Apricots are small, yellow, tart-tasting fruits with a stone in the middle.
Like most fruits, they are full of vitamins and minerals and make a great addition to a healthful diet.
This article lists four potential health benefits of apricots, takes a look at their nutritional value, and suggests a few ways in which people can add the fruit to their diet.
Experts recommend that people eat lots of fruits and vegetables, since they are high in the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to thrive.
Apricots are a good source of:
Vitamin A, which scientists also call retinol, is very important for healthy eyes.
Specifically, vitamin A helps the body make the pigments it needs for the retina to work properly. Without it, people are at risk of developing night blindness.
Vitamin A also helps the eyes produce the moisture they need to stay properly lubricated.
Some studies have found that vitamin A also plays an important role in the immune system by having an anti-inflammatory effect.
Other good sources of vitamin A include:
- leafy green vegetables
- orange vegetables, such as carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes
Apricots are also a good source of vitamin C, which is one of the vitamins that the human body cannot produce. This means that people must get enough vitamin C from their diets.
Vitamin C has many functions. For example, it is an antioxidant that helps protect the cells in the body from damaging free radicals. The body also needs it to make collagen to repair wounds.
Vitamin C plays an essential role in the immune system, helping the body’s natural defense mechanisms fight off bacteria and viruses.
Some other good sources of vitamin C include:
- red and green peppers
- citrus fruits
Fresh fruits and vegetables, including apricots, are excellent sources of fiber.
Fiber is vital because it helps the body regulate its blood sugar levels. It also aids digestion, which helps prevent constipation and promote overall gastrointestinal health.
In addition, some studies have shown that people who eat enough fiber are less likely to develop a range of health conditions, including:
Potassium is an electrolyte that the nerves need to function and the muscles need to contract. The body also needs potassium to move nutrients into cells and dispose of cellular waste.
It also plays a role in heart health by helping the heartbeat stay regular.
Some other good sources of potassium include:
- prunes and raisins
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one 35 g apricot contains the following:
- energy: 16.8 calories
- protein: 0.49 g
- fat: 0.14 g
- carbohydrates: 3.89 g
- fiber: 0.7 g
- sugars: 3.23 g
- calcium: 4.55 milligrams (mg)
- iron: 0.14 mg
- magnesium: 3.5 mg
- phosphorus: 8.05 mg
- potassium: 90.6 mg
- sodium: 0.35 mg
- zinc: 0.07 mg
- copper: 0.03 mg
- selenium: 0.04 micrograms (mcg)
- vitamin C: 3.5 mg
- thiamine: 0.01 mg
- riboflavin: 0.01 mg
- niacin: 0.21 mg
- vitamin B-6: 0.02 mg
- vitamin A: 33.6 mcg
- beta-carotene: 383 mcg
- vitamin E: 0.31 mg
- vitamin K: 1.16 mcg
Apricots are safe to eat raw. A person should wash the fruit first, then slice it in half and take out the stone.
Dried and fresh apricots are tasty additions to a yogurt or porridge, for either breakfast or a snack.
Some studies have shown that freezing or canning apricots does not seem to reduce their nutritional value.
It is important to note that people should eat a range of fruits and vegetables, as part of a balanced diet, to make sure that they are getting all the nutrients their bodies need.
Like most fruits and vegetables, apricots are a good source of many of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function.
In particular, they contain high amounts of vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fiber and potassium.
People can eat apricots either raw or dried. Freezing or canning the fruit does not reduce its nutritional value. However, to keep the fruit a healthful addition to the diet, people should look for canned fruit in water, not syrup.
The benefits of apricots make them a good addition to a healthful, balanced diet.