The Nutritional and Health Benefits of Integrating Apricots into Your Diet

Apricots – also called Armenian plums – are fruits with a ton of nutritional benefits. These yellow roundish fruits taste and look like smaller versions of peaches but with the tartness of purple plums. The nutritional and health benefits of a plant based diet are numerous in apricots. They have a fascinating history of being rich in vitamins and minerals as well as being mistaken for an aphrodisiac during the Shakespearean era.

Health and Nutritional Benefits of Apricots

Apricot has been a popular home remedy in China and among the inhabitants of the Himalayas for centuries. Folk tales describe the fruit as an antiseptic, analgesic, antipyretic, tonic, and sedative. In Chinese medicine, it’s thought to be useful in detoxifying, quenching thirst, alleviating cough, and regenerating body fluids.

Apricots are a decent source of flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals. 2 fresh apricots can provide the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 34
  • Carbs: 8 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0.27 grams
  • Fiber: 1.5 grams
  • Vitamin A: 8% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin C: 8% of the DV
  • Vitamin E: 4% of the DV
  • Potassium: 4% of the DV

Flavonoids are responsible for protecting and strengthening your blood vessels and reducing inflammation. Potassium offers an important benefit of a plant based diet - it  promotes optimal nerve and muscle function. This mineral also supports healthy blood pressure and heart health. The carotenoids beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin are all potent antioxidants that help fight free radicals in your body.

Promote Eye Health

Apricots are fruits rich in Vitamin A, beta-carotene, and other carotenoids that are vital for healthy eyes. Vitamin A or retinol helps the body make the pigments it needs for the proper functioning of the retina. Without it, one is are at risk of developing night blindness. Vitamin A also helps the eyes produce the moisture they need to stay lubricated.

The carotenoid lutein helps support lens health, while beta-carotene and vitamin E support overall vision. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that enters your eyes directly to protect them from free radical damage. Beta-carotene, which gives apricots their beautiful yellow-orange color, serves as a precursor to vitamin A. Your body can convert it into Vitamin A. Other apricot carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin safeguard against oxidative stress.

Skin Protection

Eating apricots has great benefits to your skin thanks to antioxidants it contains such as vitamin E and C. These vitamins have skin-boosting properties that help fight some of the skin damage. They also aid in building collagen which gives the skin strength and elasticity. 

Vitamin C and Beta-carotene protect against sunburns, UV damage, and environmental pollutants by neutralizing free radicals. Since apricots have a high water content, they are also a great way to hydrate the skin.

Promote Gut Health

A major benefit of eating a plant based diet is plenty of good dietary fiber. One cup of sliced apricots can provide 8.6% and 13.2% of the daily value for men and women, respectively. A healthy gut is linked to a lower risk of obesity.  

The total fiber content of apricots is about half soluble and half insoluble fiber. Water-soluble fiber helps your gut retain enough water and allows good bacteria to thrive. It is also vital for maintaining healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.  

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and is also good for healthy gut bacteria. Fiber delays the movement of food down the digestive tract and feeds beneficial gut bacteria.

Promote Liver Function

Two case studies found that rats that were fed alcohol and apricots had lower levels of liver enzymes and markers of inflammation than those given alcohol but no apricots. This research points at the ability of apricots to aid in preventing liver damage thanks to their high antioxidant content.  

Disease Prevention And Cure

The nutritional benefits of plant based diets are many. Apricots are high in a group of polyphenol antioxidants called flavonoids which protect against inflammation and inflammatory illnesses as well as reduce the risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Apricots may protect your heart from a wide variety of diseases such as heart attacks, atherosclerosis, and strokes due to the high amount of vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber. All these nutrients contribute to good cardiovascular health. 

Calcium is essential in the formation and development of bones, and the apricot has lots of it. The high water content of these colorful fruits can help regulate blood pressure, body temperature, joint health, and heart rate. One cup of sliced, fresh apricots provides almost 2/3 cup of water.

Bottom Line

Apricots may look small, but thanks to their amounts of flavonoids, vitamins, and potassium, they offer significant health benefits. You can enjoy an apricot whole and unpeeled. The skin also has numerous amounts of fiber and nutrients. Preferably, discard the seed, as it is inedible and may cause cyanide poisoning in some people.