June 19, 2021 by D.Fathia
Updated June 19, 2021
Enjoy the savory taste and reap the incredible apricots benefits
Fruits are people’s favorite food. Cutting one or two kinds of fruits for a quick snack is a habit both of young kids and adults alike.
My nephew, seven years old, has a habit of preparing a plate full of fruits and vegetables almost daily. It is his favorite afternoon snack. He would make a piece of art. He doesn’t just cut fruits; he cuts them into shapes and organizes them in a very beautiful way.
My nephew enjoys the benefits and nutritional value of fruits to the fullest. This article delves into the apricots' benefits and value.
Can we dry apricots?
Apricots, like almost all other kinds of fruits, perish quickly. To make sure we can enjoy these delicate sweet fruits whenever we want, people came up with the idea of drying. And if you are wondering whether or not you can dry apricots then the answer is a definite yes.
The simplest way to do this is sun drying. It is the safest and organic method to go with. You just need to cut your apricots in the shapes you prefer and then place them on an already prepared drying tray. Leave them for at least a week and make sure the spot receives the sun well and for the longest period possible of the day.
It is better to dry your fruits at home by yourself because those packaged ones might not be as good as you expect. Unfortunately, the high demand for such products resulted in sometimes unsafe practices in the industry.
One of these problems is that factories usually use sulfur dioxide to get a bright color. This is mainly done for commercial and marketing purposes, but sulfur might have bad effects on your health.
If you don’t have time however to make your own dry fruits then at least make sure you buy organic ones dried traditionally. The simplest way to choose a good product is by looking at the color. The brighter the apricot the more sulfur dioxide is used during dehydration.
Dried apricots nutrition facts:
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of dry apricots contain the following data:
- Calories: 241
- Sodium : 10 mg
- Carbohydrates: 63 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Sugar: 53 g
- Protein: 3.4 g
- Fat: 0.5 g
- Potassium : 1.162 mg
- Vitamin B 6: 5% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 1% of the DV
- Iron: 15 % of DV
- Magnesium: 8 % of the DV
- Calcium: 5 % of the DV
Dry apricots' nutrition facts are actually quite impressive. These tiny orange fruits contain good amounts of fiber and proteins. Besides, you don’t need to be afraid of dry apricot calories because they are low in calories.
If you are watching your sugar intake and calories then you need to know that there is no big difference in calories and sugar in fresh and dried apricots. The difference never exceeds one to two grams in both categories. Therefore, for those fearing the augmented dry apricot calories and sugar content, there is much difference and you can enjoy a cup of dried fruit without worries.
Apricots' benefits stem from the nutrients they contain. They are a good source ofbeta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body.
They are also rich in chlorogenic acids, catechins, and quercetin, which are flavonoids with a high potential to protect against certain diseases such as diabetes.
One study revealed that high flavonoid intake resulted in a 42 % decrease in inflammation score. Those antioxidants fight free radicals and hence prevent damage done to the cells by oxidative stress.
Beta carotene, which gives apricots their orange color, can be turned by the body to vitamin A. along with carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are also found in the apricot, those compounds are excellent for the health of the eye. They prevent oxidative stress and might prevent night blindness.
Vitamin C protects the skin by fighting damage caused by ultraviolet light exposure. Beta carotene was also found to be helpful in protecting against sunburns.
Potassium and sodium can help regulate blood pressure and prevent bloating. Besides, potassium serves as an electrolyte; that is to say, it is responsible for sending nerve signals and regulating muscle contractions.
One experiment on animals revealed that apricots have the potential to protect against liver damage thanks to their high antioxidants contents. Though these are promising results, human research needs to be done to confirm such claims.