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The Health Benefit of Apricot: Including Its Nutrient Fact

Olidhealth.com – If you go to the Asian market and you find an interesting fruit that looks like peach but in a smaller size and has yellowish color? yes, it is called apricot. This unique fruit is one versatile fruit that has myriad benefits for your health. For instance, The health benefit of apricot such as boosting your immune and keeping your digestion stay healthy. Moreover, the Tartness sensation makes apricot can serve as an additional ingredient for any cuisine or dish.

Regardless of that matter, there are contradictions regarding fresh and dried apricot. Some people say that fresh apricot has more health benefit than dried one. However, dried apricot also has a good source of nutrients. Before determining the best type of apricot, we should know about apricot first.

What is Apricot

sliced apricot for maintaining your health

Apricot or the botanical name known as Prunus armeniaca L is a”stone” fruit as same as plum and peach [1]. The origin of the apricot itself is still questionable. We are not sure about the origin of the apricot since many nations are acknowledged it as their finding. China and India are the closest candidates because it is written on Ayurveda Medication and Traditional Chinese Medicinal for a long time. Moreover, apricot has been cultivated in many counties.

If we focused on its shape, it’s like a peach in miniature size. It also has a yellowish color that resembles a young peach. Apricot itself is known called the ‘stone’ fruit since it has a pit or ‘stone’ in the center of the fruit. The pit contains toxic for most creatures. FYI, the apricot seed and kernel contain a cyanide compound called amygdalin. If this toxic compound interacts with stomach enzymes, it could produce cyanide and be fatal to our body. Almost all ‘stone’ fruit has this trait like peaches and apple (subspecies of prunus). Apart from that toxic substance, the capability of apricot may have health benefits since its have rich in nutrition.

Type Of Apricot Hybrid

Besides apricot looks like a miniature peach, it also has a hybrid variant that seems like merging two or three kinds of stone fruit [2].

  • Plumcot – Another name is aprium is a hybrid of apricot and plum with apricot characteristics that are more dominated than the plum.
  • Pluots – The hybrid that more has a plum side than apricot.
  • Color-cot – The variant domestication in the US and has a specific name called Color-Cot Interspecific Apricots.
  • peacotum – Has resembled features such as plum, apricot, and peach in one fruit.
  • And many more interspecific hybrids of stone fruits.

Apricot can be eaten raw, or you can process it as a dried fruit. Dried apricot can be obtained by two kinds of production. It can be dried naturally or added sulfur dioxide to preserve it for a long time. However, dried apricot processed with sulfur could be less healthy since it’s not a natural way to dry it. How to distinguish a sulfured and unsulfured dried apricot? the color can show the difference between them. Sulfured dried apricot has brighter yellow to orange color, while the other has dark orange to brown color.

The Different Nutrients In Fresh And Dried Apricot

bunch of dried apricot with rich in nutrient for health

Deciding between fresh and dried apricot can be challenging since they have their own health benefit. For example, the water and fiber content in both fruits could affect your gut to absorb them. As reported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) about the nutrient in apricot, we summarize and compare the nutrient data of fresh and dried apricot to identify the difference in their nutrient. For additional information, the nutrient data in this table was calculated based on a 100 gram serving of apricot [3] [4].

Nutrient in Apricot Fresh Apricot Dried Apricot
Calories 48 241
Water content 86 gram 31 gram
Sugar content 9 gram 54 gram
Protein 1 gram 3 gram
Fiber 2 gram 7 gram
Carbohydrate 11 gram 63 gram
Cholesterol 0 gram 0 gram

According to this table, it is shown that dried apricot has more nutrients than fresh apricot because dried one has a concentrated source of nutrients.

Vitamin

Vitamin content in both fruits showed have different features. For instance, total vitamin A is double in dried apricot, but vitamin C in fresh apricot almost 10 times than dried ones. It indicates both of them have specific features depending on how we used them. Other vitamin properties are also shown in this table [3] [4].

