If adding a new fruit into your diet is a New Year’s resolution, consider putting a new flavor on your plate that is high in vitamins A and C – the apricot.
Apricots are an excellent choice for overall good health. Besides being really good for you, this fuzzy fruit can help improve digestion and vision as well as prevent cell damage.
Provides vitamin A for eye health
Apricots are high in beta carotene, which turns into vitamin A, and very beneficial for eye health, according to Chrisanne Urban, a Marshfield Clinic Health System dietitian.
While they look like peaches, apricots have a more tart flavor and provide optimal nutritional value when eaten whole and unpeeled as the skin boasts large amounts of fiber and nutrients. “Try to eat fresh apricots,” said Urban. “Research does not support taking man-made supplements – it’s best to get them naturally.”
Essential antioxidant source to prevent cell damage
“Apricots are a great source of antioxidants,” Urban said. Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation, a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals and chain reactions that may damage the cells of organisms. “In fact, all fruits and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants. Balancing your diet as a whole is key,” Urban added.
Small doses provide vital nutrition
In addition to the bounty of vitamin richness a fresh apricot provides, dried apricots are an excellent source of iron. However, moderation is always key with most foods. “If you eat dried apricots, remember that when the water is removed, the calories can add up,” Urban said.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, just two fresh apricots provide:
- Calories: 34
- Carbs: 8 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 0.27 grams
- Fiber: 1.5 grams
- Vitamin A: 8% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 8% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 4% of the DV
- Potassium: 4% of the DV
Apricots belong to the rose (Rosaceae) family along with peaches, apples and pears. Around 95% of apricots consumed in the United States are from California. Although they are in season from early May to July, apricots can be found year-round in the fresh fruit section of most grocery stores.
Similar in shape to a peach, the apricot is a nearly smooth fruit with a rich yellow flesh and are a popular choice for making jams.
For a great jam idea, check out this recipe:Print recipe