Apricots are small drupes with a scientific name of Prunus armeniaca and they resemble as well as are closely related to plums or peaches. Apricots have a tangy and soft flesh present beneath a very thin skin. There is a large pit in the middle that is not edible and so one must take care while taking a big bite. These apricots are usually orange or yellow in color, with a slight tinge of red present on one side. They are known for their sweet taste and incredible amount of health benefits. In this article we will talk about some of the best known health benefits of apricot.
Nutritional Profile of Apricot:
100 grams of apricot offer you 12% of vitamin A and vitamin C and 6% of potassium that we require daily. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of the Apricots fruit contain 48 calories, 11.12 grams of carbohydrates, 1.40 grams of protein, 0.39 grams f fat, 2 grams of fiber, and 9.20 grams of sugar. It is also noted from the USDA National Nutrient Database that apricots are packed with a significant amount of vitamins such as, vitamin A, C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and niacin. They also contain a lot of several other essential vitamins in traces. Apricot fruit is also known to have fair amount of minerals, including copper, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. Like most of the fruits, apricots are good source of dietary fiber.
We can also say that 2 fresh apricots, which weigh approximately 70 grams, offer 34 calories, 8 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, 0.27 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of fiber, 8% of the Daily Value or DV of Vitamin A and vitamin C, 4% of the DV of vitamin E, 4% of the DV of potassium.(1)
Apart from this, apricot is also a good source of beta carotene, zeaxanthin, and luetin, all of which are powerful antioxidants and help in fighting free radicals in the body.(2,3,4)
17 Top-Rated Health Benefits of Apricot:
Digestive Health Benefits of Apricot:
One of the best health benefits of apricot is that it benefits in proper digestion. This is because of the soluble fiber present in the fruit that adds bulk to stool and thus promotes healthy bowel movements. Moreover the fiber even quickly breaks down the fatty acids and this in turn boosts the process of digestion. Because of the presence of the fiber content in apricot, several digestive problems such as bloating and constipation can be effectively treated.
It Helps In Fighting Inflammation:
Apricot is also known to fight inflammation. It is not just the fruit, but also the seeds are known to be quite effective fighting against inflammation. In fact, according to an animal study it is found that apricot seed oil extract protects against an inflammatory bowel disease known as ulcerative colitis.(5)
As per a report presented by the Arthritis Foundation, apricots are known to be packed with beta-cryptoxanthin, which is a chemical that can be helpful in preventing inflammatory forms of arthritis and osteoarthritis.(6) Apart from this, the magnesium found in the fruit can even help in relieving inflammatory pain.
Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Apricot:
The fruit of apricot is also beneficial in protecting the heart health. The potassium found in the fruit lowers the levels of blood pressure and thus can prevent heart attacks. the fiber present in apricot lowers the levels of cholesterol and prevents atherosclerosis and other heart-related diseases.
It Helps In Preventing Liver Damage:
According to some studies, the fruit of apricot is known to protect against liver damage and also ease various symptoms of fatty live diseases or the fat accumulation in the liver.(7)
Apart from this, the studies also found that organic apricots are quite effective in enhancing the liver regeneration.(8)
It Helps To Reduce Fever:
Apricot helps in reducing fever. The juice of apricot is usually given to patients who are suffering from fever, as it offers essential minerals, vitamins, calories and water to their body and also detoxify various organs. Some also make use of steamed apricot for relieving symptoms of fever.
Apricot Might Help In Treating Diabetes:
One of the major health benefits of apricot is that they are useful in the treatment of diabetes. These fruits are low in calories and carbohydrates and this is great for diabetics. They can be a great part of a diet for diabetes patients. The fiber content found in apricot regulates the levels of blood sugar.
The fruit also has a low glycemic index, and thus they have a sustained effect on the blood sugar levels and do not spike the blood sugar levels very fast. Apricot is even packed with vitamin E, which works as a great antioxidant that helps in improving blood sugar levels.
As per a Spanish study, dried fruits and nuts are known to be a healthy addition in the diet of the diabetics. So, apricot which is a dried fruit, serve this purpose really well.(9)
Benefits of Apricots in Speeding Up Body Metabolism:
The apricot fruit might also help in speeding up the body’s metabolism and thus help in reducing extra weight of the body.
Apricot Contains Lots Of Antioxidant:
One of the best things about apricot is that it is a great natural source of antioxidants. So, consuming the fruit on a daily basis helps you to get rid of toxins that are collected in body over time. Antioxidants also kill free radicals that can actually cause a lot of damage to our body’s cells.
Weight Loss Benefits of Apricot:
One of the finest health benefits of apricot is that it helps in weight loss. The fiber content found in the fruit helps you keep full for a longer time period, and this surely helps in healthy weight loss. Moreover, the nutrients found in apricots stimulates certain kinds of brain cells called as tanycytes, that makes one feel full and thus control the appetite.
