Health benefits of eating apricots – fresh and juicy apricots. The apricot is one of the most important fruits. It belongs to the sub-acid class. It is somewhat acid in its raw state, but its acidity decreases and the sugar content increases in the process of ripening. The fruit is regarded as a nutritious and tonic food and enjoys world wide popularity.
Best health benefits of eating apricots explained !
Description of apricots
The apricot is a stone fruit and has nut within it. It is round or oblong in shape, flattened to some extent. It is similar in shape as peach, but is considerably smaller.
It is yellowish in colour. The fruit which ripens on the tree alone develops its true flavour which is very much like that of the peach.
Origin and Distribution
The apricot is believed to have originated in China, where it has been cultivated for over 4,000 years. It has also been grown in India and Tibet from time immemorial.
The Hunzas, who live in the Himalayan mountains of northern Pakistan and are known for their vitality and longevity, have cultivated and valued this fruit for its health-building virtues for over 1,500 years.
It was regarded as a food medicine by Greek physicians.
It was introduced in Europe during the time of Alexander, the Great. In the Middle East, apricots were very popular for their taste as well as for their invigorating perfume.
Food Value of apricots
Apricots are in rich in various food ingredients. The fresh fruit is rich in natural sugars, vitamin A and calcium. It is a good source of the Vitamins, i.e. B Complex, riboflavin and niacin as well as vitamin C.
The nut of the apricot is rich in protein and fat and is considered as valuable as any other nut. It contains 40 to 45 per cent of oil which is practically identical with almond oil in its physical as well as chemical properties.
Natural health benefits of eating apricots and its curative properties
Throughout the centuries, the fruit, kernels, oil and flowers of the apricot have been used in medicine. In China, a famous medicine known as ‘Apricot Gold’ was made from the kernels of trees which grew in certain areas.
This medicine was reputed for the powers to prolong life. The Chinese also believed that apricots reacted sympathetically to women’s ailments. The apricot flowers, therefore, formed a common ingredient in their cosmetics.
The kernel, which yields an oil similar to that of the almond, have been widely used for their sedative, antispasmodic that gives relief to strained muscles and demulcent or smoothing properties.
They are useful in the healing of wounds, in expelling worms and as a general tonic.
The fruit is highly valued as a gentle laxative and is beneficial in the treatment of constipation. This is due to its cellulose and pectin contents.
The cellulose, which is not digested, acts as roughage – that indigestible part of the food which helps the bowel movement and the pectin which absorbs and retains water, thereby increasing bulk to faeces and stimulating smooth bowel movement.
Patients suffering from chronic constipation can greatly benefit by regular use of apricots. Generally, six to eight apricots used per day will produce the desired result.
Apricots have an alkaline reaction in the system. They aid the digestion, if consumed before a meal. Marmalade, made from organically grown fruit, is also valuable in the treatment of nervous indigestion.
The apricot is an excellent food remedy for anaemia on account of its high content of iron. The small but essential amount of copper in the fruit makes iron available to the body.
According to Dr Whipple and Dr Robschiet Robbins, the production of haemoglobin could be increased in the body by liberal use of apricots.
Fresh juice of apricots, mixed with glucose or honey, is a very cooling drink during fevers. It quenches the thirst and eliminates the waste products from the body.
It tones up the eyes, stomach, liver, heart and nerves by supplying vitamins and minerals.
Fresh juice of apricot leaves is useful in skin diseases. It can be applied with beneficial results in scabies, eczema, sun-burn and itching of the skin due to cold exposure.
Common uses of apricots
The apricot in its fresh form is used as a dessert fruit. It is, however, generally used in its dried form. The heat renders it easier to digest.
It is made into excellent jam, jelly, marmalades and preserves Apricots canned in sugar are also popular. The nut of the apricot is extensively used in confectionery.