Apricots are very nutritious and healthy eating fruit commonly famous among people by the name of Khumani or Khubani. It is very juicy, velvet skinned, small, yellowish or reddish orange color fruit belongs to the family of Rosacea just like pear, peach and apple. Generally it is used for eating purposes in both of the forms like fresh and dried. It is widely available in the market during summer season (May to July) however its dried or canned forms are available in the market in all seasons. It is the most popular fruit of North and South America because of its richness in the nutritional contents. It was first grown in the China and then distributed to all over the world. Some of the countries counted as the highly producing countries of the apricots are Spain, Italy, Russia, Turkey, France, United States (90%) and Greece.
Benefits of Apricot Fruit
Apricots are fresh summer fruits and excellent source of healthy and important nutrients required by the body for normal growth and development. Dried apricots are also very nutritious however they lose the water-soluble nutritional contents after drying. It is very effective for the health as it prevents and protects from various health disorders. I have mentioned below some of its health beneficial aspects in the following article:
Benefits of Apricot for Eyes
Improves Eye Health
- It has been proved very nutritious fruit for the health of the eyes on its regular consumption.
Cures Eye Problem
- It is very helpful in curing the problem of age-related Macular Degeneration (ageing process when people start losing their normal eye sight) by providing strength to the optic nerves of eyes.
Loaded with Vitamins
- It also prevents from the Neovascular ARMD as it contains carotenoids and high level of vitamins.
Benefits of Apricot for Aging
- It is considered as the rich source of antioxidants and phytonutrients which are very helpful in slowing down the ageing process.
Maintains Natural Functioning
- Antioxidants and phytonutrients assist the body in maintaining the natural functioning of the various body systems.
Removes Body Toxin
- Antioxidants and phytonutrients found in it have tendency to remove all the collected toxins from the body especially from the liver, intestines and digestive tract.
Stimulates Body Cells Growth
- It is also rich in carotenoids and vitamin A which stimulates the proper body cells growth as well as improves the functioning of immune system.
Maintains Overall Health
- It helps in maintaining the overall health of the body if consumed regularly thus prevents from various infections and disorders as well as reduces the risk of early ageing.
Benefits of Apricot for Digestive System
- It is the richest source of insoluble dietary fibers which is good for the healthy digestive system. Dietary fibers are gel-like substance helps in the digestion by breaking down the fatty acids and stimulating the easy bowel movement.
Stimulates Absorption of Nutrients
- Its high amount of dietary fibers keeps away from all the gastro-intestinal disorders by normalizing the breaking down of food particles and stimulating absorption of nutrients from food.
Benefits of Apricot for Heart
Healthy for Heart
- It contains high amount of soluble dietary fibers which is very beneficial for the heart health.
Reduces Bad Cholesterol Level
- Soluble dietary fibers helps in reducing the bad cholesterol level means LDL in the blood thus reduces the risk of various cardiovascular diseases.
Improves Heart Functioning
- It also improves the heart functioning by increasing the good cholesterol level means HDL in the blood if consumed regularly.
Regulates Water Level
- Its high level of potassium content helps in regulating the water level in the body cells as well as maintaining normal blood pressure.
Prevents Risk of Heart Disorders
- It prevents from the risk of hypertension, heart attack, stroke and other chronic heart problems.
Benefits of Apricot for Anaemia
Improves Iron Absorption
- Apricot contains non-heme type iron which stays in the body for longer period of time and gets absorbed very slowly. However vitamin C found in it enhances the rate of iron absorption in the body thus prevents from the risk of anaemia by increasing the hemoglobin count.
Treats Symptoms of Anemia
- It prevents from the symptoms of the anaemia such as weakness, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, inability to perform daily routine and so many.
Benefits of Apricot for Women
Regulates Blood Flow during Menstruation
- It helps women by regularizing the flow of blood during menstruation and maintaining their blood pressure and hemoglobin count.
Makes Skin Flawless and Attractive
- It also provides lots of beauty benefits to the women and makes their skin flawless and attractive.
