could be the best option to reach your daily recommended water if you are one who doesn’t drink much water. According to studies (USDA) one cup of fresh apricot can provide 142 ml of water.
Moreover, staying hydrated can make your body pure, as it makes the blood circulate all the waste products throughout the body.
Keeping your body hydrated can increase metabolism because when you are hydrated, blood volume drops and makes the heart work harder to pump blood.
So, apricot can be easier to add both water and electrolytes to the body you lose after exercise. As, it can provide a good amount of water and potassium as well.
9. Can provide protection to liver:
There are several data that show the protective effect of apricot on the liver against oxidative stress. In an animal study (Yurt, 2011) rats fed apricots with alcohol had a lower level of inflammation in the liver, as compared to those who were only given alcohol.
So, according to that research, apricot can help in preventing liver damage as it contains a higher amount of antioxidants.
The presence of these antioxidants can reduce any kind of inflammation present in the liver. Some antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties.
10. Improve heart health:
Apricot has the wonderful property of protecting the heart from various diseases like atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart attack.
The high amount of potassium, vitamin C, and fibers present in apricot contribute to improving heart health.
According to research at Stanford University (Pham-Huy, 2008) vitamin C present in the heart can protect it from free radicals.
Potassium lowers the blood pressure and relaxes the arteries and blood vessels. Dietary fiber reduces cholesterol levels and scrapes it from the lining of the blood vessels and arteries.
Which makes them clear and also makes the blood passage smooth. These all properties make the apricot ideal for improving heart health.
11. Increase metabolism:
Fluid balance in the human body depends upon the two minerals, sodium, and potassium. Apricots contain a high amount of potassium.
This mineral helps maintain the fluid balance in the body and makes sure that the energy is equally distributed to all the organs and muscles of the body.
Having a balanced level of electrolytes like potassium can reduce cramping, and pumps energy throughout the body. It will make you feel more energetic.
More energy to muscles and organs means they can work better. So, you can also eat apricots before a high-intensity workout. This highly energetic fruit will help you exercise more than usual without draining your energy.
12. Easily added to diet:
Both fresh and dried apricots are not only a quick delicious addition to your snack and meals, but they can also make your diet nutritious. There are many different ways through which you can add apricot into your diet:
- Eaten fresh as a snack
- Add slices to yogurt or salad
- Used to make jams and salsas
- Added into the dessert-like pastries, pies, and cakes
- Can be stirred into granola
- Added into a stew with meat like beef or chicken
Apricot has a sweet and tart taste; therefore, these are used in many recipes in place of plums and peaches.
Some people also like to drink apricot juice or make their smoothie and then add some frozen cubes of apricot in it as well.
But to get the maximum benefits of this highly nutritious fruit, try to eat it raw. But before eating it, wash it under cold water to remove dirt and impurities. Eat it with its skin, as it contains tons of fiber.
The bottom line on the health benefits of apricots:
Apricot is a delicious fruit packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. These all nutrients are essential for human health and can provide many health benefits. Studies have proved the apricot benefits for the digestive system, eyes, and skin.
Apricots can also help reduce the risk of major diseases like stroke and heart diseases due to the presence of a large amount of fiber present in these.
Apricots can be eaten fresh or dried. These can also be added to yogurt and salad to eat as a snack or can also be added to main meals as well.
It can be a great option for those fed up with eating peaches and plums and who want some other delicious change.
This fruit can also be used while cooking the dessert or in jams and jellies as well. You can also add it to smoothies or make fresh juice. Read More Here.
Other related articles:
- Healthiest Leafy Greens
- How To Increase Insulin Sensitivity Naturally
- How To Stop Sugar Cravings
- Smart Ways To Stop Eating Late At Night
- Ways To Improve Gut Health Naturally
- Ways To Improve Vision Health Naturally
Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.
Fortunately, because of the ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.