Vitamin in Apricot Fresh Apricot Dried Apricot
Total Vitamin A 1930 IU 3605 IU
Choline 2800 microgram 13900 microgram
Vitamin E 890 microgram 4370 microgram
Vitamin B3 600 microgram 2590 microgram
Beta-carotene 1193 microgram 2160 microgram
Vitamin C 10000 microgram 1100 microgram
Vitamin B5 240 microgram 516 microgram
Vitamin B6 54 microgram 146 microgram

There are also other vitamins in small amounts such as Riboflavin, thiamine, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

Minerals

Apricots also have essential minerals and microminerals that have benefits to our health. Regarding USDA statement, Dried apricots have more minerals than fresh apricot. In fact, the difference between the double or even tripled and more in some minerals. The differences between fresh apricot and dried apricot are be shown below [3] [4].

Minerals Fresh Apricot Dried Apricot
Potassium (K) 268 milligram 1155 milligram
Phosphorus (P) 21 milligram 69 milligram
Calcium (Ca) 19 milligram 53 milligram
Magnesium (Mg) 12 milligram 31 milligram
Sodium (Na) 1 milligram 10 milligram
Iron (Fe) < 1 milligram 3 milligram

There also have identified a small number of microminerals (under 1 milligram) such as manganese (Mn), Copper (Cu), Selenium (Se), and zinc (Zn).

Possibility Amino Acid In Apricot

In this term, both apricot varieties have tiny amounts of amino acid. The 9 essential amino acids are detected based on USDA such as tryptophan, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine, valine, methionine, threonine, and histidine. The researcher also identified other specific amino acids including arginine, alanine, proline, serine, glycine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid in apricot [3] [4]. Although there is a small number of amino acids, they may also contribute to our health. Combine with other nutrients and minerals, apricot may be powerful enough to be called superfoods in the future.

The Health Benefit of Apricot

the health benefit of apricot that good for you

So, in the end, can we choose which is a better version of the apricot based on their nutrition? Both fresh and dried apricot have different nutrition and mineral, but it does not indicate one of them are better. Each of them has a different purpose and reason to make us stay healthy. We summarize the health benefit of apricot to make sure what is capable of this fruit to our health.

Good Source Of Antioxidants To Strengthen The Immune System

One of the reasons the apricot is the best fruit is its antioxidant content. As we mentioned above about its nutrient, many high vitamin amounts in apricots such as vitamin C in fresh apricot and total vitamin A is also relatively higher than other fruit. These vitamins are natural antioxidant agents that almost all fruit having it.

Although these vitamins are enough to keep up your body, Apricot also has anthocyanin and polyphenol compounds such as quercetin, catechin, and chlorogenic acids which have antioxidant properties to fight off malicious substances called free radicals. Choline that is present in apricot also contributes to boosting your immune. Eating 2 -3 fresh apricot could make you stay strong against nasty substances invading your body.

Prevent Respiratory Disease

Apricots also have contributed to alleviating lung disease because some research suggests that apricot can treat asthma. High in nutrition in apricot, especially vitamin A may take a part in the lining of the respiratory partway and protect it from malicious substances. Furthermore, based on some research, choline in apricot could promote lung health and prevent the development of lung cancer.

Promote Gastrointestinal Health

fresh apricot in the tree

A gastrointestinal problem like acid reflux can be bothersome if it couldn’t be treated well. People with this illness should be selected suitable food for their stomachs. Apricots can be one of many choices of food to stabilize acid regurgitation because of their polyphenol and fiber content.

Polyphenols are good to maintain gastrointestinal health since they can improve good bacteria in your guts. Fiber together with antioxidant compounds also can reduce the risk of colon disease since fiber can cleanse the digestive tract. Studies found that apricot can treat constipation.

Apricot may be relatively acidic but it is still safe to be consumed for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). People with GERD symptoms could eat this fruit both fresh or dried. Water and fiber properties in apricot may alleviate acid reflux symptoms.

