Scientists are still arguing over where the golden fruit, apricot, came from. Many Asian countries claim to be his homeland, but most of the specialists give primacy to Armenia. The fruits growing there differ so much in iodine content from those grown in other regions that they give rise to special varieties of this fruit.
The merit of the distribution of apricots in Europe belongs to Alexander the Great, who brought them to Greece. From there, the victorious procession of the plant continued around the world. Today apricot grows in Europe, Asia, South and North America.
The figures show the popularity of the fruit, because almost 3 million tons produce it per year. The main suppliers of fresh and dried apricots in the world are Uzbekistan and Turkey.1
It is a juicy, tender fruit of a small apricot with a large bone inside. Fruit attracts a rich sweet taste, unique aroma and a pleasant yellow-orange color. The plant belongs to the Pink family, it is a perennial tree, a close relative of plums and peaches.
Apricot fruits are used in food in fresh form, they make from marshmallow, jams, jams, jams and compotes. Apricot filling is very tasty in baking, it is added to cottage cheese, porridge and yogurt. From the seed oil is obtained, which is used for the preparation of essences and liqueurs. Apricot fruits are used in cosmetology in masks, creams, scrubs, peelings.
Composition and calorie apricot
Attracts not only the taste of the fruit, but also its low calorie content - 28 kcal in fresh form per 100 g. product. In dried it increases to 44-48 kcal. The composition of apricots is a balanced complex of vitamins, biologically active substances and minerals:
- Vitamins - B1, B8, B9 totally up to 1 mg per 100 g, a lot of vitamin A - 360 mg and vitamin C - 13 mg. They are natural antioxidants, are involved in metabolic processes of the body.2
- Fruit acid: apple, lemon, wine. These are biologically active substances, they cleanse the body of toxins, have a rejuvenating effect.
- Carbohydrates and Polysaccharides - fructose and inulin.3 Stimulate digestion and strengthen the body's immune system.
- Potassium - 320 mg per 100 g. Its quantity exceeds the content in apples and raisins several times. It has a positive effect on heart activity.4
- Flavonoids and Polyphenols.5 They bind free radicals and participate in metabolic processes.
The composition of the apricot pulp includes other macro-and micronutrients:
- phosphorus and calcium - 16 mg / 100 g;
- magnesium - 2 mg;
- iron - 0.5 mg;
- copper - 0.04 mg.
The pits contain the substance amygdalin, which is used as a prevention and treatment of cancer.6
Useful properties of apricots
The use of apricots in fresh and dried form is known for many thousands of years. They have been used in traditional and traditional medicine today.
For bones and joints
Due to the calcium in easily digestible form, apricot strengthens bone tissue and promotes its growth. It is recommended as a daily product for pregnant and lactating women. Anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to excrete salts make it possible to include them in the diet of patients with arthritis and arthrosis in the form of freshly prepared juice.7
For the heart and blood vessels
A high content of potassium normalizes the activity of the cardiovascular system, maintains the tone of blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.8 Iron is involved in the synthesis of hemoglobin.
A high phosphorus content activates brain processes, improves memory, slows down the degeneration of nerve endings.
Increased carotene concentration improves eyesight.9
For respiratory organs
Anti-inflammatory and mucolytic action of apricots is used in the treatment of bronchitis and other diseases of the upper respiratory tract.
High fiber content improves digestion and cleans the digestive tract. Helps fight constipation, even chronic. Supports the development of beneficial intestinal microflora.10
Pancreas and Thyroid
The high content of fructose allows you to regulate blood sugar levels, which is important for diabetics. A high content of iodine in certain varieties of apricots has a beneficial effect on the thyroid gland.
It prevents the occurrence of renal infections due to its antibacterial action and has a diuretic effect.
Apricot, as a means of rejuvenating the body and strengthening the walls of blood vessels, has a positive effect on male potency.
A high content of vitamin A improves skin condition. Apricot kernel oil is an excellent way to care for different skin types, rejuvenates it and smoothes wrinkles. Fruit acids act as a natural peeling and source of moisture.
The high content of antioxidant compounds allows you to bind free radicals and strengthen the immune system.
Excellent taste and low calorie content make the fruit one of the favorite products in dietetics. It allows you to lose weight, cleanse the body and strengthen its protective properties.
The combination of vitamins and mineral elements makes the fetus a desirable product in the diet of pregnant women.11
Harm and contraindications of apricots
The benefits and harms of apricots are not comparable. Talking about undesirable actions of the fruit is possible only in case of its abuse. There are several cases when you should eat apricots with caution:
- People with high acidity of gastric juicesince heartburn may occur.
- Diabetics - due to the high sugar content.
- Pregnant women, the fruit of which has a slow heartbeat, because the effect on the heart activity of the fruit is high and you can harm the child.
- People with poor digestionprone to diarrhea.
It should be noted that some are characterized by individual intolerance to the product. In this case, apricots will have to be excluded from the menu.
How to choose apricots
Apricots have the greatest benefit and perfect taste in the summer in the ripening season. If you have to choose them in the supermarket, then pay attention to the following points:
- Hard fruits with a greenish color are unlikely to be ripe and suitable for use.
- Ripe apricot has a unique aroma that will never deceive you.
- Do not buy fruits with damaged skin, trampled, with brown spots - you can not bring them home.
Not quite ripe fruits apricots can be brought to maturity by placing for some time in a dark place in a paper bag.
How to store apricots
Apricots are perishable products. At room temperature, ripped ripe apricots lie no more than a day. They can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 2-3 days.12 A great way to make a supply of these seasonal stores of useful substances is to freeze them, especially by shock freezing. In this form, they lie in the freezer for up to six months and almost never lose their beneficial properties.13
Dried apricots are popular: apricot - with a bone or dried apricots - without it. You can buy them in finished form or dry yourself. It is better to do this in the dryer or in the oven on a baking sheet. Dried fruits should be stored in a cool ventilated area without direct sunlight.
Recipes drinks and pastries from apricots retain all the useful properties in the finished product.