Apricots

I am sure each one of us would have tasted apricots. – be it the fresh juicy fruits or the dried tasty ones available. These orange fruits have so many benefits to offer in addition to satisfying our taste buds. The lovely orange is perhaps the reason they were known as ‘orange eggs of the sun” !

Nutrition information

Fresh apricots – Apricots are similar to other orange fruits and vegetables in its properties. It is rich n Vitamins A (presence of carotenoids), C, Potassium and copper. In addition these fruits also have lot of dietary fibre.

Apricots

Availability

Fresh aprcots are available is some parts of the world and mostly in China, South Americe, Spain and United States. But even in these countires, the apricot season is just about two months. This fruit is hence exported in its dried form across the world and this is why apricot as a dry fruit is more commonly available.

Health benefits:

For good vision

The Vitamin A in apricots is great for vision. In addition, the compound Zea-xanthin present in apricots  helps to delay or even prevent macular degeneration. This vitamin is a fat soluble vitamin and also has other benefits such as boosting immunity and for healthy skin.

Apricot1
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Great for skin

As mentioned above, apricots are rich in vitamin A and this is a great food for healthy skin, hair and nails. Regular consumption of vitamin A results in clean and flawless skin. And here is a bonus tip – apricots have a component called ‘Ferulic acid’. This component helps to protect against harmful UV rays and is hence a natural sunscreen 😉

For preventing heart related diseases

Apricots have a large number fibres that are soluble. This soluble fibre helps to reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body. By reducing LDL levels, a variety of heart diseases can be averted.

In addition apricots also help to strengthen the muscles in the heart due to the potassium present in it.

Generally any food that is rich in anti-oxidants is good for the cardio vascular system.

Cup with apricot
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Anti-inflammatory properties

Various studies have been conducted that prove the anti-inflammatory properties of apricots. Both the fresh apricots and the dried ones have this effect. This means, when you have an inflammation and associated pain, you could eat an apricot or two to reduce it.

Tip: Always consume lot of water when you have an inflammation.

Good for those on a diet

Fibre is good for those trying to watch their weight. While fresh apricots provide the required fibre by filling you up with healthy nutrition, it makes you not crave for sugars and other unhealthy foods.

To treat iron deficiency

Apricots contain non-heme iron that is generally found in plants. This non-heme iron is unique in the sense that it is easier for the body to absorb and hence is more beneficial. Apricots could be great for pregnant and lactating mothers and for those who would like to get rid of anemia.

Rich in antioxidants

Since apricots have a good quantity of anti-oxidants, they are found to fight cancer and a various other diseases. How is this you ask? The prime reason for spreading of cancerous cells are the free radicals which inhibit the body’s natural cell growth and affect the DNA structure. These free radicals are toxic and the anti-oxidant properties of apricots cleanses these. This is true of all foods that are rich in anti-oxidants.

Apricots are generally consumed in the raw form or as dry fruits but there are a variety of recipes that can be experimented with ease.

Apricot puree for babies

If you get fresh apricot in your city, then here is a great recipe for your little one. For the tender digestive system, apricots are just perfect. There are a variety of apricot sauces that can be done. Although this may need vinegar or some preservative to be added, these sauces can garnish salads and everyday dishes adding a very unique flavour to it.

  1. Wash and slice apricot in half.
  2. De-seed.
  3. Drop these slices in boiling water and leave it for five minutes.
  4. Take it out and allow it to cool for a bit.
  5. Peel the skin off.
  6. Puree in a blender.

Apricot jam

Who should not eat apricots:

Diabetics should not consume large quantities of dries apricots. This is because, when the fruit is dried it loses its water content and makes it really high in sugar. If you get fresh apricots, then you could feast occasionally.

Kalaivani Selvaraj, MBA, got her Master’s degree in Human Resources. Due to her interest in natural healing, she pursued studies in the field of alternative medicine and is certified in Aromatherapy by Isla Verde Spa Training Academy. Ms. Kalaivani Selvaraj is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.