Apricot is a delicious reddish-orange fruit and belongs to the genus prunus. As it is high in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, polyphenols, and dietary fibers, apricot provides many health and beauty benefits.
Health Benefits of Apricots
Following are the major health benefits of apricot.
(1) Protection From Cancer(s)
Vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids in apricot protects our cells from free radical damage, and minimize the risk of many cancers like colon cancer, lung cancer, intestinal cancer, abdominal cancer, and pancreatic cancer, etc.
Free radicals are unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from neighboring molecules and doing so, cause oxidative damage to them.
(2) Improve Digestion
Apricots improve digestion as mild laxatives like pectin, cellulose, and dietary fibers in them improve bowel movement, promote smooth elimination of stool, and thus relieve constipation and other digestive problems like abdominal pain, indigestion, gas, bloating and flatulence, etc.
Antioxidants like Vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids in apricots protect the digestive system from free radical damage and reduce the risk of colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, and intestinal cancer, etc.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, magnesium, and folate, etc also improves our digestive health.
(3) Regulates High Blood Pressure
The vasodilating properties of potassium in apricot relax blood vessels, improve blood circulation and provide relief from hypertension, a common health problem that affects millions worldwide.
It is a common cause of various cardiovascular and other problems like severe headaches, nose bleed, chest pain, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, difficulty in breathing, vision problem and blood in urine, etc.
Zinc and magnesium also help to regulate hypertension.
Eat apricots in moderation as high potassium may drop blood pressure to an abnormally low level giving rise to symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, nausea, dehydration, lack of concentration, blurred vision, and pale skin, etc.
If you are on blood pressure medication, have a word with your doctor before adding apricot to your routine to eliminate the risk of food-drug intolerance.
(4) Helps with Cholesterol Management
Dietary fibers in apricot reduce LDL cholesterol in the body and minimize the risk of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a condition that hardens and narrows arteries as plaque and fat deposits accumulate in the arterial walls. It is a leading cause of several cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease.
(5) Promotes Cardiovascular System
Apricot improves our cardiovascular health as it contains several antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols to protect our cardiovascular system from free radical damage.
Dietary fibers in apricot manage cholesterol and minimize the risk of atherosclerosis, a leading cause of several cardiovascular problems.
Potassium in it relaxes our blood vessels and controls hypertension or high blood pressure, a prime cause of poor cardiovascular health.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, and copper, etc in apricot also contribute to our cardiovascular health.
(6) Helps To Treat Anemia
Apricot helps in treating Iron-induced anemia, a blood disorder that causes fatigue, weakness, pale skin, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, and cold hands or feet, etc. It is caused by Iron deficiency in the body.
Iron in apricot enhance red blood cells that carry oxygenated blood to cells and nourish them.
Vitamin C in the apricot enhances iron absorption in the body and is beneficial against anemia.
(7) Apricots Help In Losing Weight
Apricot promotes weight loss because of its low caloric value of 48 calories per 100 grams.
Dietary fibers like pectin in apricot provide stomach satiety, controls the urge to eat again and again, and thus controls overeating, a prime cause of obesity.
Apricot contains about 86 percent water. It contributes to weight management as it reduces calorie overload, controls overeating, improves digestion, and increases the absorption of nutrients.
(8) Keep Eyes Healthy
Apricot is good for the eyes as it contains Vitamin A, an essential nutrient that improves vision, prevents eye dryness, and minimizes the risk of night-blindness.
Vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc in apricot protects our eyes from free radical damage and thus minimizes the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and glaucoma, etc.
(9) Good For Neurological Health
Apricot improves our neurological health as they contain antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidantal compounds such as phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc that protects our brain cells or the neurons from free radical damage.
It minimizes the risk of various neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amnesia, and dementia, etc.
Other nutrients like iron, potassium, zinc, iron, and magnesium, etc in the apricot provide cognitive benefits like a sharper memory, better focus, improved concentration, and reduced mental confusion, etc.
(10) Provides Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Vitamin C, an anti-inflammatory compound in the apricot reduces pain and inflammation caused by inflammatory diseases like arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatoid, gouts, asthma and bronchial asthma, etc.
(11) Promotes Detoxification
Because of their detoxifying properties, dietary fibers in apricot eliminates toxins, pollutants, impurities, and other unwanted substances from our bodies.
This reduces the burden of detoxification from our vital organs like the liver and kidneys and allows them to focus on other functions they need to perform.
(12) Regulates Blood Sugar
Apricot has a low glycemic index of 34 and slows down sugar release into the bloodstream, prevents a sudden blood sugar spike, and thus helps in managing diabetes.
The dietary fibers in the apricot slow down sugar absorption by the bloodstream and help in controlling blood sugar levels.
Consume apricot in moderation as overeating may drop the blood sugar to an abnormally low level, and cause symptoms like shakiness, dizziness, excessive sweating, excessive hunger, fast heartbeat, confusion, and irritability or moodiness.
If you are on diabetic medication, consult your doctor before adding apricot to your diet to avoid the risk of food-drug intolerance.
