Apricots are being cultivated in India for more than 3000 years. They are generally yellow or orange in colour with a slight red tinge on one side. They have many health benefits some of which we will discuss below.
As per common knowledge, apricots originated in China, till the Persians discovered it. The dried apricot is loved by the most of the people and forms an important part of Iran’s global trade. 100g of apricot contains around 52 calories, 14g carbs, and 0.3g of protein, 0.2g of fat and 2.4g of fiber. They also contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K as well as potassium required by the body. Apricots are one of the healthiest fruits due to its high nutrient profile. Dried apricots are also preferred by dieters as a snack. There are other benefits of apricots such as improved digestion, treatment of constipation, earaches, skin diseases, fevers, cancer and anemia. Let us discuss the benefits of apricots:
- Cancer: Apricots are wealthy sources of antioxidants which help in protecting our body from free radicals. These free radicals are generated within the body due to pollution, UV rays and smoke. Free radicals may also lead to the formation of cancer cells. Vitamin A &C in apricots are powerful antioxidants that fight cancer diseases and boost the immune system.
- Constipation: Apricots contain a high amount of pectin, a soluble fiber, which helps in the treatment of constipation. Doctors also refer apricots to patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Fiber in apricots is also important for colon health.
- Improved digestion: Dried and fresh apricots are one of the best sources of dietary fiber. Apricots contain a special kind of fiber which is even more beneficial. Fiber in apricots help in breaking down fatty acid which help in the excretion of digested food particles and easy bowel movement.
- Eye health: As per many studies, consuming 2-3 servings of apricots daily is beneficial in preventing age-related macular Degeneration. It is a disorder of the eye and a major reason of loss of sight in older people. Apricots also strengthen the optic nerves in eyes. Apricot lowers the risk of major eye-related illness Neovascular ARMD.
- Bone health: All the necessary nutrients needed for good bone health like calcium are present in apricots. Apricots ensure the growth and development of the bones and prevent age related condition, including osteoporosis. Apricots also help in reducing inflammation in the body, relieving arthritis pain and gout.
- Heart health: Apricots contain a wealthy amount of fiber which reduces the bad cholesterol content in the body. It increases the good cholesterol thereby protecting the heart health. Potassium in apricots balances the electrolyte levels in our system keeping our heart muscles in order.
- Respiratory health: Apricot oil is anti-asthmatic in nature. It is useful in treating respiratory disease and its related symptoms. It also helps in relieving pressure and stress from the respiratory systems, which prevents asthma attacks.
- Pregnancy: Apricots contain various essential nutrients, which may help in the growth and development of the fetus. Doctors also advice pregnant women to consume dried apricots as it contains high amounts of iron, as it facilitate the circulation of blood in the body, preventing anemia.
- Benefits to skin: Vitamin A & C, as well as phytonutrients in apricots, are beneficial in maintaining skin health. The antioxidants slow down the process of aging by facilitating faster cell production that replaces the layer of dead and worn out cells. Apricots help in removing wrinkles and keeping skin free from acne and other such skin problems.
- Anemia: Apricots contain iron in a good amount, which helps in formation of hemoglobin. Apricots also contain copper, which aids iron absorption and thereby improving the blood flow in the body.
- Weight loss: Apricots are low calorie fruits and thus can help in reducing body weight. Fiber in apricots absorbs water and keeps the stomach full for a longer time. It also improves the digestion process of the body.
- Improves metabolism: High amount of potassium in apricots are linked to maintaining fluid balance in the body. It ensures a healthy balance of electrolytes, and thus you can have more energy pumping through your body as you need it.
- Fever: Anti-inflammatory properties in apricot juice affect the body’s overall temperature thereby curing fever.
- Cold and flu: Apricot oil strengthens the immune system which in turn helps the body to fight against cold and flu.
- Earaches: Apricot oil is also known to cure earaches.
- Fluid levels: Apricots contain a good amount of potassium which maintains the fluid balance in the body. A healthy fluid balance ensures that you have more energy and stamina to deal with daily activities.
- Hair growth: Vitamin E in apricot oil promotes hair growth and prevents hair loss. It also acts as a preservative by preventing damage by free radicals.
- Great conditioner: Apricot oil is a great conditioner packed with oleic and linoleic acids. It can be added to your shampoo or conditioner for extra softness of your hair.