Originally known to be a native of China, Apricots are now found almost everywhere. Though tiny, they are packed with plenty of fibre and essential vitamins and minerals. They certainly deserve much more attention than we think they do!
This fleshy fruit is yellowish-orange in colour. Apricots are usually eaten with the peel. They run for a rather short season usually beginning end of May to mid-July. Not only are they used Raw and fresh, dried apricots are used abundantly all around the globe. Ranging from salads to pastries and jams, they fit well in varieties of cuisines. Dried apricot nutrition levels are no less than the fresh fruit.
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Called as Khubani/Khumani in Hindi, apricots are usually used in Indian dessert preparations. They have a great nutritional value, hence are held as Super Food!
Health Benefits of Apricots
Apricots can be considered as healthy as apples, plums, pears or oranges. Due to their High nutritional value, they are a must to be included in one’s diet. Without further ado, let’s dive into apricot health benefits.
1. Anti-Cancer Properties
Most of you might have not known this, but apricots do exhibit anti-cancer properties. The high Antioxidant content in apricot helps destroy the Free Radicals. Free radicals are not external agents. As a matter of fact they are manufactured within the body due to unhealthy food habits, UV rays, pollution and smoke. Free Radicals hinder the cell functioning and tend to influence the functions of DNA, thus leading to the formation of Cancers. Being rich in Antioxidants, regular consumption of apricots greatly reduces the chances of developing cancers. Apricot seeds also contain a compound called B17 which plays a major role in fighting Cancer. Apricot nutrition when combined with other cancer fighting foods should be included
2. A Remedy for Constipation
The high amounts of Pectin and Cellulosic content in apricots are the key to keeping constipation at bay as they act as mild laxatives. The high fiber content which is essential in keeping your colon healthy, prevents constipation and also reduces the risk of colon cancer. Constipation may seem like a mild digestive issue, but over a period of time, it does makes way for serious complications in the digestive tract. Hence, no matter how mild or severe your constipation issue is, it is always better to deal with it in a natural way and regular munching on apricots can be really helpful.
3. Keeps your Heart Healthy
The high content of Vitamin C, Lycopene and Powerful antioxidants play a key role in keeping your heart healthy. These essential compounds work towards making your heart stronger and function in an enhanced way. Also the antioxidants help reduce the LDL harmful Cholesterol levels in your blood thus minimising the risk of myocardial Infarction and other heart related ailments. The high fibre content is also really good for your Heart. Therefore it is highly recommended that you indulge in apricots once in a while to keep your heart healthy and strong.
4. Good For Your Eyes
Apricots are abundant in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Carotenoids and other minerals that are essential for a healthy eye. Apricots can work towards keeping your eye problems at bay and strengthening the nerves that connect them, thus giving you a wholesome benefit.
5. Great for Pregnant Women
Traditionally in India, pregnant women are advised to have apricots for a healthy development of the growing foetus. Especially Dried apricots benefits pregnancy with essential nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, minerals like Phosphorous, Silicon, Calcium, Iron and potassium. Such a tiny little fruit is filled with these essential compounds! No doubt, they are recommended during pregnancy. They help fight Anemia, Healthy formation of blood, provides energy, as well as creating a conducive atmosphere in the womb for the development of the baby.
6. Maintains Electrolyte Proportion in Body Fluids
Apricot have a good amount of Potassium and Sodium which are essential in maintaining electrolyte levels in blood and other fluids. An abnormal increase or decrease of potassium and sodium can lead to various complexities like hypertension, hypotension, swelling of the brain, delayed nerve impulses, improper filtration of fluids in kidney, etc. among many. Hence maintaining the electrolyte balance is really important, and apricots can do that for you!
7. Source of Vitamin B17
A rather rare form of Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin B17 found majorly in the seeds of apricot is a wonderful cancer fighter. This particular nutrient helps fight cancers related to Bone, Cervical and skin. It also helps maintain the blood pressure effortlessly. Apricot oil has been traditionally used in the treatment of cancers. Though a major portion of B17 is actually present in the seeds, the pulp too has a good amount of B17.
8. Great For Your Skin
Apricot extracts are extensively used in various skin care products. Today it is an established fact that apricots and its extracts are wonderful for your skin. The high Vitamin C content in apricots help repair the damaged skin naturally. It also helps maintain a proper balance of oils in your skin. Apricot scrubs work wonders reducing those fine lines and wrinkles, making you look younger. It aids in cellular growth, maintaining the integrity and elasticity. Apricot also works on your dark spots and other marks on your skin. It keeps your skin well hydrated and thus works as a wonderful natural moisturiser. Apricot extracts are also used in certain skin tone enhancing products. It nourishes and exfoliates your skin in a wonderful way.
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9. Healthier Hair
Most hair products do have apricot extracts and oils since it works wonders for your Hair. The apricot oil has Oleic and Linoleic acids which are really good for conditioning your hair. The High content of Vitamin K undoubtedly makes way for a healthier growth of hair, stronger roots and prevents split ends. Vitamin A and E in Apricots are really good for your scalp. Scalp is one region which always has a risk of drying away and form flakes thus damaging your hair. Regular consumption of apricots can keep your Scalp healthy and moisturized preventing issues like dandruff, psoriasis and eczema.
10. Relieves Arthritis Related Issues
Apricot oil has anti-Inflammatory properties, which means they are highly effective in preventing symptoms of arthritis. They make sure the joints are well lubricated and prevent any form of infection or swelling in that area thus making the movements in your joints smoother. Apricot oils are also used in massage therapies to relieve the pains caused by arthritis. You can also try this at your home. Just heat the apricot oil to 3-6 degrees higher than the room temperature, gently massage the knees with few drops of Apricot oil for about 10 minutes, and give a stream of steam by covering the area with a thin organic cotton cloth. This lets the skin absorb the oil and do its job. Doing this regularly can actually reduce the pains, increase the content of lubricants in the joint and aid in a free movement of the joint.