The slightly tart fruit is versatile, able to be used in a vast number of ways and recipes, or just enjoyed fresh right off the fruit shelf. Apricot (Prunus armeniaca), stone fruit of the family Rosaceae.
(Order Rosales), closely related to peaches, almonds, plums, and cherries. Sweet, fragrant rich, golden-orange apricot fruits are another summer delicacy of Asian origin. These much-prized fruits were first brought to Europe by Greeks who called them “golden eggs of the sun.
Apricot trees are small and spreading, with broad ovate leaves that have pointed tips. The leaves are bright green in colour and are held erect on the twigs. The self-pollinated flowers are white in full bloom and borne singly or doubly at a node on very short stems.
The apricot was originally domesticated in China but is now cultivated over the world. Archaeological evidence shows that apricots were eaten in ancient Armenia, and they were first introduced to the New World in the early 18th century by Spanish missionaries in California. In 2011, the top five producers of apricots were Turkey, Iran, Uzbekistan, Italy, and Algeria.
Apricot’s Health Benefits
The varieties of nutrients found in apricots are very beneficial for good eyesight and also help to prevent heart disease. Apricots are also rich in powerful antioxidants, such as Lycopene, helping to promote wellness and strengthen the immune system. The healthy fruits are also a good source of fiber which is beneficial for healthy digestion.
Ripe apricot is rich in mucilage, which soothes and protects irritated or inflamed tissue. It reduces irritation down the whole length of the bowel by reducing the sensitivity of the bowel from potentially corrosive gastric acids. It helps to prevent diarrhea and reduce the muscle spasms that cause colic.
Apricot fruit is highly valued as a gentle laxative, which is beneficial in the treatment of constipation due to its insoluble and soluble fiber, pectin in the fruit provides bulk, helping to keep bowel movement regular, balances the PH level in the intestines and binds toxins for removal from the body.
Apricot provides a significant source of potassium. Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte that helps you maintain proper fluid balance, aids in muscle function, and helps regulate heartbeat. Potassium also promotes healthy digestion and strong bones. Getting sufficient amounts of potassium each day can help you maintain normal blood pressure and might reduce your risk of getting a stroke.
Apricots are highly recommended as an excellent choice to help complete the recommended 5-a-day serving of fruit, as well as for dieters or those just looking to eat healthy and enjoy the health benefits of apricots.