Even though apricots are some of the tastiest fruits that you can find out there, it seems that they are not as common as others like strawberries and bananas. In fact, one internet poll asked what the most delicious fruit was, and somehow the apricot was listed all the way down at number 24. So not only are apricots underappreciated for their taste, but also for their fantastic health benefits.
Pretty much every fruit that you can find has its fair share of healthiness, and the apricot is no exception. They are also fairly cheap and easy to find, as 90 percent of the world’s apricots are grown in the United States. So why should you be picking up apricots from the produce aisle more often than you are now? Let’s look at some of the fantastic benefits of apricots, as backed by science.
There are plenty of fans of dried apricots, but the most common to get all of the nutrition and the low amount of calories is by eating them raw. 3.5 ounces of raw apricot has many of the vitamins that you need, including a significant amount of vitamin C and vitamin A. There is also at least some of the other vitamins that you need, including vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin K, niacin and riboflavin, just to name a few.
Apricots also have plenty of minerals that are essential for your overall health. The most abundant of these minerals is potassium, and most of us know how much that can do for your muscles and other organs. Some of the other minerals include manganese, magnesium, iron and phosphorus.
Even when dried, apricots still have significant nutritional value. As a matter of fact, iron, potassium, vitamin E and vitamin A levels jump through the roof. If you’re not adding a ton of sugar to your apricots, there’s really no wrong way to eat them.
If you can find some raw apricots out there, then you are saving yourself a ton of calories. In 3.5 ounces, there are fewer than 50 calories in apricots. Dried apricots have higher percentages of the vitamins and minerals, but it also comes with more calories at 241. That’s still a big portion, so many stick to one cup, which is just about 80 calories.
The low calorie count isn’t the only thing about apricots that can aid your weight loss. The high fiber content allows your digestive system to perform more efficiently, giving your metabolism a boost and controlling your blood sugar in turn. Studies show that those who eat more fruit such as apricots are much more likely to lose weight, and high fiber contents have a lot to do with that. If you feel a craving, just grab an apricot and the craving should go away.
Chronic diseases such as cancer are known to be caused by free radicals that produce in your body. Keeping these free radicals at bay is pinnacle to your overall health, and can be done through eating more apricots. Apricots are known to be high in antioxidants, which attack these free radicals and can stop or slow down growth from cancer cells.
The vitamin C and potassium levels will also help you prevent chronic diseases. These nutrients help to boost your immune system, so not only can you keep deadly diseases away, but also minor ones. Those that make it through the winter without getting a cold or the flu tend to eat a lot of fruit.
Good for the Heart
One of the biggest causes for heart disease is an unhealthy level of cholesterol in the blood stream. Namely, the LDL levels being too high. Apricots and the nutrients inside can help lower your LDL levels by preventing oxidation of this cholesterol. Fiber also helps to strengthen your blood vessels, and your heart will perform more efficiently.
Apricots are also very high in flavonoids, which have been found to lower the risk of heart disease. Keeping your blood stream flowing is the most important thing you can do for your body. Not only does it help your heart, but all of the other organs, as well.
You might have noticed that apricots tend to appear in beauty products quite frequently, and that’s because of the great smell and vitamins within. Apricot scrubs have been shown to exfoliate your skin, removing blackheads and dead skin from your face and other parts of your body. The vitamins also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles while giving you a glow, treating damaged skin and making it more elastic.
Apricots can be quite common in shampoos and conditioners because of the A and E vitamins. This will help to treat any scalp problems such as psoriasis or dandruff, while allowing your hair to grow faster and thicker. Even if you only use apricot products because you like the smell, you’re still doing yourself a favor.
Eyes and Bones
You can find vitamins A, C and E in apricots, and all of the anti-inflammatory properties that go along with it. Your bones and your eyes will thank you for the increased amount of these nutrients as they go a long way. The vitamins from apricots can help you from preventing chronic eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts, which are very common in older people.
Calcium found within apricots are also incredible for your bones, strengthening them and limiting the potential for bone disease such as osteoporosis. If you have already been diagnosed with an ailment such as arthritis, it’s not too late for treatment. Anti-inflammation properties in apricots have reduced arthritis symptoms, keeping much of the pain away.
Summing it Up
Apricots are delicious, smell fantastic and can help your body both inside and out, yet they still rank lower than the other common fruits. Now you’re probably wondering why. There’s no simple answer, as they are incredibly easy to find and don’t cost much, especially if you live in the United States. It might leave you to wonder if there’s anything bad about apricots.
The answer is, not really. People just haven’t developed quite the craving for them as other fruits. One thing that you need to look out for is how you’re eating apricots. Many of them come in prepackaged and dried forms, which you should limit yourself from. If you can find dried apricots that are not preserved with a lot of sugar, you should be fine. The ones that do have a lot of sugar can cause problems, however, such as weight gain and diabetes. Just read the label (or grab fresh apricots) and you’ll find yourself with a delicious and nutritious snack that has a ton of benefits.