apricot uses, benefits and side effects

Apricot: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Botanical name

Prunus armeniaca

Apricot trees are small and expanding, leaves are broader at the base, and pointed tips which are bright green. Apricot has white-colored self-pollinating flowers. Apricot fruit tastes good when it is well ripe; if the unripe fruit is hard and not edible.

Apricot is similar to peach, like smooth, round to oblong in shape, and it has yellowish-orange flesh. The matured apricot fruit can give farinaceous consistency like pulp. Apricot fruit has tiny hairs on the outer skin that is eaten along with its skin. Apricot is loaded with numerous nutrients, and thus it is considered as healthiest fruit in the world. Apricot can be consumed in the form of stewed fruit, juices, jams, and dried Apricot. Apricot in the dried form can be prepared using natural drying and sulfured drying process.

Apricot prepared using natural drying or sun drying can be called ‘Gun Kurusu’ in Turkey. The use of sulfur in the drying process enhances the drying rate, making the drying process faster than the natural process. Apricot produced using sulfur drying process has a longer shelf life.

Other Names for Apricot

  • In Hindi, it is known as Khumani, Khubani.
  • In Marathi, it is known as Jardaloo.
  • In Telugu, it is known as Jaldharu pandu.
  • In Tamil, it is known as Saara Paruppu,Sarkkarai Badami.  
  • In Malayalam, it is known as Mutta Pazham, Sheema Pazham.
  • In Kannada, it is known as Jardalu. 
  • In Gujarati, it is known as Jardaloo.

Sources of Apricot

Apricot is native to a few countries like Turkey, Pakistan, Italy, Iran, France, Spain, Morocco, the USA, Syria, Egypt, Greece, and China. Turkey is a lead cultivator and producer of apricots in the world.

Nutritional facts of Apricot

NutrientAmount per 100 g serving
Vitamin C12 % of the requirement of the body 
Vitamin A12 % of the requirement of the body 
Potassium6 % of the requirement of the body 
Calories48 Cal
Protein1.40 g
Carbs11.12 g
Fats0.39 g
Fibres2.0 g
Total sugar9.20 g

Chemical composition of Apricot

The protein content of apricot kernel ranges from 14.1 to 45.3%. Apricot kernel protein comprises 84.7% albumin, 7.65% globulin, and 1.17% prolamin, and 3.54% glutelin. Apricot kernel contains about 32 to 34 % of essential amino acids. The carbohydrate content of the apricot kernel is 25.5%. The oil content of the apricot kernels ranges from 27 to 66 %.

Medicinal and health benefits of Apricot

Apricot has several medicinal benefits, including treating asthma, cough, bleeding, constipation, eye inflammation, infertility, vaginal infections, and spasm.

1: Apricot and Improved vision

Apricot is a rich source of fat-soluble Vitamin A (Retinol), improving the quality of vision. The evidence clearly shows that Apricot’s retinol and beta carotene has a significant role in treating eye-related disorders. It can be essential for age-related eye problems such as loss of vision over time.

2: Apricot a good source of dietary fiber

Both fresh and dried apricots are a rich source of fiber. Apricot can be considered an element in a regular diet that can help treat diabetes, CHD, weight gain, and different types of cancers. There are clinical studies available that show that Apricot’s dietary fibers can dissolve fatty acids of the body, which further help improve digestion.

3: Apricot and heart health

Apricot has a fair amount of potassium. And potassium plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the heart. It is recommended that to include Apricot in the regular diet of the patient suffering from heart-related problems. Apricot’s regular intake and potassium help maintain the electrolyte balance in the body, directly related to blood pressure regulation. It can further help in keeping a healthy heart and preventing heart attacks.

4: Apricot and skin problems

Apricot is rich in fat and water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin C. And eating such phytonutrient enriched apricots may benefit from maintaining healthy skin. The vitamins are essential for maintaining skin health. Naturally, Apricot contains a high amount of water, and therefore it keeps body cells hydrated and thereby soothes the skin.

5: Apricot and gut health

Due to the higher amount of soluble fiber content in apricots, they help improve gut health. Apricot’s soluble fibers can lead to stool bulking, which helps keep intestinal bacteria free for better functioning of the digestive system.

6: Apricot and bone health

The human body needs calcium needs is fulfilled from the food which we eat. And intake and absorption of calcium are directly related to bone health and its further growth. Apricots are fully loaded with minerals like calcium and potassium, which play a crucial role in bone development. 

7: Apricot and hair growth

Apricot is composed of essential fatty acid, i.e. linoleic acid. Linoleic acid helps in keeping healthy and shiny hairs. The fatty acids in Apricot can also help provide proper nourishment, and it can soothe scalp skin which can further increase skin growth. 

8: Apricot oil

Apricot fruit seeds are used for extracting seed oil, and due to its fair amount of essential fatty acid, it is used for making topical formulation used for massage purpose.

The recommended dosage of Apricot

The ayurvedic dosage of Apricot varies according to its variants of different forms of apricot products.

ProductPreparationDosage/ Day
ScrubTake two teaspoons of apricot kernel powder and mix it with one teaspoon of yoghurt. Apply it on the face and leave it for 15 min. 
Face packTake one teaspoon of apricot kernel powder mix it with rose water. Apply it on face or neck and allow it to stand for 5 min.
OilTake two drops of apricot oil and mix it with coconut oil. Use it for massaging the face before bedtime.

Side effects of Apricot

  • Apricot is taken in a small amount; the large amounts of apricot intake can lead to vomiting, sweating, faintness, giddiness, and losing consciousness.
  • The excess intake of apricot seed is dangerous; its ingestion converts into cyanide, which can be harmful to the body.

FAQs

Can apricot seeds treat cancer?

Yes, apricot seeds in the US were used to treat cancer, but later, apricot seed intake is toxic. Therefore it is advised to talk to the doctor before taking apricot seeds.

Is Apricot useful in treating gastric ulcers?

Yes, Apricots are very useful in treating gastric ulcers. Apricot contains amygdalin which helps in the formation of the gastric mucosa. It helps in preventing gastric ulcers.

Is Apricot good for bone health?

Yes, Apricot is useful for maintaining bone health. Apricot is rich in essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, boron, copper, and potassium, helping manage bone density. Also, potassium helps in improving bone health.

Summary

Apricots are rich in natural antioxidants, and they help in guarding the body against sunlight and pollution. The antioxidants of Apricot can also help in lowering the risk of wrinkles and sunburn of skin. The fresh and dried apricots are available in supermarkets. Apricots help hydrate the body due to their high water content, and hydration is essential for maintaining a reasonable heart rate and blood pressure.

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Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation