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10 Fascinating Health Benefits Of Apricot, Nutrition And Recipes

Scientifically termed as Prunus armeniaca, apricots are fruits closely related to plums and peaches. These sweet fruits are soft - both from the inside and outside and are one of the most versatile fruits. Apricots are typically orange or yellow in colour with a slight tinge of red. The tiny fruits are packed with an impressive list of minerals and vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and niacin [1] .

A good source of fibre, apricots can be dried and eaten or can be consumed raw as well. They have numerous health benefits, that is, from treating digestion and reducing cholesterol to aiding weight loss and treating respiratory conditions [2] .

Apricots are used in various kinds of preparations like jams, juices, and jellies; apricot oil is also used as an essential oil for various health purposes as well.

Nutritional Value Of Apricots

100 grams of these fruits contain 48 calories, 0.39 g fat, and 0.39 iron. The remaining nutrients in 100 grams of apricot are as follows [3] :

  • 11.12 g carbohydrate
  • 2 g fibre
  • 86.35 g water
  • 1.4 g protein
  • 13 mg of calcium
  • 10 mg magnesium
  • 23 mg phosphorus
  • 259 mg potassium
  • 1 mg sodium

Health Benefits Of Apricots

1. Relieves constipation

Apricots are rich in fibre and are beneficial for smooth bowel movements. People who suffer from constipation are suggested to consume apricots due to its laxative properties [4] . The fibre content in apricots stimulates the gastric and digestive juices that aid in absorbing the nutrients and in breaking down the food, making it easier to process.

2. Improves heart health

Apricots are packed with fibre that helps in reducing cholesterol, which keeps your heart healthy. Apricots increase the good (HDL) cholesterol and decrease the bad (LDL) cholesterol. Also, the fruit contains potassium that balances the electrolyte levels in the system [5] .

3. Boosts bone health

The small and round fruits possess significant amounts of calcium, iron, copper, manganese and phosphorous that are necessary for bone growth [6] . Eating these fruits daily in a controlled manner will prevent osteoporosis, promote healthy growth and development of the bones, and prevent age-related conditions.

4. Enhances metabolism

Apricots help in maintaining the fluid levels of the body because they contain two vital minerals like potassium and sodium. These minerals maintain the fluid balance in the body and distribute energy to various parts of the organs and muscles and also improve metabolism [7] .

5. Prevents cancer

Apricots contain carotenoids and other antioxidant compounds that help in preventing cancer. These antioxidants prevent free radical damage from entering the body and destroy the cancerous cells [8] .

6. Aids weight loss

Low in calories, apricots are beneficial to your weight loss diet. The insoluble fibre present in apricots will keep your stomach full for a longer period of time and keep you satiated, thus aiding in weight loss [9] .

7. Cures fever

Individuals suffering from fever can have apricot juice because it contains all the essential minerals and vitamins that will help in detoxification of various organs [10] . The soothing and anti-inflammatory properties in apricots can reduce inflammation and also bring relief from a fever.

8. Increases RBC count

Apricots are rich in iron that helps in producing the red blood cells. Non-heme iron is a type of iron that is present in apricots which takes time to absorb in the body and the longer it stays, the more are the chances of preventing anaemia [11] .

9. Improves vision

Consuming apricots on a regular basis can help improve your eyesight, due to the presence of vitamin A in the fruit [12] . It also helps prevent age-related vision loss.

10. Hydrates the body

The electrolytes present in apricots contribute to the major part of the health benefit of apricot. This will help maintain the fluid level in your body and keeps the body hydrated. It also helps in muscle contraction [13] .

Healthy Apricot Recipes

1. Apricot-spinach salad

Ingredients [14]

  • 1 cup black beans, boiled
  • 1 cup chopped apricots
  • 1 medium red or yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup apricot nectar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cups shredded fresh spinach

Directions

  • Combine the black beans, apricots, bell pepper, scallion, cilantro, and garlic in a medium bowl.
  • Then, combine apricot nectar, oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger and shake well.
  • Pour it over the bean mix.
  • Cover with a foil and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Add the spinach and mix well.

2. Coconut oatmeal

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup oats
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • ⅓ cup apricots
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

Directions

  • Combine oats, coconut milk and salt in a bowl.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Top with apricots, hazelnuts and maple syrup.

Side Effects Of Apricots

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid consuming apricot.
  • In some people, it may cause gastric allergies [15] .
  • Do not consume apricot seeds as they are poisonous and cause cyanide poisoning.
View Article References
  1. [1] Chang, S. K., Alasalvar, C., & Shahidi, F. (2016). Review of dried fruits: Phytochemicals, antioxidant efficacies, and health benefits. Journal of Functional Foods, 21, 113-132.
  2. [2] Alasalvar, C., & Shahidi, F. (2013). Composition, phytochemicals, and beneficial health effects of dried fruits: an overview. Dried fruits: Phytochemicals and health effects, 1-19.
  3. [3] Slavin, J. L., & Lloyd, B. (2012). Health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Advances in nutrition, 3(4), 506-516.
  4. [4] Skinner, M., & Hunter, D. (Eds.). (2013). Bioactives in fruit: health benefits and functional foods. Wiley-Blackwell.
  5. [5] Zeb, A., & Mehmood, S. (2004). Health Applications. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 3(3), 199-204.
  6. [6] Van Duyn, M. A. S., & Pivonka, E. (2000). Overview of the health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption for the dietetics professional: selected literature. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 100(12), 1511-1521.
  7. [7] Leccese, A., Bartolini, S., & Viti, R. (2008). Total antioxidant capacity and phenolics content in fresh apricots. Acta alimentaria, 37(1), 65-76.
  8. [8] Dutta, D., Chaudhuri, U. R., & Chakraborty, R. (2005). Structure, health benefits, antioxidant property and processing and storage of carotenoids. African Journal of Biotechnology, 4(13).
  9. [9] Campbell, O. E., & Padilla-Zakour, O. I. (2013). Phenolic and carotenoid composition of canned peaches (Prunus persica) and apricots (Prunus armeniaca) as affected by variety and peeling. Food research international, 54(1), 448-455.
  10. [10] Leccese, A., Bartolini, S., & Viti, R. (2007). Total antioxidant capacity and phenolics content in apricot fruits. International Journal of Fruit Science, 7(2), 3-16.
  11. [11] Kader, A. A., Perkins-Veazie, P., & Lester, G. E. (2004). Nutritional Quality and Its Importance to Human Health. The Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks, 166.
  12. [12] Johnson, E. J. (2002). The role of carotenoids in human health. Nutrition in clinical care, 5(2), 56-65.
  13. [13] Tian, H., Zhang, H., Zhan, P., & Tian, F. (2011). Composition and antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of white apricot almond (Amygdalus communis L.) oil. European journal of lipid science and technology, 113(9), 1138-1144.
  14. [14] EatingWell. (n.d.). Healthy Apricot Recipes [blog post]. Retrieved from, http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/19191/ingredients/fruit/apricot/?page=3
  15. [15] Schmitzer, V., Slatnar, A., Mikulic‐Petkovsek, M., Veberic, R., Krska, B., & Stampar, F. (2011). Comparative study of primary and secondary metabolites in apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) cultivars. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 91(5), 860-866.

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