8 Health Benefits of Apricots
Last updated on July 27, 2012
Apricots are small, golden orange fruits known for the velvety texture of their skin. Their cultivation goes back to ancient times and spans several continents.
Here are 8 health benefits of apricots.
The powerful antioxidants found in apricots help protect the body from free radical activity and damage to cells and DNA.
Though controversial, recent studies say that apricot seeds fight cancer due to their laetrile content. Laetrile, also known as B17, is a controversial substance found in the seeds (also known as “pits” or “kernels”) of apricots.
B17 has been noted for both its cancer-fighting potential as well as its supposed toxic effect on humans. The FDA banned laetrile in 1971 because it contains cyanide, a well known poison. However, recent studies have questioned its level of toxicity and many researchers claim that laetrile kills cancer cells without serious side effects. More research is still needed and individuals should consult a doctor before consuming apricot seeds.
High In Antioxidants
Apricots are a good source of vitamin C and a great source of vitamin A, providing 20% of one’s DV per serving.
The beta carotene found in apricots is now considered by many studies to play a positive role in cardiovascular health and heart disease prevention. They help prevent oxidation to LDL cholesterol and detoxify the blood.
High In Fiber
The high fiber content in apricots offers a variety of health benefits. It may be essential in colon health, is great for digestion and helps balance the metabolism and maintain a healthy body weight.
Fruit like apricots, high in vitamin A and carotenoids, are now considered by many to help strengthen the eyes. One report stated that eating 3 or more servings of these fruits per day may help to prevent age related eye disease like macular degeneration.
Apricots contain a good amount of iron and copper, both of which may help in the formation of hemoglobin.
Rubbing apricot oil on the skin may help relieve the symptoms of conditions like eczema and scabies.
Apricots are a low calorie, nutrient rich food source that may be a great addition to any weight loss program. In addition, the fiber in apricots may help to maintain a healthy weight level.