Extremely Nutritious Fruit “Apricot”

(Dr Waseem Razaq, )

Apricots (Khoobani in Urdu) are fruits of several species of genus Prunus (Stone fruits) . Usually an apricot tree is from the species P. armeniaca but the species P. brigantina, P. manshurica, P. mume, P. zhengheenis andP. sibirica have similar fruits and are also called apricots.

Apricots are round and yellow colored fruit, full of vitamin, antioxidants and fiber. They are extremely nutritious and have several health benefits, like improved digestion and eye heath.

Below is a list of health benefits of Apricots:
1. Very nutritious and good for weight loss: Apricots are full of nutrients and contain number of plant antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. On the other hand apricots are low in calories and thus consider as good food for weight loss, below is nutritional profile of apricots:
Fresh one whole apricot (35 gm) provides:
Calories : 17
Carbs : 4 gm
Fats : 0.14 gm
Proteins : 0.5 gm
Vitamin A : 4 % of of daily value
Vitamin C : 4 % of daily value
Vitamin E : 2 % of daily value
Potassium : 2 % of daily value
Fiber : 0.7 gm

2. Protection against free radical damage: Apricots contain potent antioxidants like beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin , all of which help fight free radicals in our body.

3. May protect against inflammation: Apricots are very good source of catechins, a group of flavonoide phytonutrients, these phytonutrients have been found very effective anti-inflammatory nutrients by researchers. These nutrients also help protect our body from oxidative stress and thus apricots are considering as a beneficial food in obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

4. Good for eye health: Apricots have number of compounds which are essential for eye health, these include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.Vitamin A has vital role in preventing night blindness, Vitamin E protects our eyes from free radical damage, while beta carotene serves as a precursor to vitamin A means our body can convert it to vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin are found in lenses and retinas where they play their role in protecting oxidative stress.

5. Boosts skin health: Presence of number of antioxidants in apricots boosts skin health. Vitamin C and Vitamin present in apricots may aid our skin, vitamin C protects against ultraviolet damage and environmental pollutants. Vitamin C also helps build collagen which gives our skin elasticity and strength. Beta carotene is another antioxidant found in apricots, which may protect from sun burn.

6. Treat respiratory ailments: Vitamins and antioxidants present in apricots like vitamin E and flavanides fight free radicals and protect oxidative stress and thus helpful in cold and flu and chronic diseases like asthma. Presence of vitamin C also makes apricots effective in respiratory diseases especially in cold and flu.

7. Good for digestion and gut health: Apricots are good for digestion and improve gut health. Apricots contain both soluble and insoluble fibers, the soluble fibers promote health bowl movements, the fibers break down the fatty acids fast and thus enhancing digestion. Apricots are high in soluble fibers which is very much important for maintaining healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

The fiber in this fruit also treats other digestive issues like constipation and bloating. Fiber also delays movements of food through digestive tract and feeds beneficial bacteria of the gut.

8. High in Potassium: Apricots have potent amount of potassium, which serves as an electrolyte in our body. Potassium is responsible for sending nerve signals and regulating muscle contraction. It also works for maintaining fluid balance.

9. Good source of Iron: Apricots are very good source of Iron, which helps treating anemia. Iron improves overall production of hemoglobin thus enhancing the quality of blood as well.

10. Very hydrating: Apricots are high in water which can help regulating body temperature, blood pressure and joints health. Thus eating apricots helps to replenish both water and electrolytes loss after exercise as we know this fruit is also good source of potassium as well.

11. Boost Bone Health: Apricots are also good for bone health due the presence of calcium. Potassium is very important for absorption of calcium and we know apricots are rich in potassium which makes apricots good for bone health.

12. May beneficial during pregnancy: Apricots are highly nutritious and should be consumed enough during pregnancy, presence of iron and copper also makes apricots as a good food during pregnancy.

13. Delay signs of aging: Presence of vitamin E and other antioxidants in apricots glows the skin which leads to delay sign of aging. Apricot oil helps in maintaining skin clarity and elasticity.

14. Apricot oil is good for hair growth: Presence of vitamin E in apricot oil boosts healthy hair grow and also prevents hair fall. Apricot oil contains both vitamins E and vitamin A which support skin health and repair, thus it is great aid to dry scalp, psoriasis and dandruff

 

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