The apricot is often overlooked in favor of other common fruits such as the apple, pear, orange or banana. But the apricot is just as healthy as those other fruits, in some cases even healthier. Aside from the many health benefits of the apricot, it is also a wonderful diet food, providing a large amount of healthful nutrition to the body as well as keeping down caloric intake, as they are very low in calories as compared to other fruits (only about 50 calories for three apricots)!
Like apples or oranges, there are several different varieties of apricot, but you will typically find only one or two types to choose from in your local supermarket or fruit stand, depending upon your location. Appearing as small, golden-orange fruits, they all share the same particular health benefits, so its really just a matter of taste as to which type of apricot you would favor.
The slightly tart fruit is versatile, able to be used in a vast number of ways and recipes, or just enjoyed fresh right off the fruit stand. Many consumers enjoy apricots as a dried fruit. Dried apricots last longer and can be easily packed away as a snack for dieters on the go. Consumed as a dried fruit, the apricot has even more nutritional benefits then its fresh counterpart. Dried apricots are also more widely available all-year-round, while fresh apricots tend to be more of a seasonal fruit depending on your area. Fitting fresh or dried apricots into your diet plan as much as possible will be beneficial to your health and your weight.
Fresh apricots are an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, E, potassium, and iron, as well as being a great source of beta-carotene. In fact, 2-3 apricots will give you nearly 50% of your daily value of Vitamin A. Apricots contain no fat and a small amount of carbs (about 8g of carbs for two apricots, 2 of those being from dietary fiber).
The variety of nutrients found in apricots are very beneficial for good eyesight and also help to prevent heart disease and other ailments. Apricots are also rich in powerful antioxidants, such as Lycopene, helping to promote wellness and strengthen the immune system. The healthy fruits are also a good source of fiber, beneficial for healthy digestion.
Dried apricots have an even higher concentration of vitamins and nutrients, but are also slightly higher in carbs. Apricots can be enjoyed in cakes and pies, with ice cream or sorbets and yogurt, as a jam or jelly, used as a sauce or as a fruit topping for salads, cereal, pancakes, and other foods. Recipes using apricots can be found in abundance on the internet. You’ll find a large source of apricot recipes at http://allrecipes.com/ simply by typing ‘apricots’ into the search box.
Those with particular allergies should take note that dried apricots are usually treated with sulfites in order to help preserve their shelf life and bright coloring. Untreated dried apricots are much darker in color, and can be found more easily in health food and nutrition stores.
Apricots are highly recommended as an excellent choice to help complete the recommended 5-a-day serving of fruit, as well as for dieters or those just looking to eat healthy and enjoy the health benefits of apricots.