Improve Hair Growth And Scalp Health

For additional information, Apricot may have the capability to improve the growth of hair and maintain hair health. According to scientists, apricot can reduce the development of dandruff. The essential compound like catechin also exists in apricot that has the benefit to prevent hair loss. However, it still missing detailed information about apricot for this matter. Even now, this amazing fruit also has another benefit. Take this benefit into consideration as a bonus for gaining your hair health.

Apricot Improve Brain Function

Consuming apricot is the easiest way to boost your brain activity. Apricot is a good source of catechin to improve neurotransmission function in the brain. Adequate catechin in your body could reduce neurodegenerative illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Catechin can be found in green tea and other herbal tea which have been known for their health benefit. Moreover, apricot also has zinc and choline compounds that have the possibility to improve brain development. Some research suggests that the lack of these three components is inclined to have memory loss in older age.

Maximize Your Skin Health

apricot juice that could be good for your skin

Women are usually concerned with skin-related topics since good skin can make them more attractive. Even so, buying skincare products could thin their wallet. Healthy food like apricot can be the solution for this case.

Some people believe that the apricot has the ability to prevent furuncle and acnes. Apricot has antioxidant compounds such as vitamin C and vitamin E that could act as double protection for your skin. For instance, Internal protection against oxidative stress and external protection against sunburning.

Based on some research, apricot also has beta-carotene compounds that can be converted to phytofluene and phytoene. These compounds have a photoprotective effect to protect skin from UV radiation. Phytonutrients such as caffeic acid are also present in apricot that contributes to collagen formation and have the possibility to prevent premature aging. Additionally, chlorogenic acids and linalool content in apricot could help lessen inflammation caused by acne formation.

Processed apricot can be blended to make juice. Moreover, Apricot could be made face mask and scrub beside it could be eaten as food. Blend it and applying the apricot mixture into your skin can prevent pigmentation and make it brighter than before.

Have Anti-microbial Properties

Apricots may also have the power to repel certain bacteria. According to the expert, apricot has an anti-microbial compound called polyphenol that is effective to ward off gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli. Furthermore, polyphenol also can serve as an antioxidant agent to remove free radical scavengers.

Based on some studies, extract of the apricot pit or “the stone” also have antimicrobial activity against several bacteria. Consuming apricot or using it as a scrub may have the benefit to kick off persistent bad bacteria out of your body.

Maintain Your Hemoglobin Level

Hemoglobin is related to the red blood cell count in your blood. Low hemoglobin can lead to anemia. To prevent that, apricot may help to fix that. Apricot has high in iron and vitamin C that important to red blood cell formation and protect the cell against free radical scavengers.

Iron in apricot is called non-heme iron and hardly absorbs into the body. Another vitamin C source food like citrus fruit and berries can help iron absorption. Combine apricot and berries can be a good choice for your fruit diet plan. There is also other food to increase your hemoglobin levels such as red meat or fish. You can blend it with apricot to add its tartness flavor.

Could Alleviate Your Eye Disorder

apricot for eye health

If you have blurred vision, it means that you lack vitamin A. Nevertheless, blurred eyesight can be a symptom of any kind of eye disorder such as cataracts or age-related macular degeneration. To avoid that, consuming apricot could help to fix that.

Apricot has a pack of vitamin A and vitamin E which is essential to keep your eye stay healthy. Retinol and beta-carotene are also present in apricot that can be converted to vitamin A to enhance your vision. Duo inseparable combo lutein and zeaxanthin also exist in apricot have antioxidant properties to protect cell in lens and retina from malicious substance and free radicals. As reported by experts, apricots could prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration.

Health Benefit In The Cardiovascular System

High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two main causes of cardiovascular diseases. To suppress it, we can try to eat healthy fruit that can reduce blood pressure or lower bad cholesterol. Honestly, the Apricot has both functions since it has high in nutrients and minerals.

Moreover, the fiber in apricot may reduce the development of cardiovascular disorders. Fiber also manages absorption of fatty acid which can reduce bad cholesterol or Low-Density Lipoprotein level and increase good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein level.

