The Apricot is a fruit that belongs to the family Rosaceae, which also includes peaches, plums, and cherries. Apricots are widely consumed around the world and are known for their sweet and juicy flavour. They are available in both fresh and dried forms and are used in a variety of dishes, including desserts, jams, and sauces.
Nutritional Value of Apricots
Apricots are a good source of several essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fibre. A 100-gram serving of fresh apricots contains approximately :
- Calories: 48
- Carbohydrates: 11 grams
- Protein: 1.4 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
- Fibre: 2 grams
- Vitamin A: 1926 IU
- Vitamin C: 10 mg
- Vitamin E: 0.9 mg
- Vitamin K: 3.3 mcg
- Potassium: 259 mg
- Calcium: 13 mg
- Magnesium: 10 mg
- Phosphorus: 23 mg
Apricots also contain other nutrients, such as iron, zinc, and copper, in smaller amounts.
Apricot Health Benefits
Apricots are delicious and nutritious fruit that offer a variety of health benefits. They are low in calories and high in fibre, making them an excellent snack choice for those looking to maintain a healthy weight. In addition to their low-calorie count, apricots are also packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, potassium, and fibre, which provide numerous health benefits.
Here are some of the primary and secondary benefits of apricots in more detail:
- Nutritional Value
Primary Benefit: Apricots are a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, potassium, and fiber.
Secondary Benefit: These nutrients can help boost the immune system, improve digestion, and support healthy skin. Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy skin, as it helps to repair damaged skin cells and prevent premature aging. Meanwhile, vitamin C is important for collagen production, which keeps the skin looking firm and youthful [1,2].
- Digestive Health
Primary Benefit: Apricots are rich in fiber, which can promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation.
Secondary Benefit: The fiber in apricots can also help reduce inflammation in the gut and prevent the risk of colon cancer. The fiber in apricots also helps to keep you feeling full, which can help prevent overeating and weight gain .
- Eye Health
Primary Benefit: The high levels of vitamin A in apricots can help improve eye health and prevent age-related macular degeneration.
Secondary Benefit: Apricots also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that can protect the eyes from damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants help to prevent damage to the eyes caused by UV rays, which can lead to age-related vision loss .
- Heart Health
Primary Benefit: Apricots are a good source of potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure and prevent the risk of heart disease.
Secondary Benefit: The fiber in apricots can also help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Fiber helps to remove excess cholesterol from the body, which can lead to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke .
- Skin Health
Primary Benefit: Apricots contain antioxidants such as vitamin C, which can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals.
Secondary Benefit: The vitamin A in apricots can also promote healthy skin by preventing acne and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin A helps to regulate skin cell growth, which can prevent the formation of acne and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles .
- Bone Health
Primary Benefit: The calcium and phosphorus in apricots can help improve bone density and prevent the risk of osteoporosis.
Secondary Benefit: The magnesium in apricots can also support healthy bone development and prevent bone loss. Magnesium is essential for healthy bones, as it helps to regulate calcium levels in the body .
- Weight Management
Primary Benefit: Apricots are low in calories and high in fiber, making them a great snack for weight management.
Secondary Benefit: The fiber in apricots can also help reduce appetite and promote feelings of fullness, leading to reduced calorie intake. Eating high-fiber foods like apricots can help you feel fuller for longer, which can help prevent overeating and weight gain .
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Primary Benefit: The antioxidants in apricots can help reduce inflammation in the body, preventing the risk of chronic diseases such as arthritis.
Secondary Benefit: Apricots also contain beta-carotene, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and improve immune function. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, which helps to regulate immune function and prevent inflammation .
In conclusion, apricots are a nutritious and delicious fruit that offer a range of health benefits. They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants that can improve various aspects of health, including digestion, eye health, heart health, skin health, bone health, weight management, and brain function. Incorporating apricots into a balanced diet can be a simple and enjoyable way to support overall health and well-being. However, it’s important to keep in mind that apricots are a high-sugar fruit and should be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet.
Disclaimer: This article is written from a health & lifestyle perspective.