The Apricot Fruit
Apricots are fruits belonging to the Family of Prunus. They are a close relative of plums and peaches and their tastes are somewhat a combination of the two. Apricots are oval-shaped, yellow to dark orange in color and they usually bloom or ripened during summer. They have velvety skin and a flesh that's not too juicy but definitely tender and sweet. These fruits are in season in North America from May to August. Ripened apricots are the first signs of summer. Apricots are enjoyed as a fresh fruit as well as preserved or dried. They are a popular ingredient in pastry and in making jams and sometimes they are processed into brandy and liqueur. But juicing them into a refreshing juice is probably the most popular preparations of apricots, and it is loved by most people. The Western countries are the leading producers of apricots and plenty of these are cultivated in the sunny orchards of California, U.S.A.
The Healthy Apricot Juice
Health and Nutritional Benefits of Apricot Juice
Apricot juice benefits a variety of health problems. The orange skins of apricots are actually rich in carotenoids such as beta carotene and lycopene. They are also excellent sources of Vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, magnesium and iron. Apricot juice is traditionally used in maintaining healthy skin and eyesight which are known to be the primary functions of vitamins A and C. Know more of apricot's health benefits and powerful antioxidants,as you read along.
Beta Carotene and Vitamin C
Beta carotene, one component of apricot juice, is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect us from heart diseases and eye problems. Apricot juice has been associated to lower our risks in developing atherosclerosis with the combined abilities of its two nutrients, beta carotene and vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a significant role in the synthesis of collagen, a substance that creates the elasticity in skin and arteries. Thus, more vitamin C in the body means more collagen and more elasticity of the arteries. When collagen is synthesized, it helps prevent the build up of cholesterol in the walls of arteries.
Lycopene which can also be found in apricots but not as much as those in tomatoes, has been associated to prevent cancer particularly lung, stomach, bladder, skin, and prostate cancer. The best thing about lycopene is it becomes more available for digestion and absorption when it comes from fruits which are cooked or juiced with their skins on.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Apricots could also help us prevent eye disorders due to its carotenoid components, Lutein and zeaxanthin. These particular antioxidants protect the retina of the eye from the damaging effects of UV light. Studies show that this protection significantly reduces the risk of developing macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma, eye disease that could potentially cause permanent blindness. Lutein and zeaxanthin as well are abundantly found in the skins of apricots.
Now that you know the healthy benefits of apricot juice, remember to juice apricots together with their skins because these contain concentrated amounts of nutrients.
How to Select the Best Apricots for Juicing
In choosing apricots for juicing, pick the ones that are fully ripenedas they contain higher levels of antioxidants. Select the ones with very rich orange color and avoid those which are pale and yellow. Ripened apricots are tender to touch and not too firm. Remember to juice the whole fruit except for the stone and make sure to leave on the skins to extract more fiber and antioxidants.
Ways to Juice Apricots
One of the easiest way to make apricot juice is to use a juicer. Wash the apricots and remove the stone. Place fresh ripe apricots including their skins in the juicer and let the juicer extract all its juices.
Another method in juicing includes boiling apricots until they are soft and tender. These are then pushed through a filter with cheesecloth or a strainer leaving only the juice. However, this method eliminates much of the fiber. You could also blend the whole fruit, with pit removed, adding sugar, water and/or anything you like for enhanced taste and consistency.
Juice Apricots Easier with Amazon
How to Juice Apricots on YouTube
Watch how apricots are exactly made into refreshing juices.:)