Look what we`re discussing this time: apricots. So you may be wondering: why apricots? Why not pineapples? Or any other fruit? Well, there is so much to discover in apricots, which after you do, you would wish you knew long ago. Are you ready for the discovery? Okay, follow me!
What Are Apricots?
In the real sense of the word, ‘apricot’ could mean ‘a tree that bears the apricot fruit’ or, as is the case in this article, it could mean ‘the oval orange-colored fruit of a temperate-zone tree which resembles the related peach and plum in flavor’. Apricots belong the species armenica in the Prunus genus. Apricots are regarded as one of the most versatile fruits, with records that it was originally cultivated in China. What do you stand to gain healthwise, from a frequent consumption of apricots?
Benefits of Consuming Apricots
Packed with Vitamin A
Who else cares about improved vision? You may have some apricots to have a better vision and get enriched with other benefits of vitamin A, just as you need it. Vitamin A, which is also known as retinol has been discovered to be present in large amounts in apricots. Vitamin A is fat-soluble, it helps to boost immunity, and helps freshen the skin and keep you looking young and healthy.
In addition, retinol and beta-carotene — which are present in substantial amounts in apricots — prevent a severe age-related eye disease called Neovascular ARMD. Neovascular ARMD is a macular degeneration that can lead to loss of vision over time. So in your daily mix of fruits, ensure to squeeze in an apricot! You`ll be grateful for this act.
Fighting against Inflammations
The seeds of apricots excellently battle inflammations. Apricot seed oil, which is extracted from apricot seeds, is also important for protection against ulcerative colitis, which is a severe inflammatory disease of the bowels. This is because apricots are rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, which is a chemical that is necessary for the prevention of osteoarthritis and all other forms of inflammatory arthritis.
One more thing! Apricots are rich in magnesium, which is known medically to ease pains that arise from inflammatory disease. So you should consider making apricots a permanent resident of your dining table. *winks*
Apricots belong to a large group of fruits which contain iron, which is globally known to prevent anemia. Fruits which contain iron are rich in non-heme iron, a type of iron that takes some time to be absorbed by the body; and beautifully, the longer iron stays in the system, the better it is in tackling anemia. So from all angles, apricots are extremely beneficial in combating anemia. However, it is strongly recommended that some vitamin C be taken alongside apricots to get the most of this non-heme iron because vitamin C improves the absorption of non-heme iron, even though it does not necessarily speed up the rate of its absorption.
For diabetes, apricots are the go-to fruits. Apricots have quite low levels of calories (there are only 17 calories and 4 grams of carbs in one fruit), and that’s beneficial to diabetics. What else? The fruit fiber that’s in abundance in apricots makes them great for the regulation of blood sugar levels, so they definitely deserve a place on the dining table of a diabetic.
But that’s not all there is to apricots. Apricots also possess a low glycemic index; what does that mean? When fruits are said to have a low glycemic index, it simply means that such fruit is likely to have a sustained effect on blood sugar levels and keep these levels low for long periods. Apricots also contain vitamin E which is an antioxidant that helps the body to keep blood sugar levels in check.
Preventing Liver Diseases
Apricots can shield you from liver damage. Apricots also lessen the chances of suffering from fatty liver disease, which is a disease caused by the accumulation of fat in the liver.
Interestingly, too, apricots are effective in promoting liver regeneration for diseased individuals. Got liver problems? Trust apricots, they’ve got you!
Improving Bone Health
Apricot has got calcium too, and this is the topmost mineral for the development of bones and teeth in humans. What’s more interesting is the fact that potassium is important for calcium’s proper absorption in the body and, of course, apricots are rich in potassium too.
Apricots have been shown to reverse bone loss when consumed in substantial amounts. They are also known to change the rate of bone metabolism of women beyond menopause.
Good for your Heart
Apricots are a rich source of fruit fiber, which helps to lower the cholesterol levels in the body, keeping the heart working in perfect condition round the clock. What apricots do through fruit fibers, basically, is to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body while increasing the level of good cholesterol so as to keep the heart protected. Sounds good, doesn`t it?
What’s more? The potassium content in a 100 gram serving of apricot is actually 6% of the body’s total potassium requirement. This helps to balance up the electrolyte level in the body system, keeping all the cardiac muscles of the heart in a healthy condition. What then do you have to do obtain this lovely benefit? Simple. Eat one or two fresh apricot(s) or a few dried apricots every day.
Fantastic During Pregnancy
Although there is not much research backing this, however, apricots are believed to be helpful during pregnancy. Apricots are extremely nutritious, as they are rich in iron and copper, which are essential nutrients required by pregnant women. They help to shield fetus from fatalities.
However, we strongly recommend that you consult your doctor before taking apricots during pregnancy as there has been little research done in this regard.
- Apricots are rich in soluble fiber, which helps with digestion of food, prevents constipation and various gastrointestinal disorders.
- The soluble fiber present in apricots melts inside the body then gets converted to a gel-like substance. This breaks down fatty acids.
- The apricot tree is pretty small, growing at about 26 to 39 feet in length. Its trunk has a diameter of only 16 inches.
- The apricot tree is capable of producing fruits for a period of 20 to 25 years.
- The ripening process of apricots dampened when refrigerated. This is why apricots should be left at room temperature before they ripen.
- History has it that Alexander the Great introduced apricot to Greece. It is believed that it was General Lucullus of Rome who took apricot to Rome from Armenia.
- There is an Egyptian drink known as amar al-din, made from apricots.
- Americans didn’t know about the existence of apricots till the 17th century.
- Most of the apricots in America are from apricot seedlings that Spanish missionaries carried to the west coast.
- California leads the commercial production of apricots in America.
- In America, National Apricot Day is observed on January 9th annually.
Now that you know the goodness of apricots, don`t you think you should begin to consume them already? And of course, you know you should not be doing the eating alone; tell somebody about this delight, so they too can enjoy it. We wait to read of the goodness of apricots in your health.