Sunday, December 9, 2012

Article # 109. Dry Apricot Benefits

Dried Apricots

Dried apricots benefits are similar to those acquired from apples, bananas, or oranges. Whether fresh or dried, apricots are known to supply Vitamin C, Vitamin A beta-carotene, iron, and potassium among others.
The golden-orange fruits are also popular because they contain low levels of calories. For instance, for every 3 apricots consumed, 50 calories are acquired.
Canned dried apricots last longer and are available all year round. This is also the main reason as to why most people prefer dried apricots to fresh ones.

Dried Apricots Benefits and Uses
Vitamin A: This essential vitamin is considered an antioxidant that helps protect cells and eliminate free radicals from the body brought by exposure to heavy metals or tobacco, which are considered among causes of cancer. In addition, other benefits of Vitamin A include: improved vision, cell functions, bone growth, and strong immune system.
Beta-carotene: It is a precursor to Vitamin A and known to play vital roles in the body. Benefits include: treating rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, skin disorders, cataracts, age related macular degeneration, headaches and many more. Although helpful, those who take beta-carotene supplements have high chances of developing cancer or heart disease.
Vitamin C: Is an essential vitamin with antioxidant effects that protect the cells from oxidation as well as eliminating oxidized cells (free radicals) that cause cancer. Vitamin C is also important for the teeth and bones, the skin, connective tissues, helps in iron absorption, and protect against colds and flu.
Vitamin K: It supports and helps calcium in performing functions such as maintenance of healthy bones, teeth and cartilage. Vitamin K also helps in blood clotting during injuries to prevent the body from losing a lot of blood. A cup of dried apricots every day will provide 4mcg of Vitamin K, although it’s just a fraction of the recommended daily allowance.
Antioxidants: Fully ripen dried apricots contain high levels of antioxidants. Studies shows that ripen fruits to the level of spoilage have higher antioxidants levels than ripe but firm fruits. Ensure apricots are ripe before drying them at home. Antioxidants help eliminate free radicals (oxidized cells) that cause cancer and other diseases.

Iron: Dried apricots are high in iron thus ideal fruit for the anemic. Anemia is a condition brought about by insufficient intake of iron or iron deficiency. It can also be described as a condition in which a person suffers from low levels of red blood cells or low levels of haemoglobin in red blood cells.
Potassium: Is an important element that plays vital roles in the body such as improving metabolism and functions of the tissues, organs and other body cells.
Potassium is important for the heart’s electrical activity, muscle building and normal body growth. It is needed to regulate levels of acid in the body as well as assisting protein synthesis.
Pectin and Cellulose: These are essential in the body as they help ease and prevent constipation. They are gentle laxatives that will help those prone to constipation.
Consuming about 6 to 8 dried apricots will help you live through the day without symptoms of constipation. In addition, dried apricots are known to trigger alkaline reactions thus improving digestion.
Calcium: It is a vital mineral needed for maintaining strong bones, teeth and cartilage. Bone loss (osteoporosis) is a common problem among aging women arriving their menopausal years. It can be prevented by taking the recommended daily amount of calcium. 100g of dried apricots provide about 53.44mg of calcium, which is a decent amount to prevent osteoporosis.
Fiber: Dietary fiber is essential for a healthy diet. It has several benefits such as lowering cholesterol levels, preventing against some forms of cancer and Type 2 diabetes. Fiber helps in controlling weight and maintaining healthy bowel movements. 100g of dried apricots provide about 7.3 g of fiber.
Apricots are treated with sulphur dioxide before they are dried to preserve their rich orange color. Untreated dried apricots are usually brown in color. Sulphur dioxide in apricots produces sulfites, which can have allergic reactions or trigger asthma attack.


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