Apricot, which is also often referred to as American plum, is a yellow, round stone fruit offering a plethora of health benefits.
Apricots are extremely nutritious and is one of the most loved summer fruits.
Read through the section below to learn some amazing Apricot benefits, nutrition information, and why the fruit is called “the elixir of life”.
Before we move further, sometimes people confused between Apricots and Peaches. If you are one of them, then read this comparison post Apricots Vs Peaches.
- 1 Apricot Nutrition: Highly Nutritious, but Low in Calories
- 2 Five Amazing Apricot Benefits for Health
Apricot Nutrition: Highly Nutritious, but Low in Calories
Apricots are nutrient rich fruits and contain high quantity of essential vitamin and minerals.
A couple of medium-sized fresh apricots with total weight of 70 grams would provide:
- 34 calories
- 8 grams of carbohydrate
- 5 grams of fiber
- 1 gram of protein
- 27 grams of fat
- 8% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A
- 8% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C
- 4% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E
- 4% of your recommended daily intake of potassium
Besides the above nutrients, apricot also serves as a rich source of zeaxanthin, lutein, and carotene, each of which is a powerful antioxidant.
These antioxidants fight free radicals stored in our body effectively and protect us from infections and diseases.
For enjoying maximum benefits of consuming the fruit, you should eat whole, unpeeled apricots. That’s because the fruit’s skin contains more nutrients and fiber than the fruit itself. However, don’t forget that the stone is inedible and thus you should always discard it.
Five Amazing Apricot Benefits for Health
1) Apricots Are Filled with Antioxidants
We have already mentioned that apricots are rich sources of antioxidants like beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
In addition, the fruit also contains a high quantity of polyphenol antioxidants known as flavonoids.
Several studies have confirmed flavonoids’ ability to protect us against chronic ailments like heart diseases and diabetes.
The key flavonoids present in apricots include catechins, quercetin, and chlorogenic acids.
Each of these compound works by neutralizing the harmful free radicals present in our body. This, in turn, prevents cell damage and reduces oxidative stress.
For those who don’t know, oxidative stress is the root cause of obesity and a series of chronic diseases.
2) Improves Eye Health
Apricots are rich in several compounds known for boosting our eye health. Examples include vitamin A and vitamin E.
We require adequate supply of Vitamin A to prevent night blindness, an eye disorder resulting from loss of our eyes’ light pigments.
Vitamin E, on the other hand, protects our eyes against damages caused by free radicals.
Beta carotene, the pigment responsible for the yellowish orange color of apricots, acts as vitamin A’s precursor. To be more precise, human body is capable of converting beta carotene into vitamin A.
Zeaxanthin and lutein, two other major antioxidants obtained from apricots, are components forming our retinas and lenses. They ensure that our eyes don’t become victims of oxidative stress.
Various environmental factors and growing age often result in a stiff drop in the levels of these components. Consumption of apricots would ensure an adequate supply of these antioxidants and boost our eye health.
3) Beneficial for Our Skin
Regular consumption of the fruit might benefit our skin significantly.
Most of us develop wrinkles and fine lines prematurely due to certain environmental factors like air pollution, harmful UV rays of the sun, cigarette smoke, etc.
What’s more, ultraviolet rays emitted by the run leaves us at high risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer type.
According to experts, consuming a diet rich in antioxidants can prevent all the above skin issues triggered by environmental factors.
This makes apricots a healthy addition to the daily diet of people looking to improve their skin health.
Apricots contain high quantity of vitamins E and C. These vitamins neutralize the free radicals in our skin and protect it against UV rays and other harmful environmental factors.
Vitamin C is instrumental in promoting collagen production and this helps in maintaining the elasticity and strength of our skin. This automatically prevents formation of wrinkles and fine lines.
Vitamin E, on the other hand, helps in reducing the existing UV damage on our skin.
4) Promotes Gut Health
A cup or 165 g of sliced apricots offers 3.3 g fiber. This respectively makes up 13.2% and 8.6% of the recommended daily intake of fiber for women and men.
The best thing about the fruit is that it contains both insoluble and soluble fiber.
The insoluble fibers (fiber types that don’t dissolve in water) found in apricots include lignin, hemicellulose, and cellulose.
The soluble fibers (fiber types that dissolve in water) present in the fruit, on the other hand, are polysaccharides, gums, and pectin.
The quantity of soluble fiber is more in apricots compared to the quantity of insoluble fibers. This makes the fruit beneficial for people struggling with high cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Additionally, fiber allows the food items consumed by us to move slowly through our digestive tract. This ensures that the beneficial bacteria present in our gut are fed well.
This effect of the fruit not only enables easy digestion of the food we eat but also reduces our chances of becoming obese.
5) Extremely Hydrating
The water content of apricots is pretty high. This feature of the fruit allows it to regulate our joint health, heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure.
A cup or 165 grams of freshly sliced apricots offers as much as 2/3 cup or 142 ml water.
So, if you struggle to drink enough water, add apricots to your daily diet right away. This will make reaching the daily needs easier for you.
If you take part in intense workout sessions, consider having a cupful of sliced apricots along with your post workout meal.
We all know that intense exercises cause loss of electrolytes and water. Apricots, when taking is the right quantity, would replenish both quickly and effectively.
The pointers above must have helped you to comprehend why apricots are often called the elixir of life when consumed during the summer months.
So, start having the fruit regularly for making this summer less tiring and more fun-filled.
You can have the fruit as it is or can prepare a salad, juice, or smoothie using it.