Apricot or Prunus armeniaca stone fruit of the family Rosaceae (order Rosales), is closely related to peaches, almonds, plums, and cherries. Apricots are cultivated throughout the temperate regions of the world, especially in the Mediterranean. They are eaten fresh or cooked and are preserved by canning or drying.
The apricot was originally domesticated in China but is now cultivated on every continent except Antarctica. They were later introduced to Europe and Armenia. In 1720, the apricot tree made its way to Virginia but it wasn’t until 1792 that the tree was brought to North America by Spanish missionaries.
TOP 15 HEALING SECRETS OF APRICOT BUSTED:
- Weight Loss: Apricot’s is low on calories and high on fiber content which improves your metabolic rate and also the digestive and toxic expulsion body processes. It also maintains optimum fluid balance keeping you hydrated.
- Pregnancy: Driedapricots have since ancient times been recommended to cure infertility, hemorrhage and spasms. It is rich in vital vitamins A, C and E as well as minerals like phosphorus, silicon, calcium, iron (prevents anemia) and potassium, that nourish pregnant women and lactating mothers. Dried apricot paste is also used in curing vaginal infections.
- Healthy Heart: Apricot combination of soluble fibers and antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene are useful in reducing the LDL (bad) cholesterol while boosting HDL (good cholesterol) levels. In addition dried apricots are a great source of potassium, an electrolyte which is useful to regulate proper fluid balance and heartbeat.
- Anti- Anemia: Apricot contains minerals such as iron and copper (helps iron absorption) that helps in the production of hemoglobin in red blood cells, boosting critical oxygen supplies to the body cells, preventing Anemia that causes weakness, fatigue, dizziness, digestive problems, and other general metabolic problems. Dried apricots are the richest sources of Non-heme iron which stays for a longer period of time in the body and is more efficient when it is absorbed slowly.
- Digestive System: High soluble fiber content in apricots, stimulates gastric juices to break down fatty acids in food, boosts nutrient absorption, activates the peristaltic movement of the gastrointestinal tract, and makes bowel movements more regular. Apricots contain high amount of pectin and cellulose which act as a mild laxative, thus helping in the treatment of constipation. Dried apricots contain alkaline compounds that neutralize acids.
- Vision Care: Dried Apricots have high levels of antioxidant, beta carotene that helps strengthen the optic nerves in your eyes and boost your ophthalmic health. It is also rich in vitamins A, C and E as well as carotenoids that reduce the risk of Neovascular Age Related Macular Degeneration and cataracts.
- Anti Cancer: Ripe apricots are rich in carotenoids, lycopene, Vitamin C and other strong antioxidant phytonutrients that fight free radicals hindering the normal process of cell growth, and bringing about changes in DNA of the cells and lead to cancers of the lungs, oesophagus and the larynx. Apricot also beta carotene a precursor to Vitamin A vital for cells growth, boosting immunity and for optic health. Apricot seeds contain a compound called B17 that can fight cancer.
- Respiratory Soother: Free radicals caused due to external factors of pollution, UV rays and smoke, are the primary reasons for cell damage and triggers for respiratory disorders like asthma, tuberculosis, and bronchitis. Dried apricots, due to their antioxidants, will boost your immunity and keep damaging free radicals at bay.
- Skin Health: High content of essential fatty oils, and antioxidants vitamin A and C, in Apricot oil boost your skin health making your skin smooth, hydrated, prevents pigmentation, blackheads, acne, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and treats sunburn, scabies, dermatitis, and eczema.
- Fluid Balance: High amounts of potassium and sodium in dried apricots help maintain an optimum electrolyte balance that stimulates protein synthesis, provides instant energy, reduces muscle cramps , aids proper expansion and contraction of the muscles, improves metabolism and assists in proper functioning of tissues, organs and other cells.
- Strong Bones: Apricots contain minerals calcium, phosphorus, manganese, iron, and copper that are essential to ensure the development and maintenance of healthy bones and prevent age-related conditions, including osteoporosis and Arthritis.
- Hypertension: Dried apricots contain three times more potassium than bananas and contain only a trace of Sodium that helps to keep down blood pressure.
- Fever Care: A concoction of apricot, water, and diluted with a little honey will help provide vital nutrients, relieve thirst, and cleanse the system of toxins, during a bout of high fever.
- Hair: Apricot oil is packed with essential fatty acids-oleic and linoleic, and antioxidants vitamins A and E that hydrate, condition, moisturize, soften your hair and is a great home remedy for problems like dry scalp, psoriasis, dandruff and eczema.
- Blood clotting: Dried apricots contain Vitamin K that is required for blood clotting in case of injuries and to prevent excessive bleeding.
Side Effects and Precautions:
- Bitter apricot kernels have a high level of amygdalin. Hydrocyanic acid, which is toxic, is released from the glycoside amygdalin during digestion. This acid can lead to symptoms of poisoning like cramp, vomiting and respiratory distress, and may even provoke fatal respiratory paralysis at high doses.
- The tip of the apricot holds a concentrated amount of the chemical laetrile, which can be upsetting to the system. To safely reap the benefits of apricot kernels or seeds, remove the tips of the seeds and do not eat more than five a day.
- Overdosing on Apricots can have side effects that include headaches, giddiness, and dizziness.