(13) Improve Respiratory Health
Apricots improve respiratory health because of their expectorant and stimulating qualities.
Antioxidants and antioxidantal compounds like Vitamin C, vitamin A, phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc in apricot minimize free radical damage to the respiratory system.
Vitamin C, vitamin A and other anti-inflammatory compounds in apricot reduce pain and inflammation caused by respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchial asthma, and lung inflammation.
Potassium, zinc, magnesium, and manganese, etc in apricot also improve our respiratory health.
(14) Strengthen Bones
Bone-strengthening minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, etc in apricots strengthens our bones.
Calcium helps in the growth and development of the bones, and calcium deficiency may increase the risk of bone disorders like osteoporosis.
Potassium improves bone density as it neutralizes acid load and reduces calcium loss from the bones.
Magnesium improves bone density and strengthens them.
Manganese in apricot increases calcium absorption and improves the bone mineral density of the spinal column.
Vitamin C, an anti-inflammatory compound in apricot minimizes pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, a condition in which protective tissues at the ends of bones wear down.
Other nutrients like zinc, phosphorus, and folate, etc also aid in making our bones healthier.
(15) Strengthen Immune System
Apricot strengthens our immune system, the defense mechanism of the body that prevents and treats various microbial infections, diseases, injuries, and wounds.
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc in apricot protect our immune cells or the white blood cells from free radical damage and thus strengthens our immune system.
Vitamin C enhances the production of white blood cells, and further strengthens our immunity.
With stronger immunity, our risk of getting a cough, cold, fever, and flu diminishes significantly.
Other nutrients like zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, and folate, etc in apricot also contribute to better immune health.
(16) Relieve Fever
Apricot brings down overall body temperature and provides relief from fever.
To relieve fever, prepare a concoction by mixing apricot, water, and honey.
Drink this concoction twice a day to relieve cough, cold, and fever.
Nutrients in the concoction nourish our body and cleanse it.
(17) Apricots are Beneficial For Pregnant Women
Apricot helps during pregnancy because of its rich nutritious profile.
Vitamin C and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols etc in apricot protect the uterus and the fetus developing in the womb from free radical damage.
Folate or folic acid in it promotes the brain development of the fetus and minimizes the risk of neural tube defects and spina bifida.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, choline, and manganese, etc also play an important role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Apricot regulates blood sugar and minimizes the risk of gestational diabetes.
Consult your doctor before adding apricot to your diet to avoid food-drug intolerance and ensure the safety of both pregnant women and the fetus developing in them.
(18) Maintains Electrolyte Balance
Apricots contain minerals like potassium and sodium that maintain electrolyte and fluid balance in the body as they help with the transportation of ions to the body cells.
(19 Apricot Provides Relief From Earaches
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, putting few drops of apricot oil in the ear canal can provide quick relief from earache.
(20) Helps With Muscle Growth And Recovery
Potassium in apricot improve our metabolism and help with the synthesis of protein in our body.
It ensures muscle tissue growth and promotes muscle recovery.
(21) Prevents Excessive Blood Loss
Vitamin K in apricot is an essential nutrient that makes proteins like “Prothrombin” for blood clotting and prevents excessive blood loss during injuries.
Beauty Benefits of Apricots For Skin
Some major beauty benefits of apricots for skin are as follows.
(1) Apricots Prevent Signs of Premature Aging
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc in pumpkin protects our skin cells from the free radical damage, and keep various signs of premature aging like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, dark spots, and skin blemishes, etc at bay.
Free radicals are the unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from the neighboring molecules, and in doing so they cause oxidative damage to them.
Vitamin C enhances the production of collagen, an amino acid that maintains skin elasticity and prevents wrinkles and saggy skin.
(2) Heals Damaged Skin Cells
Vitamin C in apricot softens our skin and heals the damaged skin cells of the body.
Apricot oil is a wonderful skin moisturizer for hand, face, and hair that treats damaged skin without any side effects.
(3) Exfoliating Benefit
The exfoliating properties of apricot remove dead and dry skin cells to bring out the skin’s natural glow.
It promotes the growth of new skin cells and minimizes fine lines and wrinkles.
(4) Maintain Skin Elasticity
Vitamin C in apricot enhances the production of collagen, an amino acid that maintains skin elasticity and prevents wrinkles and saggy skin.
To improve skin elasticity, mix apricot oil with other fruit oil, and use it as a face mask.
Regular use revitalizes, nourish and soften the skin.
Apricot oil is also added to baby care products.
(5) Remove Blackheads
Apricot scrub removes dead skin cells, unclog skin pores, and removes blackheads from the skin because of its exfoliating properties.
It stimulates the growth of new skin cells and makes our skin soft and radiant.
(6) Treating Skin Disorders
Anti-inflammatory compounds like vitamin C, vitamin A and oleic acid in apricot aids in treating skin disorders like eczema and dermatitis.
Apricot oil is gentle and mild and suits people with sensitive skin. It is also added to baby care products.
