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Health Benefits of Apricots

Updated on November 15, 2011

Apricots?

I remember growing up my first experience with eating an apricot; I particularly did not care for the little fruit. Now as an adult I have learned that apricots have great nutritional value in them. Shockingly for me at least, I discovered they are loaded with beta-carotene, and vitamin A which is great for good eye health. Apricots are full of iron and potassium, potassium being one of the important minerals to needed to regulate blood pressure makes it a heart friendly food. Did you know apricots are great to be eaten for a natural mild laxative? Six apricots will give you relief from mild constipation.

Apricots are an excellent source of soluble fiber, an important nutrient for heart health. Soluble fiber helps reduce cholesterol by carrying it through the digestive system and out of the body before the intestines have a chance to absorb it. This helps lower the amount of bad cholesterol In the body. Soluble fiber also helps lower blood pressure, decreasing a person’s risk for heart attack, stroke, hypertension, and other heart-related illnesses.

Apricots orginated from China, and it belongs to the stone family because of its nut within the middle.  Apricots have been noted as helping to prevent infections.   The fruit is counsin to the peach in taste, and looks.  The fruit can be eaten fresh, and it also can be eaten as a dried fruit.  The dried form does have more calories, but it makes for a sweet tasting snack.

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In addition, the soluble fiber in apricots can benefit the waistline. Apricots are low in calories, and their fiber content is critical to weight maintenance. Eating fiber-rich, high-quality carbohydrate-filled fruits like apricots, you’ll feel fuller longer and maintain a high level of energy. Eating filling high-quality carbohydrates like apricots can also help boost mood, since the appetite is suppressed for longer periods of time. Fiber-rich foods are also beneficial to the health of your digestive system. Eating apricots can help alleviate symptoms like constipation. In this way, apricots can serve as a gentle, natural laxative.

Rich in antioxidants, apricots also get a nutritional boost from their beta-carotene. Beta carotene is an antioxidant that protects cells from damage from free radicals and can help tissues in the body grow and repair naturally. Beta carotenes also helps protect the skin from damage from the sun’s rays. Apricots also have beta cryptoxanthin, which can reduce inflammation in the body and lessens the risk of developing inflammation-related disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Nutrients

The chart below will give you an ideal of thevaries nutrients in apricots.

Dried Apricot Form

10 halves

83 calories

2g protein

3.2 g fiber

2534 IU Vitamin A

16 mg Calcuim

400 mg Potassium

2 mg Iron

4 mg Folic Acid

Vitamins in Apricots

 

Another benefit of eating apricots is consumption of the B vitamins folate and vitamin B6. These vitamins help create red blood cells, which carry nutrients to all body cells. These vitamins also give your hair follicles strength and contribute to hair shine. The iron in apricots can also boost hair health. Apricots also have a high content of vitamin B17 which is known as Laetrile. Research has shown that daily consumption of vitamin B17 can be highly effective in preventing or reducing cancer risk. Apricots also contain vitamin C , an essential nutrient  for the health of collagen and other connective tissue. The vitamin A in apricots, especially dried apricots, helps maintain or improve eyesight. Insufficiency of vitamin A can impair sight, so foods that are rich in it, like apricots, are part of a healthy diet.

The bioflavanoids and in apricots also benefit the health. Apricots are a source of quercetin, a bioflavanoid and phtyochemicalwith anti-inflammatory properties. Quercetin also has been specifically shown to help improve memory and prevent memory loss, and can even help reverse the effects of age-related memory-loss over time.

Comments

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  • adrienne2 profile imageAUTHOR

    Adrienne F Manson 

    8 years ago from Atlanta

    Hi pmccray, At first I didnt like apricots, but now I enjoy then. Thank you for stopping by my hub.

  • pmccray profile image

    pmccray 

    8 years ago from Utah

    Thank you for the information. I love apricots. This will help me on my diet. Bookmarked

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