Prevents from Early Menopause
- It contains copper mineral which has ability to absorb iron and enhance haemoglobin production thus very beneficial for the women to get prevented from the occurrence of early menopause.
Benefits of Apricot for Cancer
Prevents from Cancer
- Its richness in the antioxidants and other required nutrients makes it able to prevent from the risk of cancer.
Destroys Free Radicals and Delays Ageing
- It prevents from the occurrence of cancer of lungs, larynx, stomach, breast, prostate, esophagus and etc caused due to the free radicals, ageing process, environmental pollution, UV rays, smoking and etc.
Benefits of Apricot for Skin
Maintains Skin Health and Beauty
- Its high level antioxidants, vitamins and minerals help in maintaining the skin health and beauty.
Prevents from Wrinkles and Dryness
- It helps in reducing the risk of skin ageing by preventing skin from the wrinkles, dullness, dryness and infections.
Nourishes Skin Internally and Externally
- It contains high level of vitamin A and vitamin C which prevents skin from the acne, blemishes, pimples and other skin problems. Both of the vitamins help in making skin flawless, bright, fair and shining.
Removes Dead Cells
- Exfoliating skin with apricot cleanses out the skin dead cells and blackheads thus keeps skin smooth and radiant by stimulating the growth of new cells.
Corrects Poor Skin Tone
- It helps in correcting the poor skin tone by exfoliating the damaged skin cells and dark pigmentation as well as maintains the newer and lighter skin tone.
Benefits of Apricot for Weight
Calm Down Hunger Pangs
- Its high amount of insoluble dietary fibers keeps stomach full for longer period of time and calm down the hunger pangs thus helps in managing the weight.
Improves Metabolism Rate
- It makes digestive system and excretory system better and smooth by improving the rate of metabolism thus assists in weight management.
Benefits of Apricot for Respiratory System
Reduces Effects of Environmental Pollution
- Its powerful and strong antioxidant nature makes it capable enough to remove all the impurities of respiratory tract, lowering down the harmful effects of free radicals, suppressing the bad effects of environmental pollution on respiratory system, reduces the effects of asthma, tuberculosis, bronchitis, stimulate lungs to breathe well and prevents from various other respiratory disorders.
Enhances Body Immunity
- It helps in enhancing the level of immunity system thus keeps lungs away from the pollutants and infections.
Benefits of Apricot for Bones, Teeth, and Joints
Improves Growth of Bones and Teeth
- It is loaded with the calcium, phosphorus and other minerals required for the growth and development of the bones, teeth and joints.
Prevents from Bones Disorder
- Its high calcium level prevents from the bones disorders during old age such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and etc.
Improves Bone Density
- Its high calcium and phosphorus content keeps bones, teeth and joints healthy and strong. It also prevents bones from being brittle by maintaining the bone density.
Benefits of Apricot for Body Electrolyte Balance
Maintains Electrolytes Balance
- Human body requires sufficient amount of the electrolytes for the normal functioning of the body cells which apricot is fully capable to fulfill this human body need.
- High level of potassium and low level of sodium mineral found in it plays a great role in transporting the ions from one cell to another one in the body.
Prevents Unnecessary Water Retention
- High potassium level helps in maintaining the electrolytes and fluid balance in the body as well as preventing from the unnecessary water retention in the body.
Maintains Expansion and Contraction of Muscles
- Its richness in the required electrolytes helps in the proper expansion and contraction of the muscles throughout the body.
Benefits of Dried Apricot
Dried apricots have lots of nutritional health benefits even after losing its water content and various water soluble nutrients. Some of are:
Boosts Energy Level
- Dried apricots are energy booster and full of health nourishing nutrients.
Maintains Proper Health
- They are rich source of the dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, iron, antioxidants and etc nutrients required for the proper health.
Fulfills Instant Energy Need
- It is fully concentrated with the sugar thus fully capable to fulfill the need of instant energy among sportsperson and athletes.
