While traveling Asia, Alexander the Great found a fruit growing throughout the area. He took this fruit back with him after the military action was over.
That’s where the Apricot received its name. The ancient Romans named it after the Latin term meaning precocious. That’s because it was the first fruit to be ready in the season. The apricot ended up spreading to every corner of the globe and the name stayed with it.
The apricot is known for its sweet taste but it also has iron, fiber, B vitamins, beta carotene, and vitamin C. After drying the apricot the nutritional value becomes even more powerful. That makes them the perfect snack.
It doesn’t matter if you prefer them dried or fresh, you can live longer and better, reduce your likelihood of cancer, protect your heart, and protect your eyes.
4 Health Benefits of Apricots
Tomato products are the primary source for lycopene but they can often cause indigestion. The good news is that apricots, dry ones in particular, are a great source to get lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that assist the body in warding of cancers like breast, prostate, and a number of others. Apricots don’t have quite as much lycopene as tomato but making them your go-to snack can reach the same amount in no time at all. It actually take 30 dried apricots to get the same lycopene as one tomato.
The most popular carotenoid around is beta carotene and apricots are a great source of them as well. It’s an antioxidant that’s been shown to lower the chances of intestinal and stomach cancer. Doctors will typically recommend that patients get at least 5 mg a day to see this benefit. That’s the equivalent of consumed 6 apricots.
Stops Cardiovascular Problems
Snacking on dried apricots can help your body get the nutrition it needs from potassium, iron, magnesium, copper, and beta carotene. The nutrients work well with the body to decrease blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. You also get the benefit of fiber. Only 5 dried apricots can give you 3g of fiber. Fiber helps your body clear the excess cholesterol before it starts clotting up your system.
Dr. Robert G Cumming, a researcher at Blue Mountain Eye Study suggests that vitamin A is essential for preventing cataracts. He even goes on to suggest that a proper diet with all the nutritional needs met is needed to maintain eye health. Your vision depends on the foods you eat.
Beta carotene in the body gets converted to vitamin A and a number of other nutrients. Apricots could be exactly what your body needs.
Living Longer And Better
There have even been people claiming that apricots can keep you living up to 120 years old. This theory has developed after the discovery of the Hunzas. They’re a tribe in the Asian Himalayan Mountains. They’re a society that doesn’t have cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. Apricots are a main piece of their diet. This led scientists to wonder if that had something to do with it. The tribe has been known to eat fresh apricots in season and dried ones for the rest of the year.
No one can promise you that apricots can provide a long life but getting the right amount of fruit in your diet can improve the quality. You can find B vitamins in apricots that help the body fight age related problems like memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
When it’s between June and August you’ll be able to get fresh apricots on your supermarket shelves. There are some qualities that you should look for when picking them out. The best apricots will be bright orange. When you pick them up they’ll feel plump. You don’t want to pick up the apricots that look a little yellow or green. Also watch for bruises, hardness, and shrunken looking fruit.
You might recognize this advice from what you can do with peaches. You can leave your apricot in your kitchen to finish ripening. After they are ripe you can just put them in a paper bag and put the bag in the fridge. At that point, they’ll be good for a few days.
Get a healthy amount of apricot through the winter by getting some fruits that are imported from South America. You can also look into apricot cans, jams, nectars, and spreads.