Apricots (Prunus armeniaca) have a plum-like tartness but a peach-like juiciness. These stone fruits are high in antioxidants and have a variety of health advantages, including improved digestion.
The apricot was given the name “praecocum” or “precious one” by the Romans when they discovered it in the first century A.D. The apricot was first cultivated in China and Central Asia approximately 2000 B.C. The apricot was most likely introduced to the Persians by Chinese merchants travelling the Great Silk Road, who termed it “zaradaloo” or “yellow plum.” Nomadic tribesmen eventually disseminated it across Eurasia.
Because of its nutritional and therapeutic qualities, researchers now consider the apricot to be a golden food crop. Apricots are high in fibre, protein, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Apricots provide five health and nutritional benefits.
1. Apricots have anti-inflammatory properties:
Apricots are high in flavonoids, which are anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Chlorogenic acids, catechin, and quercetin are the major flavonoids, while apricots also include the antioxidants vitamins A, C, and E, as well as beta carotene. Antioxidants, which target the oxidative stress that causes diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, can help you live a healthier life.
A scoring system was utilised in a 2015 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition to assess changes in inflammatory marker levels. Researchers discovered that high flavonoid intake was connected to a 42 percent lower inflammation score and a 56 percent lower oxidative stress score among 2,375 subjects.
2. It has the potential to improve eye health:
Apricots include a number of chemicals that are beneficial to eye health, such as vitamins A and E.
Vitamin A is important in avoiding night blindness, which is caused by a shortage of light pigments in your eyes, while vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects your eyes from free radical damage. Meanwhile, beta carotene, the yellow-orange pigment that gives apricots their colour, is a precursor to vitamin A, which means your body may convert it to this vitamin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two more major apricot carotenoids. They protect against oxidative stress by being found in the lenses and retinas of your eyes.
3. Apricots could help your skin:
Environmental factors such as pollution, cigarette smoke, and too much sun are the leading causes of skin deterioration, including wrinkles. Any change in skin tone as a result of continuous sun exposure, according to UC San Diego Health, can raise one’s risk of skin cancer. Some of this damage can be avoided by eating antioxidant-rich foods like apricots, as antioxidants protect the body from oxidative stress.
Vitamins C and E, both of which are abundant in this fruit, may be beneficial to your skin. Vitamin C, in particular, protects against UV damage and pollution by neutralising free radicals. Additionally, this vitamin aids in the formation of collagen, which provides your skin its strength and flexibility. Vitamin C-rich foods can aid in the healing of UV-damaged skin and the prevention of wrinkles. Another mineral found in apricots, beta carotene, may help to prevent sunburns. Supplementing with beta carotene reduced the risk of sunburn by 20% in a 10-week study. While sunscreen is always recommended, eating apricots may provide additional protection.
4. Apricots could help your digestive system and gut health:
Apricots contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, but soluble fibre is particularly abundant. This sort of fibre is necessary for keeping cholesterol and blood sugar levels in check. Fiber also aids in the regulation of proper digestion by delaying the passage of food through the gastrointestinal tract, providing nourishment for your beneficial gut flora. Obesity risk is reduced when the gut bacteria is healthy.
5. Apricots can help in the maintenance of a healthy blood pressure level:
Potassium, which also serves as an electrolyte, is abundant in apricots. It aids in the transmission of nerve messages as well as the regulation of fluid balance and muscle contractions.
Potassium can help maintain healthy blood pressure and avoid bloating by assisting with fluid balance. A previous meta-analysis of 33 research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) indicated that a potassium-rich diet lowers blood pressure and lowers the risk of stroke by 24%.
Potassium, a mineral that also serves as an electrolyte, is abundant in apricots. It’s in charge of delivering nerve messages and regulating muscle contractions and fluid equilibrium in your body.
Two apricots (70 grammes) contain 181 mg of this mineral, or 4% of the daily value.Potassium works closely with salt to maintain fluid equilibrium, so getting enough of it can help you avoid bloating and keep your blood pressure in check. According to a review of 33 studies, eating a potassium-rich diet lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke by 24 %.
7. Your liver may be protected:
Apricots may help protect your liver from oxidative stress, according to some research.
Rats given alcohol plus apricots exhibited lower levels of liver enzymes and inflammatory indicators than rats given alcohol but no apricots in two animal trials. Because of their naturally high antioxidant content, apricots may help reduce liver damage, according to this study. However, it’s difficult to say whether this fruit has the same effect on humans. More investigation is required.
The bottom line
Apricots include a lot of antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, and minerals in them. They also provide a variety of health benefits, such as boosting eye, skin, and digestive health, as well as reducing the chance of disease and other harm.
Apricots can be eaten fresh or dried, or as a jam or a fruit bar. They’re a terrific addition to salads, yoghurt, and other healthful meals in a rush.
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