- It contains pectin and cellulose which are mild laxative in nature and beneficial for treating the constipation.
- It contains alkali which stimulates the digestion by neutralizing the acids in stomach.
Treats Sunburn and Infection
- It helps in treating the problems of itching skin because of the sunburn and infections like eczema, scabies and etc.
- It helps in clearing out the acne problems if it is used to exfoliate the skin.
Other Health Benefits of Apricot
Beneficial for many Problems
High level of vitamin A found in it helps in maintaining the proper immune system functioning, reproductive system, healthy skin, strong teeth, well working skeletal system and soft tissues.
Maintains Blood Glucose and Cholesterol Level
- Its high level dietary fibers help in promoting and maintaining the healthy blood glucose level and cholesterol level in the body thus slightly beneficial for the diabetic people.
- Vitamin A available in it helps in regularizing the health of mucus membranes and skin.
Detoxify Whole Body
- Its antioxidant nature helps in detoxifying the various body systems and organs and anti-inflammatory nature helps in reducing inflammation during arthritis or gout.
Prevents DNA Damage
- Its powerful antioxidant nature slows down the free radicals activity and prevents from the DNA damage.
- Its cooling effect helps body to fight with fever and pain during fever.
Benefits of Apricot during Pregnancy
Cures various Reproductive Problems
- Dried apricots are very famous for years as herbal medicine among women during pregnancy or before pregnancy to cure problems like infertility, hemorrhage, vaginal infections, menstrual spasms and etc.
Source of Instant Energy
- Dried apricots are the source of instant energy during pregnancy and can be used as an excellent snack in between meals.
Maintains Electrolyte and Fluid Balance
- It maintains proper electrolyte and fluid balance in the body thus prevents pregnant women from the hypertension by regulating the muscle functioning and heart beat.
Prevents from Night Blindness
- It is good for the eye vision as it contains vitamin A thus prevents pregnant women from the pregnancy induced eye problem (night blindness).
Promotes Fetus Development
- It contains fat soluble vitamins which are very necessary for the cellular differentiation, vision improvement and healthy body growth and development of the fetus during pregnancy.
Benefits of Apricot Kernel Oil
- It is anti-asthmatic in nature and helps in treating the problems caused due to asthma.
Nourishes Respiratory System
- Its expectorant and stimulant property helps respiratory system to function easily by relieving pressure and stress of the respiratory organs.
Treats Damaged Skin
- Its high level of vitamin C helps in treating the damaged skin conditions and moisturizes the skin without any side effects.
Maintains Healthy Skin
- It helps in maintaining the health of skin such as softness, clarity, suppleness and elasticity.
Prevents from Infection
- It helps in revitalizing and nourishing the skin condition as well as prevents skin from various infections.
Treats Skin Disorders
- It is anti-inflammatory in nature helps in treating the skin disorders including acne, dermatitis, sunburn, scabies and eczema.
Delays Skin Ageing
- It keeps skin away from the effect of pre-mature ageing by eliminating the skin problems like blemishes and wrinkles.
Used to Manufacture Cosmetics Products
- It is used to manufacture various types of cosmetics products for the personal use such as soap, creams, body lotions, antiseptic ointments, mild shampoos, hair conditioners and so many.
Good for Baby Massage
- It is very mild and non-irritating in nature and can be used for the baby massage.
Benefits of Apricot Seeds
Treats Cancer and Prevents DNA Damage
- Apricots seeds are rich in carotenoids and other antioxidant compounds thus aids in the treatment of cancer. It helps in neutralizing the harmful compounds in the body and prevents DNA damage.
- It contains a special compound known as B17 which helps in fighting with cancer.
Prevents from Heart and Brains Disorders
- It prevents from the risk of heart diseases, brains diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and skin aging.
Benefits of Apricot for Hair
Makes Hair Wonderful
- It is loaded with the oleic and linoleic acids which are wonderful for the natural look of the hair.
Best Hair Conditioner
- Its high level of the vitamins A and E helps in maintaining the hydration of hair and acts as a best hair conditioner.