Based on the nutrition data in the table above, apricot is a good source of potassium. It helps to control your heartbeat and blood viscosity since it is also an electrolyte. Potassium also can support blood vessels and alleviate inflammation. Phytonutrients such as anthocyanin, choline, and vitamin C in apricot have a cardioprotective effect to defend your heart and blood vessel cell damage caused by free radical and oxidative stress. The investigation has shown that choline can reduce the risk of stroke and heart-related disorders. Eating fresh or dried apricots regularly may improve your heart health.

Can Maintain your Blood Sugar

People with type 2 diabetes are safe to consume apricot since it has relatively low sugar and is high in fiber. This beneficial fruit surprisingly has a low glycemic index that means it’s okay to be consumed by the patient with diabetes. Some doctors are mention that fiber can also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. A specific compound like chlorogenic acid also exists in apricot that could reduce glucose levels in your blood.

Keep Your Liver Stay Healthy

Apricot could offer the best nutrients to our liver since it has phytonutrients such as beta-carotene in apricot that have a hepatoprotective effect to maintain the liver stay healthy. High choline content as a derivative substance of vitamin B12 could elevate fatty liver disease symptoms. It also takes apart for removing excessive fatty acid in the liver.

Other beneficial compounds such as quercetin and rutin compounds play a role in the liver to lower hepatic lipid. Some studies suggest that the rutin compounds in apricot also could reduce the risk of fibrosis (enlarge liver cell caused by fatty acid). Eating these fruit could have more useful than taking a supplement that can be bad if you couldn’t control it.

Promote Bone And Teeth Healthy

As we mention in the nutrition table, apricots are also packed with calcium in small amounts that could help to promote bone and tooth health. If you get bored with milk, apricot can be an alternative choice as a replacement for calcium source food.

Maintaining Muscle Function

rich in choline apricot for athlete

Usually, muscles need adequate collagen to maintain their function. Collagen plays an important role to strengthen muscular tissue. Collagen precursor in several amino acids also presents in apricot. thought have relatively small amount than meat, it could serve as an alternative option for people who don’t get meat like a vegan.

Choline also exists in apricot which can improve muscle function since it is essential as part of neurotransmitters in muscle tissue. Having enough choline also make muscle have better performance. For further information, choline has been used by athletes to strengthen muscles and increase stamina.

Could Be Served As Anti-cancer

This yellow-ish fruit may have health benefits for preventing a certain cancerous disease because high in polyphenol and phytonutrients. Some research suggests that phytonutrients in apricot may have antimutagenic properties to fight off cancer.

Apricot has chlorogenic acid compounds that belief has anti-carcinogenic content to prevent the development of cancer. Furthermore, based on some research, a carotenoid compound like violaxanthin are exist in apricot in small quantity followed by lutein and zeaxanthin. Violaxanthin is also present in several yellow-ish color fruit such as mango, papaya, and tangerine. These substances could have properties to reduce the growth of cancer.

As additional information, The “stone” of apricot can be extracted to make drugs, but it is illegal in some countries. Some scientists suggest that the apricot pit could have anti-cancer properties to treat kidney, prostate, cervix, lung, and bladder cancer. However, We absolutely do not recommend consuming apricot pit extract since it has toxic compounds like amygdalin. We suggest eating apricot flesh to obtain its anti-cancer properties rather than you getting sickened because of eating its seed.

Conclusion

In the end, fresh or dried apricot has a specific purpose depending on how we used them as fruit or medication. Dried apricots may have overall better nutrition than fresh apricots, but for a particular benefit, fresh apricots are more profitable for example in skin health.

The health benefits of apricot include boosting the immune system, promoting skin health, and many more are shown for you to be an example of the capability of apricot into your body. Considering this fruit as one of your meals can make you better and keep your body stay healthy.

Reference

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apricot – Apricot in general

[2] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15538362.2020.1852151 – hybridization of apricot

[3] https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102650/nutrients – Fresh apricot full nutrient data by USDA

[4] https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102625/nutrients – Dried apricot full nutrient data by USDA

Dr. James Stunt Sp. PDhttps://olidhealth.com
You can call me Dr. James. I have been a doctor for almost 10 years. Experience in Siloam hospital.
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