Round with an orange-yellow hue, apricots look like smaller, cuter peaches and share a similar tartness to plums. They are highly nutritious and may help boost gut health, enhance vision, and benefit the skin. To give you an idea of how nutritious apricots are, let’s detail their nutritional profile below.
According to available nutritional food data, two apricots (about 70 grams) provide the following:
- Calories: 34
- Carbohydrates: 8 grams (g)
- Fat: 0.27 g
- Fiber: 1.5 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Vitamin C: 8% of the daily value (DV)
- Vitamin E: 4% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 8% of the DV
- Potassium: 4% of the DV
Besides the above nutrients, apricots are naturally rich in lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin, all of which are powerful antioxidants. Health experts encourage people to eat apricots with the skin on because the skin boasts a lot of fiber and antioxidants. Just discard the pit because it is inedible.
May Boost Skin Health
One of the primary causes of wrinkles is environmental factors, including the sun, cigarette smoke, and pollution. There is a direct link between ultraviolet (UV) light exposure, sunburns, and an increased risk of melanoma. Although you cannot protect your skin from sunburns by eating apricots, you can supply your body with lots of vitamins C and E by eating them. Both of these vitamins may help to protect your skin from damaging UV rays. They also work to encourage collagen production, which helps prevent early signs of aging.
They Are Very Hydrating
Apricots have a high water content, with one cup of freshly sliced apricots providing almost 2/3 cup of water. Most people don’t drink enough water, so eating apricots may enhance your hydration efforts. Additionally, the water content may help regulate blood pressure and body temperature. If you are dehydrated, blood volume drops and forces your heart to work harder to pump blood. Staying hydrated also helps your blood circulate waste products and deliver nutrients throughout the body.
May Promote Gut Health
Containing both insoluble and soluble fiber, apricots may boost gut health. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and includes hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin. Soluble fiber does dissolve in water and includes gums, long chains of polysaccharides, and pectin. Insoluble fiber passes through the digestive tract without changing because the body doesn’t digest it. By absorbing the body’s fluids and sticking to other materials, insoluble fiber helps form softer, bulkier stools. The body converts soluble fiber to a gel-like substance that feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut. Fiber, in general, delays the movement of food through the digestive tract, feeding your intestinal flora and contributing to a healthier microbiome.
They Are Rich In Antioxidants
As mentioned earlier, apricots contain many antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, & E, beta-carotene, and other flavonoids. The primary flavonoids are catechins, quercetin, and chlorogenic acids. These compounds help neutralize free radicals, which can damage cells and cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress contributes to several chronic health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and more. One study found that high flavonoid intake resulted in a substantially lower inflammation score. Additionally, high flavonoid intake decreased oxidative stress score by 56%.
May Promote Eye Health
Apricots contain vitamin A, which plays a vital role in preventing night blindness, a disorder caused by lack of light pigments in the eyes. Vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant, enters the eyes directly to help protect them from free radical damage. Beta-carotene, which gives apricots their orange hue, is a precursor to vitamin A, which helps the body convert it into that vitamin. Zeaxanthin and lutein are other carotenoids that safeguard against oxidative stress in the retinas of your eyes.