Apricot is one of the several stone fruits species in the genus Prunus. The fruit is known to be cultivated in Armenia during the ancient civilization, while other sources reveal it originated from China and India. Aside from being a food, apricot has a wide variety of health benefits.
Apricots are rich in vitamins and minerals. According to World Health Foods, the stone fruit has vitamin A, which is primarily responsible for vision, along with the maintenance of mucus membrane and skin integrity. Also, apricots contain vitamin C, which is known to boost the body’s immune system or defense against infection and illness. Vitamin C also promotes the action of collagen, which binds loose cells and tissues. So, it delays the effects of skin aging; it makes the skin firmer and more youthful. Apricots also contain copper, which is essential in various metabolic processes and safeguards various body organs. Potassium is important in fluid balance, as it counters the water-retention effects of sodium. It also plays a role in muscle contraction; thus, it contributes to both musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health. Finally, fiber promotes the digestive process and it acts as a sweep to help the body get rid of waste products and unwanted elements like toxins and free radicals, which are known to cause cancer.
Anti-Cancer and Anti-Asthma
Along with fiber, which can help remove toxins from the body, apricots can prevent cancer with its antioxidants. According to Organic Facts, the seeds of the fruit are known to help in cancer treatment. As per the publication, the seeds contain carotenoids and antioxidant compounds, which serve as threats to free radicals. Physiologically, antioxidants neutralize these compounds, which are harmful byproducts of cellular metabolism. To add, antioxidants prevent these free radicals from causing mutations of healthy cells into cancerous cells.
Apricot also contributes in asthma. As per the publication, the fruit’s oil has anti-asthmatic properties, so it helps in the treatment of the disease and its accompanying symptoms. Also, apricot oil also serves as an expectorant and stimulant, relieving pressure and stress on the lungs.
Weight Management and Cardiovascular Health
Apricots can help reduce weight. According to Nutrition and You, the stone fruit is low in calories, as it only has 50 calories per 100 grams of weight. Aside from its fiber content, its low calorie content lets a person eat apricots without any fear of getting overweight. Apricots also contain phytochemicals, substances that help combat heart diseases. The mechanism is to decrease the levels of low-density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol in the blood; thus, conditions like atherosclerosis (accumulation of fat in the blood vessels), arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and hypertension (high blood pressure) are also prevented.
Being a fruit, apricot can easily be part of most meal recipes, suh as the Baked Apricot Chicken. According to All Recipes, the ingredients include 12 chicken thighs, a cup of apricot preserves, a cup of French dressing, and an ounce package of dry onion soup mix. To prepare, the oven is preheat to 175 degrees Celsius. Then, the soup mix, dressing, and jam are combined in a medium bowl. Next, the chicken pieces are placed in a backing dish. Finally, the apricot mixture is poured over chicken and then backed uncovered in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes. As per the publication, aluminum foil can also be used to keep the food moist, cook it more evenly, and clean up faster.
Overall, apricot has many health benefits. Thus, including it to various dishes will help promote a person or family’s health and well-being.