Benefits and properties of apricots. Image: Lukas Gojda Shutterstock
Apricots are a round, yellow stone fruit, they look like a small version of a peach, but share the acidity of purple plums.
Apricots are a delicious fruit packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. They are extremely nutritious and have many health benefits such as better digestion and eye health.
Health benefits of apricots.
1. Nutritious and low in Calories.
Apricots are very nutritious and contain many essential vitamins and minerals.
Apricots are low in calories and fat, as well as being an excellent source of vitamins A and C.
Just 2 fresh apricots (70 grams) provide ( source ):
- Calories: 34
- Carbohydrates: 8 grams
- Protein: 1 gr
- Fat: 0.27 grams
- Fiber: 1.5 grams
- Vitamin A: 8% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 8% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 4% of the DV
- Potassium: 4% of the DV
- In addition, this fruit is a source of beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, powerful antioxidants that help fight free radicals in your body.
Apricots are best enjoyed whole and unpeeled, as the skin is rich in fiber and nutrients. Make sure you don’t eat the bone.
2. High content of antioxidants.
Apricots contain numerous antioxidants, most notably flavonoids. They help protect your body from oxidative stress, which is linked to many chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.
The main flavonoids in apricots are chlorogenic acids, catechins, and quercetin.
These compounds work to neutralize free radicals, which are harmful compounds that damage cells and cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is linked to obesity and many chronic diseases, such as heart disease.
3. It can promote eye health.
Apricots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins C and E. These nutrients protect your eyes.
Vitamin A plays a vital role in preventing night blindness, a disorder caused by a lack of clear pigments in the eyes, while vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that enters the eyes directly to protect them from radical damage. free.
Meanwhile, beta-carotene – which gives apricots their yellow-orange color – serves as a precursor to vitamin A, which means that your body can convert it into this vitamin.
Other important carotenoids in apricot include lutein and zeaxanthin. They are found in the lenses and in the retinas of the eyes and protect against oxidative stress.
4. They can improve the health of the skin.
Eating apricots can benefit your skin. They are rich in antioxidants, which protect against sunlight, pollution, and cigarette smoke. These compounds can benefit your skin by reducing your risk of wrinkles and sunburn.
The main causes of wrinkles and skin damage are environmental factors, such as the sun, pollution, and cigarette smoke.
You can combat some of this damage through a healthy diet full of antioxidants, which apricots provide.
Vitamins C and E, both found in this fruit, can help your skin. In particular, vitamin C protects against UV damage and environmental pollutants by neutralizing free radicals.
Additionally, this vitamin helps form collagen, which gives the skin strength and elasticity.
Beta-carotene, another nutrient in apricot, can protect against sunburn.
5. They can benefit gut health.
Apricots can support intestinal health. They are a good natural source of soluble fiber, which feeds healthy gut bacteria and can improve digestive health.
One cup (165 grams) of apricots provides 3.3 grams of fiber, accounting for 8.6% and 13.2% of the DV for men and women, respectively.
Apricots contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble type dissolves in water and includes pectin, gums, and long sugar chains called polysaccharides, while the insoluble type does not dissolve in water and includes cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin.
Apricots are particularly high in soluble fiber, which is important for maintaining healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Additionally, fiber slows the flow of food through your digestive tract and feeds your beneficial gut bacteria. A healthier gut microbiome is associated with a lower risk of obesity.
6. High content of potassium.
Apricots are high in potassium.
Two apricots (70 grams) provide 181 mg of this mineral, which is 4% of the DV.
Since potassium works closely with sodium to maintain fluid balance, adequate intake can help maintain healthy blood pressure.
Consuming foods rich in potassium, such as apricots, can help prevent high blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.
Like most fruits, apricots are rich in water, which can help regulate blood pressure, body temperature, joint health, and heart rate.
Since most people don’t drink enough water, eating fresh fruit can help you meet your daily needs.
Also, eating apricots can be an easy way to replenish both water and electrolyte loss after exercise, as this fruit offers good amounts of water and potassium.
Easy to incorporate into your diet.
Both fresh and dried apricots are easy to incorporate into your diet. You can eat them alone or add them to your favorite dishes or desserts.
Apricots are easy to add to yogurt, salads, and some other foods.
If you are used to eating peaches and plums, apricots can be a good way to change your routine.