10 Impressive Health Benefits of Apricot

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Rebecca Zinger (RD, LD)

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The health benefits of apricots include its ability to improve digestion, constipation, earaches, fever, skin diseases, and anemia. Apricots also help improve heart health strained muscles and wounds. It is also believed that apricot is good for skin care, which is why it makes an important addition to various cosmetics. Furthermore, apricots have the ability to reduce cholesterol levels, prevent the deterioration of vision, aid in weight loss, treat respiratory conditions, boost bone strength, and maintain electrolyte balance in the body.

What are Apricots?

Apricots, scientifically known as Prunus armeniaca, are small drupes that resemble and are closely related to peaches or plums. They have a soft, tangy flesh beneath a thin outer skin. In the middle of the apricot is a large pit, which is inedible, so be careful when taking that first big bite. They are typically yellow or orange, with a slight tinge of red on one side.

It is difficult to understand the exact order of apricot cultivation around the world since it was both found wild and grown in prehistoric times. The scientific name is derived from Armenia, which is where most scientists believe apricots originated. However, they were also present in ancient Greece and Rome, and many other experts claim that original cultivation happened in India more than 3,000 years ago. The disputed origins are not important, but the impact of apricots on human health certainly is!

How to eat Apricots?

Apricots can be consumed raw, or dried and then eaten. They are also used in the preparation of various juices, jams, squash, and jellies.

Apricot oil can also be obtained from its kernel and it has a huge range of health benefits.

They can be enjoyed in a wide variety of ways, and every culture treats apricots differently! One of the reasons they have been so popular throughout history is that they can be directly linked to a number of health benefits, due to their unique organic compounds, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, which are listed below.

Watch Video: 7 Best Benefits Of Apricots

Nutritional Value of Apricots

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, apricots contain vitamin A, C, K, E, and niacin in significant amounts. They also contain a number of other essential vitamins in trace amounts (less than 5% of daily requirement). Apricots also have good mineral content, which includes potassium, copper manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. They are a very good source of dietary fiber, like most fruits.

Nutrition Facts

Apricots, raw
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]86.35
Energy [kcal]48
Protein [g]1.4
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.39
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]11.12
Fiber, total dietary [g]2
Sugars, total [g]9.24
Calcium, Ca [mg]13
Iron, Fe [mg]0.39
Magnesium, Mg [mg]10
Phosphorus, P [mg]23
Potassium, K [mg]259
Sodium, Na [mg]1
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.2
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]10
Thiamin [mg]0.03
Riboflavin [mg]0.04
Niacin [mg]0.6
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.05
Folate, DFE [µg]9
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]96
Vitamin A, IU [IU]1926
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.89
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]0
Vitamin D [IU]0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]3.3
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.03
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.17
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.08
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]0
Caffeine [mg]0
Sources include : USDA

Health Benefits of Apricots

Apricots have an abundance of health benefits. Let us take a look at them below.

Rich in Fiber Help Relieve Constipation

As per research in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, apricots are rich in fiber and are, therefore, good for smooth bowel movements. 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 muscle movements are what keep your bowel movements regulated. Therefore, apricots are often recommended to those patients who regularly suffer from constipation due to their laxative properties.

Strengthen Bones

Apricots have nearly all the minerals necessary for bone growth like calcium, phosphorus, manganese, iron, and copper. Therefore, eating apricots can ensure the healthy growth and development of your bones, as well as prevention of various age-related bone conditions, including osteoporosis.

2 big bowls of whole apricots (ripe) and 2 small bowls of half apricots (ripe) with and without seeds on a white table

Improve Heart Health

Apricots are a wonderful way to protect your heart from a wide variety of diseases, including atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. A high amount of vitamin C, as well as potassium and dietary fiber, all contribute to good cardiovascular health.

According to a research led by Dr. Lien Ai Pham-Huy, Stanford University Medical Center, USA, antioxidants like vitamin C protect the heart from free radicals. Additionally, potassium lowers blood pressure by relaxing the tension of blood vessels and arteries, while dietary fiber scrapes the excess cholesterol from the lining of the vessels and arteries, thereby clearing them and reducing the strain on the heart. Altogether, these properties of apricots make them ideal for boosting heart health.

Improve Metabolism

Fluid levels throughout the body are dependent mainly on two minerals, potassium, and sodium. The high amounts of potassium in apricots has been linked to maintaining fluid balance in the body, and ensuring that energy is properly distributed to the organs and muscles. By maintaining a healthy balance of electrolytes, you can have more energy, reduce cramping, and keep blood and usable energy pumping through your body as you need it.

Relieve Earaches

Apricot oil is good for earaches, although the exact mechanism is still being studied. Dripping a few drops into the affected ear canal should prove to be a fast remedy. According to the scientists, the antioxidants present in apricot essential oil are responsible for relieving earaches. Check with your health care provider to ensure this is a safe treatment to do at home.

Reduce Fever

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 organs. Some people also use steamed apricot to relieve fevers.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

It has anti-inflammatory properties that can also impact the body’s overall temperature level in sickness. Furthermore, it can reduce inflammation in other parts of the body, especially for people suffering from arthritis or gout.

Treat Skin Disorders

Apricot oil is good for skin care. It is quickly absorbed by the skin and does not keep it oily after application. Apricots are not just useful for maintaining the smooth and shiny appearance of the skin; they also aid in improving 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 in apricots. Not only do they have a healthy amount of vitamin A, 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.

Help Treat Anemia

Owing to the presence of iron and copper, apricots help in the formation of hemoglobin when you consume them. This property helps in treating anemia. Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) can lead to weakness, fatigue, lightheadedness, digestive issues, and general metabolic dysfunction. Without red blood cells, the body can’t reoxygenate itself properly, and organ systems begin to malfunction. Iron is a key part of red blood cell formation, as is copper.

Health benefits of apricot - infographic

Relieves Asthma Symptoms

The Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research has published a study concluding that apricot oil is anti-asthmatic in nature and helps in providing relief from 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.

Word of Caution: There are no inherent dangers of eating apricots, except for normal allergies that some people might have. However, there is some concern about the nature of its dried form, which apricot is frequently made into. Sulfites have been found in most dried foods, and that is not a good thing. Sulfites can seriously impact asthma and induce asthmatic attacks. Therefore, as an asthma medicine, consume fresh apricots, rather than dried versions. Also, apricot seeds have been known to cause cyanide poisoning in some people, so make sure you do not ingest or eat the seeds.

Other than that, enjoy the tangy, sweet taste of apricots and see all the good it can do.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve is a health and wellness enthusiast and started working on Organic Facts since 2012 and is currently responsible for managing it. She follows naturopathy and believes in healing with foods. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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