What is Apricot?
Apricot is a medium sized deciduous tree that grows best in well-drained mountainous slope soils. During the spring, it bears plenty of beautiful pinkish-white flowers that attract bees. The fruits have almost uniform size, 4-5 cm in diameter, and weigh about 35 g. In structure; the fruit is a drupe, consisting of a centrally located single pit surrounded by crunchy, aromatic edible flesh. The seed is enclosed in a hard stony shell, often called as “stone.”
Health Benefits of Apricot
Constipation: Apricots are rich in fiber and are therefore good for smooth bowel movements. It is often recommended to patients who regularly suffer from constipation due to its laxative properties. Fiber is a way to bulk up the stool. In this way, it becomes easier to transport through the bowels to its eventual excretion from the body. Fiber stimulates the gastric and digestive juices that help absorb the nutrients and break down the food for easier processing. Furthermore, fiber also activates the peristaltic motion of the digestive tract, and those smooth muscles movements are what keep your bowel movements regulated.
Fevers: Apricot juice is often given to patients suffering from fever because it provides necessary vitamins, minerals, calories and water to the body, while also detoxifying various systems and organs. Some people also use steamed apricot to relieve fevers. In this way, apricot is a soothing, anti-inflammatory substance that can also impact the body’s overall temperature level when you aren’t sick. Furthermore, it can reduce inflammation in other parts of the body, like for people who suffer from arthritis or gout.
Cancer: The seeds of apricot are believed to aid in the treatment of cancer. Between the carotenoids and the other antioxidant compounds that apricots have, it is no surprise that they are a threat to free radicals. Free radicals are the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can cause healthy cells to mutate their DNA into cancerous cells. Antioxidants neutralize these harmful compounds and ensure that the body doesn’t contract conditions like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and aging skin. Apricots have been directly linked to reducing the risk of cancer.
Asthma: It is also believed that apricot oil is anti-asthmatic in nature and helps in treating the disease and its related symptoms. It has certain expectorant and stimulant qualities due to its essential oils. One of these can help to relieve pressure and stress on the lungs and respiratory system, thereby preventing asthma attacks before they begin.
Skin Disorders: Apricot oil is good for skin care. It is quickly absorbed by the skin and does not keep the skin oily after it is applied. Apricots are not just useful for maintaining the smooth and shiny appearance of the skin; it also aids in treating a number of skin diseases including eczema, itching, scabies, and a number of other irritating conditions. This is specifically due to the antioxidant compounds found within apricots. Not only does it have a healthy amount of vitamin A (60% of your daily requirement per serving), which has long been associated with healthier skin, but the antioxidants in apricots protect the skin from the effects of free radicals, which can lead to skin deterioration and signs of premature aging.
Uses of Apricot
- Apricots can be consumed fresh, and can also be a delicious addition to any kind of salad.
- Dried apricots seem to be the most desired form, and are often mixed with nuts and other dried fruits for a tasty, nutritious homemade trail mix.
- The pits have their own corner on the market, principally for their bitter oil.
- Sliced sections of the fruit can be a great addition to salads.
- They are also used jam, marmalade, syrup, and jelly preparation.
- Sun dried organic fruits can be used like raisins and currants in sweet/confectionary preparations