Apricots are the beautiful yellowish-orange fruits that belong to the Rosacea family. Packed with nutrients, Apricots have been cultivated in India for about 3000 years. It has a soft, tangy flesh, with a thin skin, enclosing the seed what is called the stone. Its taste is somewhat between peaches and plums, which belong to the same category.
Apricots are rich in nutrients, a list of which is given below.
(*Per 100 grams)
- Calories- 48
- Total fat- 0.4g
- Sodium- 1mg
- Potassium- 259mg
- Vitamin A-38%
- Vitamin C- 16%
- Iron -2%
- Vitamin B6- 5%
- Magnesium- 2%
Here are the 10 best health benefits of apricots, which will surely be enough reason for you to buy them for your next grocery visit.
1. Fights Cancer
Apricots are rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants fight the free radicals that are formed in the skin due to dirt, the sun, and pollution, thus reducing the chances of cancer by strengthening the immune system. Eat apricots regularly to control the formation of free radicals in the body.
2. Reduce Constipation
Apricots are very rich in pectin, a fiber which is helpful in the treatment of constipation. The fiber in apricots activates the peristaltic movement of the digestive tract making it easier for you to pass stool. It is also a useful fruit for a good colon cleanse. Thus instead of going to the supermarket to buy a box of laxative pills, try eating apricots for a while. The fiber-rich fruit will definitely do you good.
3. Apricots keep you hydrated
Apricots contain potassium which helps maintain the fluid balance in the body, ensuring equal distribution of energy throughout the organs. This ensures more stamina and energy needed to deal with daily activities. It also avoids dizziness and nausea due to dehydration and keeps you going all day long! Apricots also contain a lot of water themselves, thus making it a good fruit to go to in times of dehydration.
4. Prevents Anemia
Anemia is the deficiency of iron in the body. Iron is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin. Apricots contain iron, which aids the hemoglobin creation process, thus reducing the chances of anemia. It also contains copper, which helps to absorb the iron, improving blood flow throughout the body. Uniform distribution of well-oxygenated blood is important for a healthy living. Lack of hemoglobin results in weakness, numbness, and dizziness. In India, anemia is a very common ailment affecting millions of young girls, hampering their ability to lead a healthy life. With simple solutions like an apricot, a day could reduce the chances of being anemic and help in giving you the opportunity of giving you 100% to everything you do.
5. Helps to lose weight
Apricots are low in calorific value (46calories) which makes it an excellent addition to your weight loss diet. The soluble fiber in apricots absorbs water, keeping you full for longer and avoiding hunger pangs. For people who are extremely diet conscious and want to commit to a serious diet regimen, fresh fruits are a must as they provide you with natural, healthy sugar which gives you the energy for the day. We tend to look for artificial sugar in things like ice-creams, chocolates, packaged fruit juices, and candies. These only pile up pounds and do nothing to give you that energy boost. Look out for healthy sugar sources like apricots and see an amazing change in your weight and personality.
6. Helpful during pregnancy
Pregnant women are often suggested to consume apricots during their pregnancy. This iron-rich fruit promotes circulation of blood preventing anemia and thus keeps the mother healthy for a healthy baby. It also contains nutrients that are necessary for a healthy fetus. Complications during pregnancy can cause harm to both the mother and the fetus. The fetus might be born underdeveloped if sufficient nutrients do not reach it. An unhealthy fetus might also not survive the 9 month growth period if it is undernourished. Thus a healthy mother is a sign of a healthy fetus.
7. Reduces pimples and acne
Apricot oil has anti-inflammatory properties which make it an excellent cure for pimples and acne. Its high vitamin C content is also useful to treat pimples. Topical application of apricot flesh keeps the skin healthy and glowing.
You can make a natural apricot scrub in the comfort of your house.
Take the pulp out of the apricot and blend it till you get a puree like consistency. Take 3 tablespoons of this puree and add 1 teaspoon of apricot kernel powder. Mix it well and apply it on your face and neck in a circular motion, massaging gently. Do not go overboard and rub the mixture too hard. Wash it off after some time and pat dry your skin gently with a clean and dry towel.
8. Apricot oil is used in Aromatherapy
Aromatic oils are great for a relaxing full body massage. It relaxes and loosens the tensed up muscles and soothes the senses. Apricot oil is used in aromatherapy and it rejuvenates the body from head to toe. If you are suffering from internal pain like in the ears, and massaging that area isn’t a possibility like the ears, use apricot oil. Apricot oil helps in reducing ear aches (As per various medical researchers)
Vitamin E is an important compound which is useful for healthy skin. It keeps the skin soft and supple and also reduces the appearance of fine lines. Apricots contain Vitamin E that firms and tones the skin, giving it a more youthful and radiant look naturally.
Apricot oil is regarded as one of the best carrier oils for the creation of skin healing oil blends. It is rich in omega 6 gamma linolenic acid which gives it its unique hydrating and nourishing properties while Vitamins A and E help regenerate skin cells and collagen production which reduces fine lines and wrinkles giving you beautiful skin.
It absorbs into the skin easily and is non-greasy making it virtually suitable for any skin type. The oil works wonders for skin which is very dry and flaky.
10. Strengthens the bones
Apricots contain calcium that is extremely important for strong and healthy bones. Lack of calcium can lead to a condition called osteoporosis which is the weakening of bones making them breakable and susceptible to damage. The high potassium content in apricots helps to absorb the calcium and distributes it evenly throughout the body.
Apricots versatility make it easy to consume and enjoy. You can have them in smoothies, home-made apricot ice-cream, fruit salads, and jams. You can snack on an apricot whenever you have a craving and not worry about gaining too much weight.
You can use fresh apricots to make face scrubs, and face packs by mixing them with yogurt, olive oil, and water. You can add fresh cut avocados to your morning cereal. Blend it into a thick pulp and add cold water and ice for a refreshing avocado juice. No need to add extra sugar.
How to select the best apricot
Choose an apricot that has a rich orange color, and avoid the pale yellow ones. Your apricots should be slightly soft. Hard Apricots are generally ripened artificially. Always make sure you buy fresh, organic apricots which are plucked ripened from the tree itself.
Dry apricots are easily available in the market but are not a healthy option! Fruits are dried using sulfur dioxide, Sulphite illnesses can be serious and cause you an immense amount of discomfort. Some of them are asthmatic issues, sulfite allergies like rashes or in the worst case scenario, excessive allergy leading to death.
Instead of buying dried apricots, freezing them to increase shelf life is a smarter option.
ENJOY THE APRICOTS!