2 Months Ago | By Apricot Power
8 Surprising Benefits of Dried Apricots
Opinions are divided about the origins of the apricot fruit. However, there are absolutely no doubts that it’s one of nature’s most amazing fruits. This stone fruit, which looks like a peach but actually tastes like purple plums, is sometimes referred to as Armenian fruit.
Apricot fruit usually weighs around 35 grams and can grow to be about 4-5cm in diameter. It has a single pit located in the middle, which is surrounded by its edible flesh that has a crunchy taste and aromatic smell. Inside the stony shell, lie encased Apricot seeds, which have their own powerful presence.
Apricots are packed with life-giving nutrients, including Vitamin C, Vitamin A Vitamin A, Potassium, among many other amazing nutrients. They provide an excellent source of dietary fiber and a number of health-promoting phytochemicals and minerals. They are a low calorie-comprising food; containing 48 calories for every 100 grams.
Fresh Fruits vs. Dried Fruit
Fresh fruits have some pluses and minuses when you compare them to dried fruit. The first and perhaps most distinct advantage is that drying apricots provides an extended shelf life to the fruit. There are two methods used to dry fruits, and each of them has its pros and cons.
Of course, the percentage of water, minerals, and vitamins will vary from one fruit to another. However, in terms of differences, drying the fruit concentrates the nutrients as well as the calories. Let’s consider the type of nutrition you can expect from dried apricots, for instance:
One cup of fresh apricots, sliced into halves, contains about 86 percent water and 74 calories.
A similar cup of dried apricots, on the other hand, contains significantly less water and around 212 calories.
Fresh apricots contain roughly 3.1 grams of fiber, while dried ones contain about 9 grams of fiber.
Therefore, dried apricots can provide a higher concentration of nutrients per fruit when compared to the original undried form. If you are exercising or undertaking a physical activity such as hiking, dried apricots would be a plus because they are energy-dense.
However, having more calorie concentration could provide a stumbling block if you are trying to lose weight. The heat from the drying process could also affect heat-sensitive nutrients like Vitamin C by decreasing the amount present in the dried fruit version of apricots.
8 Surprising Benefits of Dried Apricots
1. Increased Concentration of Nutrients
The vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber present in apricots become significantly concentrated when they are dried.
2. Promoting Eye Health
Dried apricots are a natural source of Vitamin E and Vitamin A, both of which have numerous amazing health benefits. Apricots contain Beta-Carotene, which the body breaks down into the active form. Growing evidence suggests that Vitamins A and E, and Beta-Carotene may play an important role in preventing or mitigating age-related eye disorders.
By highlighting their key nutrients, other studies validate the potential benefits of dried apricots on eye health. Carotenoids, which are found within apricots, may help reduce oxidative stress on the retinas and lenses of our eyes. This may help promote excellent eye health even as we age.
3. Improving Bone Mineral Density
Post-menopausal women and many aging adults in general experience bone density loss. It's actually one of the most common causes of many bone disorders, such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and other similar disorders.
Dried apricots contain Boron, a natural mineral with amazing health benefits. Research studies have shown that Boron may play diverse and essential roles in the functional properties of bone health. Evidence displays that Boron may help with overall bone health, bone healing, and bone metabolism.
Therefore, Boron may have a profound effect on your bone health, and allow for support in the composition, structure, and overall strength of your bones. It may also prevent or mitigate bone disorders such as osteoporosis.
4. Skin Damage and The Effects of Aging
Vitamins and dietary carotenoids have been known to play a vital role in overall skin health and appearance. In fact, many nutri-cosmetic products contain vital vitamins and natural carotenoids that may promote skin health.
Evidence now points to the fact that proper nutrition is critical for skin health and appearance. Dried Apricots contain many of these vital nutrients. They contain beta-carotene for instance, which your body converts into Vitamin A (retinol). There’s strong evidence that it may offer extra protection against sunburns and the more permanent dangers of UV rays
5. Treatment of Anemia
Pregnant and menstruating women often face a great risk of anemia. This is a condition in which your blood doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells to transport sufficient oxygen to the body's tissues.
Anemia may be a temporary or long term condition, both of which result from a deficiency of iron. Eating iron-rich foods is the best way to prevent and treat anemia. You can get about 3.5 milligrams of iron from a cup of dried apricot (halves).
While they may not meet your daily nutritional requirements for iron, apricots have the added benefit of vitamin C. Several research studies show that vitamin C may enhance the absorption of iron in our bodies.
6. May Help Reduce Blood Pressure
Dried apricots are a rich source of Potassium, a mineral linked with promoting healthy blood pressure. You can expect to consume around 259mg of potassium for every 3.5 ounces of apricots (approximately half a cup of fruits).
A research study conducted in 2013 showed high-quality evidence that consuming potassium may reduce high blood pressure in individuals suffering from hypertension. The study further suggested that a higher intake of potassium was linked to a 24 percent reduction in the risk of stroke.
Potassium is also an electrolyte that works closely with other minerals such as sodium to provide fluid balance to your body. It may help with regulating nerve signals and muscle contractions in the body.
7. Promoting Gut Health
Dried apricots contain about 2 grams of dietary fiber for every 100 grams or 1/2 cup of fruit. Dietary fiber has been shown to delay the movement of food as it goes through your digestive tract. Therefore, it feeds the good gut bacteria in your intestines, which may lead to a much healthier gut.
Trillions of bacteria live in your body, mostly in your intestines. They are incredibly important for your health, and the foods you eat determine the type of bacteria that get to live in your body. Research studies show that a healthier gut microbiome may lower the risk of obesity.
Dried apricots contain both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Emerging research studies show that dietary fiber may provide additional health benefits such as maintaining healthy blood sugar levels as well as cholesterol levels.
8. Rich in Antioxidants
Apricots contain many antioxidants, which include beta carotene and other vitamins with antioxidant properties. Apricots also contain flavonoids, which is a group of antioxidants potentially linked with positive effects on illnesses such as heart diseases and diabetes.
Flavonoids work by neutralizing free radicals in our bodies, which are responsible for causing oxidative stress and damaging our cells. Additionally, consuming flavonoids may help lower inflammation. A 2015 study found growing evidence that flavonoids may have an anti-inflammatory effect in relation to certain chronic diseases.
The addition of dried apricots to our daily diets may help provide a healthy, natural supply of these vital compounds.
What’s the Recommended Intake of Dried Apricots?
There isn't any specific information about the right dosage of dried apricots. However, when it comes to fruit intake, the general rule of thumb is that a half cup of dried fruit is considered a full cup of fresh fruit.
While dried apricots are packed with nutrients and vital compounds, they are also calorie-dense. So you may want to limit your portion sizes and start with one-half to one cup of dried apricots per day.
Our Dried Apricot Products
Our range of dried apricot products provides various ways to add the amazing benefits of dried apricots to your daily diets. Other than the dried apricot fruit itself, you can also get organic dried seeds, pits, seed meals, and other extracts.