However, if you any irritation or discomfort by using apricot oil on the skin, then discontinue the use and consult a dermatologist.
(7) Treating Acne And Pimples
Apricot helps in treating skin problems like acne and pimples.
Acne is a common skin problem that affects millions worldwide and is mainly caused by the accumulation of toxins, pollutants, impurities, and other unwanted substances in our skin pores.
Dietary fibers and antioxidants in apricot eliminate toxins, pollutants, and other unwanted substances from our bodies.
When there are fewer toxins, they are less likely to accumulate in our skin pores, and this minimizes the risk of acne and pimples.
Vitamin C controls the secretion of excess oil and prevents acne from wors
(8) Remove Skin Blemish
Apricot helps in removing skin blemishes as it contains several antioxidants that protect our skin cells from free radical damage.
For treating skin blemishes, apply the apricot pulp on the face and let it dry for 10-15 minutes. Wash off with water.
Regular use will fade off skin blemishes, and make your skin soft and radiant.
(9) Moisturizes Skin
Vitamin A and other essential fatty acids in apricot oil moisturizes our skin, and prevent skin dryness and irritation.
(10) Improve Skin Tone
Essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals in apricot nourish our skin and make it soft, supple, and radiant.
Vitamin C and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc protect our skin from free radical damage.
It helps to bring out the skin’s natural glow, and improve skin pigmentation.
Beauty Benefit of Apricots For Hair
Some major benefits of apricots for hair follicles and scalp are as follows.
(1) Apricot Oil As Hair Conditioner
Apricot oil nourishes and conditions our hair as they contain vitamin A, vitamin E, oleic acid and linoleic acid, etc. This compound nourishes, and moisturizes our hair follicles, and makes them soft and manageable. Apricot oil is often added to commercial shampoos and conditioners to make our hair soft and moisturized.
(2) For Treating Scalp Problems
Regularly applying apricot oil on the scalp improves our scalp health and aids in treating various scalp problems like dry scalp, psoriasis, dandruff, and eczema because of vitamin A and vitamin E in it. These nutrients improve our scalp health and keep scalp problems at bay.
(3) Promotes Hair Growth
Vitamin E and other essential fatty acids in apricot kernel oil nourish our hair follicles and scalp and promote the growth of new hair follicles.
Vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols, etc protect our hair follicles and scalp from free radical damage and improve scalp health.
(4) Apricot Oil For Scalp And Hair Follicles
Regularly massaging hair follicles and scalp with apricot kernel oil nourish our hair follicles and scalp, and make them healthy. It is a safer and economical alternative to dozens of chemical-laden products available in the market.
Vitamin A, vitamin E, oleic acid and linoleic acid, etc in the apricot oil nourish our hair follicles and scalp, promote hair growth, and keep scalp problems at bay.
Nutrition Chart of Apricots
All the benefits provided by apricots, be it for health or beauty benefits are because of the nutrients present in apricots. So, let’s take a look at the nutrition chart of apricots.Source-USDA
Risks And Side Effects Of Apricots
Apricot in general is safe fruit that provides numerous health and beauty benefits when consumed moderately. However, overeating should be avoided. There are some other points of concern as well, such as
- Weight loss– Apricots provide 45 calories per 100 gram and help with weight loss. However, If you are on a high-calorie diet or eating more calories than you are burning, apricot won’t help much.
- Diabetes– Apricots regulate blood sugar levels but overeating may cause shakiness, dizziness, excessive sweating, excessive hunger, fast heartbeat, confusion, and irritability or moodiness. If you are already on medication, consult with your doctor first.
- Blood Pressure– Apricot regulates high blood pressure, but overeating may increase the risk of hyperkalemia. Consult your doctor, if you are already on blood pressure medication.
- Pregnancy And Nursing– Follow your doctor’s advice about whether or not to include apricot in your fruit bowl during pregnancy and the nursing stage.
- Allergy– Apricot is a safe fruit for the majority. However, some people may experience itching and swelling of the face, lips, mouth, and tongue on consuming apricots. This is known as stone fruit allergy. If you are allergic to apricots ( or other stone fruits like cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums), then avoid apricots.
Interesting Facts About Apricots
Some interesting facts about apricots are as follows
- Turkey, the leading apricot producer in the world produces about 20 percent of the world’s total production of apricots.
- Of all the apricots produced in the USA, 95 percent comes from California.
- Botanically, the apricot is a member of the rose family.
- Refrigeration makes it difficult for the apricots to ripen. Apricots ripe at room temperature, and are refrigerated for preservation.
- Apricot trees can bear fruit for up to 20-25 years.
- Apricot was first cultivated in China and Central Asia at around 2000 B.C.
- Apricot, scientifically called “Prunus Armeniaca” is a member of the rose family and relative of the peach family.
- As per Greek mythology, apricots were the “Golden apples” that grew in the garden of gods in the realm of Hesperides, near the Atlas mountain.
- In English Folklore, dreaming about apricots is considered as good luck.
- Apricot means “precious” in Latin.
The information contained in the post is for general purposes only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.