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Health benefits of apricots

  • Fresh fruits are low in calories, composing just 50 calories per 100 g. However, they are rich source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The fruits are enriched with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals; that helps prevent heart disease, reduce LDL, ("bad cholesterol") levels and offers protection against cancers.

  • Apricots are excellent sources of vitamin-A and carotenes. 100 g fresh fruits have 1926 IU or 64% of daily-required levels of vitamin A. Both of these compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin-A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes helps protect body from lung and oral cavity cancers.

  • Fresh fruits contain vitamin-C, another natural anti-oxidant. Vitamin-C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen free radicals.

  • They are also good source of minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc, calcium and manganese. Potassium is a heart-healthy mineral; an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

  • The total anti-oxidant or ORAC value of raw apricots is 1115 umol TE/100 g. Much of this in these fruits comes from some important health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic anti-oxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin and beta cryptoxanthins. Altogether these compounds act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging, cancers and various disease process.

  • Zeaxanthin, a carotenoid selectively absorbed into the retinal "macula lutea" in the eyes where it is thought to provide anti-oxidant and protective light-filtering functions. Thus, consumption of fruits like apricots rich in zeaxanthin helps eyes protect from age-related macular disease (AMRD), especially in the elderly people.

See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:

Apricots (Prunus armeniaca), fresh,
Nutritive Value per 100 g,
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 50 Kcal 2.5%
Carbohydrates 11 g 8.5%
Protein 1.4 g 2.5%
Total Fat 0.4 g 1%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 2 g 5%

Folates 9 mcg 2%
Niacin 0.600 mg 4%
Pantothenic acid 0.240 mg 5%
Pyridoxine 0.054 mg 5%
Riboflavin 0.040 mg 3%
Thiamin 0.030 mg 2.5%
Vitamin A 1926 IU 64%
Vitamin C 10 mg 16%
Vitamin E 0 mg 0%
Vitamin K 3.3 mcg 3%

Sodium 1 mg 0%
Potassium 259 mg 5.5%

Calcium 13 mg 1.3%

Iron 0.39 mg 5%
Magnesium 10 mg 2.5%
Manganese 0.077 mg 3%
Phosphorus 23 mg 3%
Zinc 0.2 mg 2%

Carotene-? 19 mcg --
Carotene--ß 1094 mcg --
Crypto-xanthin-ß 104 mcg --
Lutein-zeaxanthin 89 mcg --

Selection and storage

Apricot season lasts from May until September. Buy fresh, well ripe fruits that feature uniform golden-orange color and rich aroma.

Avoid those with pale yellow color as they were picked too soon. Ripened apricots are delicate and should be handled with care.

Store them in the refrigerator in egg tray set at high relative humidity. Use them as early as possible.

Safety profile

Dried apricots are often treated with sulfites to extend their shelf life by preventing oxidation and bleaching of colors, as in the case of other dried fruits like figs. Sulfite treated bright orange colored fruits can cause acute bronchospasm in sensitized people who are suffering from asthma episodes. Therefore, sulfite sensitive persons can instead safely use unsulfured dried fruits that have brown color.

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