It is Good For Blood and Helps In Treating Anemia:
Apricot is also good for blood. Any plant that contains iron, contain non-heme iron, and this includes apricot. This non-heme iron takes quite a long time to get absorbed by the body, and the more time it remains in the system, the more are your chances of keeping anemia at bay. You must take vitamin C along with apricot so as to ensure better absorption of the iron.
Respiratory Health Benefits of Apricot:
There is another health benefit of apricot and that is, it treats several respiratory problems such as asthma, cold and flu. The vitamin E present in apricots plays a crucial role here and it is also because of the presence of flavonoids that make it beneficial in treating symptoms of asthma. The vitamin E found in the fruit plays the role of an antioxidant and fights harmful free radicals. This process enhances the immunity and also prevents symptoms of cold and flu.
Moreover the presence of beta-carotene in apricots helps in treating fever as we explained earlier.(10)
Apricot Might Be Beneficial During Pregnancy:
Apricots are very much nutritious and thus are enough to be consumed by the would-be mother during her pregnancy. They are even loaded with copper and iron, which are two important nutrients required to be taken during pregnancy. These minerals help in preventing fatal consequences that can occur during pregnancy.
However, only little research has been done in this regard. So, it is always advisable that you consult your doctor without depending on apricots.
Apricot Can Help In Treating Earache:
Apricot also helps in treating earaches. Some of the sources suggest that by pouring 2-3 drops of the apricot oil in the painful ear can relieve earache. However, there is only very less research found on this.
Apricot Benefits In Improving Vision:
Regular intake of apricots is known to be associated with a reduced chance of vision loss. Apricots are loaded with xanthophylls and carotenoids, which are the nutrients that are believed to prevent age-related loss of vision in individuals. They also have a fair amount of vitamin A, which is another essential nutrient required for the eye health. Moreover, the retinol in it prevents the age-related macular degeneration.
According to studies it has been found that applying apricot kernel topically can reduce dry eyes. This is because it stimulates the production of tear.(11)
Bone Health Benefits Of Apricot:
Apricots are beneficial for the bone health and this is because of the presence of calcium that is a mineral which is quite important for the development of bones and bone health. Apart from this, the potassium content present in the fruit also helps in proper absorption as well as uniform distribution of the calcium.
There are several studies that show that apricots can actually reverse the bone loss and also alter the bone metabolism in case of the postmenopausal women.(12)
Skin Health Benefits Of Apricot:
Apricot has got tremendous amount of skin health benefits. The scrubs having apricot makes the skin glowing and improve the skin tone by exfoliating the dead or damaged skin cells. You can make use of the apricot oil along with sugar to prepare a wonderful scrub for the face and body. It not only offers you soft and smooth skin but also removes blackheads. Just make sure that your skin is cleansed deeply before you use the scrub.
One more skin health benefit of apricot is that it delays the signs of aging. A scrub made from apricot kernels can help in getting you rid of dead and old skin cells on the skin surface and enabling new skin cells to grow. This action of exfoliation helps in getting rid of small wrinkles and fine lines. The apricot oil is known to be beneficial in maintaining skin elasticity, clarity, and suppleness. Apricot oil is usually used in aromatherapy massage because of its nourishing and revitalizing effects on our skin. It is also used in baby skin products.
Apricot contains fair amount of vitamin A and vitamin C, and thus the apricot oil is known to have excellent anti-inflammatory abilities that helps in preventing skin disorders such as eczema and dermatitis. The flesh of the apricot is essential in clearing acne. You can topically apply the oil of apricot to get rid of itching that might be caused due to skin conditions like eczema, sunburn, and scabies. However, you must also consult your doctor before using apricot so as to avoid any kind of side effects.
Hair Health Benefits Of Apricot:
There are some excellent hair health benefits of apricot. The oil from the apricot can enhance growth of hair. This is because of the presence of vitamin E in the apricot oil that supports healthy growth of hair as well as prevents hair loss. Vitamin E, along with fatty acids, works as a preservative by preventing any sort of damage caused by free radicals.
Apricot oil is also known to treat scalp problems. The presence of vitamin A, and vitamin E support the skin health and repair, which also include the scalp. This can be an excellent home remedy for scalp problems such as, psoriasis, dandruff, dry scalp, and eczema. Apricot oil restores moisture to flaky or dry scalp and to dry and dull hair.
Word Of Caution:
It must be said that some caution must be maintained while consuming apricots. They might cause normal allergies in case you have. It must also be noted that the dried form of apricots contains sulfites in them which is not at all a good thing as they can impact asthma patients and induce asthma attacks quite seriously. So, you need to consume only fresh apricots and not the dried ones to treat asthma. It is also found that the seeds of the fruit cause cyanide poisoning in few people, and thus you need to take care not to ingest or consume the seeds
So now when we know that apricot is rich in healthy nutrients and got so many health benefits, why not try adding them to our daily diet and experience the benefits by self? Enjoy the sweet and tangy taste of apricot and experience the incredible amount of health benefits from the fruit.