Brightly-colored apricot is sweet and juicy, and it’s packed with fiber as well as vitamins A and C. Did you know that it’s not only the fleshy part of this fruit that’s good for you, but also the kernel within? No, the kernel is not the same as the large seed or what’s more commonly known as stone — the kernel is soft and it’s right in the heart of that hard structure.
Apricot kernels can be eaten just like nuts. After all, they basically have the same nutritional profile as nuts — meaning they also contain healthy fats, fiber and iron. Apricot kernels are staple food products at many health stores and Asian grocers. By the way, they are where apricot kernel oil comes from, an ingredient commonly added to several different beauty products due to the reason that it’s high in ager-defying antioxidants.
However, it’s important to note that apricot kernels are said to contain a naturally-occurring substance called amygdalin or vitamin B17, and it is known to possess superb anti-cancer properties. However, experts say that amygdalin, upon consumption, is converted into cyanide, which is known by everybody as a toxic substance. Cyanide poisoning can cause symptoms like nausea, insomnia, body aches and pains, and can in fact be lethal in extreme cases.
Needless to say, it’s not a good idea to consume too much apricot kernels. If you intend to use them for medicinal purposes, just like in traditional Chinese medicine most especially, you should definitely talk to your physician about it. Pregnant women should avoid consuming apricot kernels or using preparations out of them.
And now that the potential risks are out of the way, let us now tackle some of the health benefits of apricot kernels:
Joint Pain Relief
Individuals suffering from arthritis may count on apricot kernels in attaining relief from painful and swollen joints because they possess anti-inflammatory properties. Oil extracted from apricot kernels may also be applied on the affected areas of the body for easing the symptoms of arthritis.
It’s not just inflammation occurring in the joints that apricot kernels may control, but also the kind that happens elsewhere in the body. According to medical professionals, inflammation can be damaging to the health especially in the long run. In fact, it is usually blamed for the likes of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and metabolic problems.
Blood Pressure Reduction
Just like what’s mentioned before, apricot kernels contain amygdalin. In moderate amounts, medical professionals say that amygdalin can help lower blood pressure, thus reducing a hypertensive person’s risk of having the complications of uncontrolled high blood pressure, such as organ damage and heart disease.
Perhaps the most popular health benefit of apricot kernels is their ability to treat all sorts of cancers. When consumed, amygdalin present in them becomes cyanide, which attacks rapidly growing cancer cells but sparing the body’s normal or healthy cells. Today, numerous medical institutions on the planet use amygdalin to control cancer.
A Stronger Immunity
Especially when wintertime is nearing, the common cold and flu are rampant. Both infections of the respiratory passages, having them can be avoided by making the immune system strong. Traditional healers recommend the intake of apricot kernels to have the body shielded against the viruses behind the said infections.
Sex Drive Increase
The consumption of apricot kernels is known to help boost one’s sex drive or libido. In many regions in Europe for so many years now, apricot kernels are regarded as potent aphrodisiacs. In fact, the intake of apricot kernels to improve the sex drive is mentioned in the masterpieces of a few literary geniuses!
Slowed Down Aging Process
Earlier, it was said that apricot kernel oil is commonly added to anti-aging products. Naturally, the use of apricot kernels where the said oil comes from is more effective against skin aging signs, thanks to their capability to reduce oxidative stress. Ground apricot kernels may be added to facial washes or exfoliating preparations.