Apricot nutrition facts
Sweet, fragrant rich, golden-orange apricot fruits are another summer delicacy of Asian origin. These much-prized fruits were first brought to Europe by Greeks who called them as “golden eggs of the sun." Today, the most important commercially producing countries are Turkey, Iran, Italy, France, Spain, Syria, Greece, and China.
Botanically, the fruit is closely related to peaches and nectarine, sharing with them in the broader Rosaceae family of fruit trees in the genus, Prunus. Scientific name: Prunus armenia.
Apricot is a medium sized deciduous tree growing best in the well-drained mountainous slope soils. During the spring, the plant bears plenty of beautiful pinkish-white flowers, which attract bees. The fruits have almost uniform size, 4-5 cm in diameter, and weigh about 35 g. In structure; the fruit is a drupe, consist of a centrally located single seed surrounded by crunchy, aromatic edible flesh. The seed is enclosed in a hard stony shell, often called a "stone."
Fresh, ripe apricots have a sweet flavor similar to plums. Sun dried organic fruits have concentrated nutrient values than fresh ones, although they are lesser in vitamin-C content. Its seed is also edible and taste like that of almonds. Oil extracted from the seeds has been used in cooking.
Why Apricot is Healthy
Cancer: Apricots are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are proven to protect body from free radicals. Free radicals are produced in body due to pollution, UV rays and smoke. These free radicals interfere with the normal process of cell growth. It brings unusual changes in DNA of the cells. Due to this cancer cells are produced. American society states that food rich in Vitamin C helps to reduce risk of lungs, esophagus larynx. As apricots are rich in antioxidants it is effective to reduce the risk of many cancers.
Heart Health: In research it is found that people eating food rich in Vitamin C have less risk to heart disease. Apricot is good food to reduce to risk of cardiovascular disease. It reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) thus it reduce risk of heart attack and improves heart health.
Anemia: Apricot is a rich source of iron. It plays an important role in the formation of blood. Thus it improves blood flow and thus increases energy flow. If we do not get enough iron in our daily diet then, we are risk to get anemia. So food rich in iron proves beneficial to prevent anemia.
Improve digestion: Apricot is rich source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber increase metabolism which improves digestion and prevents constipation problems.
Eye vision: Food rich in Vitamin A, C, E and carotenoids reduce risk of eye vision problem. It improves eye vision and also prevents macular degeneration. So apricot has proved to improve eye vision.
Skin: Apricot is rich source of antioxidants thus it improves skin health. Due to high antioxidant content it reduces risk of early ageing. It is also important as Vitamin A are used to acne and other skin problems.
Weight loss: Apricot is rich in dietary fiber and also it is low calorie fruit. So it proves beneficial to lose weight.
Asthma: Apricot is proved beneficial in treating asthma.
Bone: Apricot is rich in calcium which is important in formation and development of bone. So it is beneficial from any bone related problems.
Electrolyte: Apricot contains potassium and sodium which are required to maintain electrolyte level in balance. Electrolyte is important for transportation of ions to every cells of body. Also it maintains fluid level which is important for muscle contraction. So potassium and sodium plays important role in maintaining electrolyte level.
Preparation and Serving method
Wash fresh fruits gently in cold water and pat dry in soft cloth. Ripe ones can be eaten as a whole including skin to get the maximum benefits.
Sliced sections of the fruit can be a great addition to salads.
They are also used jam, marmalade, syrup, and jelly preparation.
Sun dried organic fruits can be used like raisins and currants in sweet/confectionary preparations.
Dried apricots are often treated with sulfites to extend their shelf life by preventing oxidation and bleaching of colors, as in the case of other dried fruits like figs. Sulfite treated bright orange-colored fruits can cause acute bronchospasm in sensitized people who are suffering from asthma episodes. Therefore, sulfite sensitive persons can instead safely use unsulfured dried fruits that have brown color.
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