An apricot (Prunus armeniaca) is a bright orange stonefruit that resembles peaches and plums. They have a soft, tangy flesh beneath a thin outer skin. Although the apricot is native to a continental climate region with cold winters, it can grow in Mediterranean climates as well.
Here are the seven health benefits of the apricot.
1. Apricots can help fight constipation.
Fiber can help prevent constipation by promoting regularity when taken with water. Also, dietary fiber stimulates the gastric juices that help the intestines absorb nutrients. Apricots are a great source of fiber. One apricot contains 3 grams of dietary fiber. The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women are 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively.
2. Apricots are great for improving your bone health.
Apricots contain trace amounts of the following minerals to improve bone health: calcium, phosphorus, manganese, iron, and copper. Consuming apricots can contribute to the healthy growth and development of bones, as well as the prevention of osteoporosis.
3. Apricots can help protect your eyesight.
Apricots are rich in the carotenoids and xanthophylls like lutein that help protect the retina of the eye from damage caused by blue light.
4. Apricots can help your skin and hair look vibrant and youthful.
Adequate vitamin C intake helps your body create and maintain collagen, an important protein found in hair and skin. A medium-sized apricot contains 64 percent of the daily recommendation of vitamin A for an adult. Vitamin A has been known to keep the hair moisturized through increased sebum production.
5. Apricots can protect the body from long-term inflammation in the body.
Apricots have a large amount of a particular type of phytonutrients called catechins. Researchers have suggested that catechins inhibit the enzyme activity of critical steps toward inflammation.
6. Apricots can help balance your blood pressure to healthy levels.
Apricots are high in potassium and low in sodium, which could help reduce your blood pressure, thus preventing or managing hypertension. One cup of sliced apricots contains 427 milligrams of potassium compared to only 1.7 milligrams of sodium.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Americans who eat a diet high in sodium and low in potassium have a 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause, and about twice the risk of death from heart attacks. Luckily, evidence suggests that African Americans and individuals with high blood pressure, in particular, benefit from increasing their intake of potassium.
7. Apricots can help you produce healthy blood.
Copper and iron are essential for creating new red blood cells due to the formation of hemoglobin, a protein molecule in that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body. A deficiency in iron or copper can lead to anemia.