Nutritional Benefits of Apricot, the Golden fruit
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)!
Vitamin A (Retinol)
Apricots are a good source of vitamin A, also known as retinol. This is a fat-soluble vitamin that aids in cellular differentiation, vision and healthy fetal development. It also is involved in immune-system functioning and keeping the skin and mucous membranes healthy. Vitamin A may also help treat acne and skin problems, promote healthy vision, reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and maintain bone strength. It may also be important in neurological functioning.
Apricots are rich in iron. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements states that iron plays a part in oxygen transport, helps regulate cell growth and helps strengthen the immune system. Adequate amounts of iron can help prevent iron deficiency anemia, which can lead to fatigue, weakness, impaired immunity and body temperature changes. Athletes especially benefit from adequate iron intake, possibly because of faster turnover of red blood cells.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of the vitamins found in apricots. This vitamin is an antioxidant and can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, possibly reducing the risk of cancer and other diseases. This vitamin can also help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, age-related macular degeneration and the common cold. Since the vitamin is sensitive to light, air and heat, eating dried apricots still provides you with vitamin C, but eating fresh apricots will provide you with more.
Potassium is a mineral that every cell, tissue and organ in the body needs to function properly. This mineral, abundant in apricots, is an electrolyte, which means it helps control electricity in the body. It also is necessary for heart function and muscle contraction. Potassium is thought to play a role in bone formation, lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of stroke.
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