Treats Dry Hair
- Apricot oil is used to manufacture most of the hair shampoos and conditioners for providing extra softness and moisturizing effects especially to the dry hair.
Treats Hair Problems
- It is a good home remedy for treating the hair problems such as dandruff, dry scalp, psoriasis, eczema, soreness, dull hair and etc.
Prevents Hair Loss
- Vitamin E found in it provides all the nutrition for healthy hair growth as well as prevents hair loss.
Prevents Hair Damage
- Vitamin E and fatty acids found in it prevents hair damage from the harmful effects of free radicals.
Nutritional Benefits of Apricot/ Khubani per 100 g
(Source: USDA Nutrient Database)
Energy: 50 Kcal
Carbohydrate: 11 g
Sugar: 9 g
Protein: 1.4 g
Fat: 0.4 g
Dietary Fibers: 2 g
Folates: 9 µg
Niacin: 0.600 mg
Pantothenic acid: 0.240 mg
Pyridoxine: 0.054 mg
Riboflavin: 0.040 mg
Thiamine: 0.030 mg
Vitamin A: 1926 IU
Vitamin E: 0.89 mg
Vitamin C: 10 mg
Vitamin K: 3.3 µg
Sodium: 1 mg
Potassium: 259 mg
Calcium: 13 mg
Iron: 0.39 mg
Magnesium: 10 mg
Manganese: 0.077 mg
Phosphorus: 23 mg
Zinc: 0.2 mg
Alpha-Carotene: 19 µg
Beta-Carotene: 1094 µg
Beta-Crypto-xanthin: 104 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin: 89 µg
How to Select and Store
Apricots are healthy fruits available abundantly in the summer season in the markets and supermarket. Always buy apricots with reddish orange color, bright, fresh, medium size, firm, whole skinned and well ripe. Avoid buying apricots having wrinkled skin, bruised, spotted, unripe, green, too soft and without season. Avoid buying inorganically grown apricots as they may lead to some serious health disorders because of the harmful side effects of inorganic chemicals. Always buy organically grown apricots. It can be stored in the refrigerator in the air tight container or poly bags for 5-6 days after washing under running water. Avoid placing it directly in the sunlight.
How to Enjoy
It can be enjoyed by adding it to the salads, fruit salad, fruit chat, sliced apricots to hot or cereal preparation of cereal, chopped apricots and etc. It is also used to prepare jam, syrup, marmalade, jelly, whole grain pancakes, add flavor to the chicken, vegetable stews by adding dried or diced apricots, cakes, pies, ice cream, sorbet, sauce and etc.
Precautions, Side Effects and Disadvantages
Eating apricots needs some precautions as it may lead to some serious health disorders because of its side effects and disadvantages. Some of them I have discussed below:
- Generally eating dried apricots should be avoided as it is store using sulfites in order to preserve it and prevent from oxidation. Sulfites may cause some serious health problems like acute bronchospasm and asthma in later life.
- Slightly it contains oxalates which may cause kidney or gall bladder stones.
- Apricots kernel may cause cyanide toxicity and develop symptoms like nausea, headache, vomiting, weakness, dizziness, liver damage, diminished alertness, cyanosis (decreased oxygen level in the blood), ptosis (drooping eyelids), hypotension (low blood pressure), neuropathies (nerve damage), difficulty in walking due to nerve damage and etc.
- Sometimes cyanide poisoning may lead to the serious conditions like coma or death.
- It should be avoided by the pregnant and breast feeding women or eaten under careful guidance of the doctor.
How Much Apricot/ Khubani to Eat a Day
Apricots are healthy nutrients rich fruits however it is very for everyone to eat anything under limit and according to the body need and requirement. The answer of the question of how much apricot to eat a day depends on the age, sex, weight and health conditions of the individual person. However, it can be eaten around 5-6 a day by any normal person to really enjoy its all the amazing health benefits. In other cases it must be well consulted by the doctor or health consultants.
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