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Apricots Are Loading With Nutritional Goodies

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

In Asia, where he saw them growing wild, Alexander the Great fell in love with this remarkably tasty fruit. He brought several of them back with him from his military expeditions to Europe.

As the earliest fruit of the season to ripen, the apricot received its name from the Latin term for "precocious" by the ancient Romans. The name stayed, and the apricot quickly spread over the world, from Europe to America and even to Australia.

The apricot is a wonderful fruit that is packed with nutrients like beta-carotene, iron, fiber, vitamin C, and a number of B vitamins. An apricot's nutrients become more concentrated when it is dried, making dried apricots a tasty snack.

Eating apricots, whether fresh or dried, will benefit your eyesight, fight cancer, and fend against heart disease in addition to helping you combat the affects of aging.

Four ways apricots promote health

1. Prevents Cancer.

Here's some good news for you if eating tomato products, which are the main source of lycopene, gives you indigestion. Another source of lycopene, the remarkable carotenoid that can help prevent prostate, breast, and other cancers, is apricots, particularly dried ones. Despite the fact that apricots aren't a particularly good source of lycopene—about 30 dried apricots have the same amount as one tomato—eating them throughout the day can increase it more quickly than you might expect. The most well-known carotenoid of them all, beta carotene, is also abundant in apricots. Your chance of developing several types of stomach and intestinal cancer is decreased by this potent antioxidant. Experts advise consuming at least 5 milligrams of beta carotene each day to reap these advantages. That is roughly equivalent to six fresh apricots.

2. Heart Disease is Stopped. You can boost your iron, potassium, beta carotene, magnesium, and copper levels by snacking on dried apricots. These vital vitamins and minerals aid in blood pressure management and heart disease prevention. Additionally, just five dried apricots can provide you with up to 3 grams of fiber, which flushes cholesterol from your body before it has a chance to clog your arteries.

3. Removes Cataracts.

Your vision may be affected by what you eat. The Blue Mountains Eye Study's principal investigator, Dr. Robert G. Cumming, states that "our study confirms the importance of vitamin A for cataract prevention." "Our overall conclusion is that a well-balanced diet is necessary for eye health," Cumming continues. Apricots may be just what you're searching for because they are a good source of beta carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A, and a number of other minerals.

4. Enhances a Long Life.

Believe it or not, some people assert that apricots hold the key to a 120-year lifespan. They borrow this concept from the Hunzas, an Asian tribe that resides in the Himalayan Mountains. Hunza is free of common health issues like cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. And scientists are speculating as to whether apricots, a significant component of their diet, are in part to blame. The Hunza people consume seasonal fresh apricots and dry the remaining fruit for their long, chilly winters. Recent studies indicate that while eating apricots won't necessarily make you live longer, they might make your life better. You may be protected from Alzheimer's disease and other age-related mental conditions, such as memory loss, by the B vitamins in dried apricots.

Tips for the pantry

The best fresh apricots from California and Washington state arrive in your grocer from June through August. Be on the lookout for the best of the lot. They'll appear and feel chubby and have gorgeous, vivid orange skin. Avoid apricots that are hard, withered, or bruised as well as those with yellow or green tints.

Apricots may ripen at room temperature on your kitchen counter, just like their cousin the peach. Put them in a paper bag and place them in your refrigerator when they feel and smell ripe. They will remain fresh for a few days.

In the winter, you can satisfy your hunger for apricots by importing South American fruits or by consuming canned apricots, jellies, spreads, and nectars.


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