Apricots are a type of stone fruit that belongs to the rose family. The fruit is known for its vivid, deep yellow to orange color, juicy flesh, and nutrient content. Apart from being an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamins, apricots also enhance the eyesight and improve skin tone. Whether eaten fresh or dried, apricots are packed with all the amazing nutrients that help keep the body healthy. Want to know more about the surprising benefits of apricots? Consider these tips below:
High in Fiber
Apricots are extremely high in soluble fiber. Once eaten, the soluble fiber in dried apricots, sits in the stomach and generates a gel-like substance. This substance binds with fat so it is eliminated from the body safely. Soluble fiber also helps you feel fuller for longer so you do not overeat.
Even better, studies show that dried apricots help reduce bad cholesterol in the body! It can also boost digestion and improve cardiovascular health. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, just a half a cup serving of dried apricot provides 19% of your RDA of fiber!
Reduces Risk of Hypertension
Dried apricots contain higher amounts of potassium than fresh apricots. Potassium helps rebalance the intracellular and extracellular water levels of the body. This nutrient also regulates blood pressure. Studies show that patients who take in less potassium are at a greater risk of suffering from hypertension. Unfortunately, the average American diet is very low in this nutrient, according to the Colorado State University Extension.
Snacking on dried apricots help reduce the risk of hypertension. Just a half-cup serving of dried apricots satisfies 21% of your RDA of potassium!
Rich in Non-Heme Iron
Compared to its fresh counterpart, dried apricot contains more non-heme iron! Non-heme iron is harder to absorb by the body compared to heme iron. You will need vitamin C to absorb this nutrient. Good thing apricots also contain vitamin C. Regular consumption of dried apricots reduces the risk of anemia. Just a half a cup serving of dried apricot will satisfy 10% of your RDA of iron.
Who knew a cup of dried apricots is good for the eyes? All types of vivid yellow or orange fruits and vegetables contain beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is the inactive form of vitamin A. This nutrient improves vision and protects the cells from free radical damage. Beta-carotene also boosts cell growth, strengthens the immune system and reduces the risk of cancer. According to the USDA, a half a cup serving of dried apricots yield about 47% of your RDA of vitamin A.
The dietary fiber in dried apricots bulks up the stool for easy elimination. The fruit also contains mild laxative that eases constipation and other gastrointestinal issues. The pectin in dried apricots also boosts the water level of the body, which helps prevent constipation.
Dried apricots are also alkalizing. The fruit neutralizes stomach acids while stimulating digestion. Dried apricot also regulates the pH level of the gastrointestinal tract. Consuming dried apricots regularly also detoxifies the intestines thanks to its mild laxative effects.