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APRICOT AND HEALTH

Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Sunday, October 16, 2011


The apricot is a stone fruit with a seed nut within it. Its shape is similar to that of the peach but slightly smaller, with skin that is velvety and golden orange in color.
Apricot is not suitable for juicing but can be blended to be mixed with other juices.  The fresh fruit tastes smooth and sweet, with a flavor that is a cross between a peach and a plum.
An apricot in its raw state is somewhat acidic but the acidity decreases as it ripens and its sugar content increases.  When it ripens, the vitamin A within also doubles.
Interesting: Recently, hybrids have been produced between plums and apricots which are supposed to be much more superior than either parent:
     Plumcot  =  50% plum + 50% apricot
    Aprium   =  75% apricot + 25% plum
    Pluot      =  75% plum + 25% apricot


Nutritional Benefits
The apricot has highly health-building virtues.  The fresh fruit is rich in easily-digestible natural sugars, vitamins A and C, riboflavin (B2) and niacin (B3).
It is also an excellent source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron and traces of sodium, sulphur, manganese, cobalt and bromine.
Apricots are often dried, cooked into pastry or eaten as jam.  The calories in apricots multiply many times over when dried, but the amount of calcium, phosphorus and iron also increased significantly.
The beta-carotene and lycopene in this golden fruit helps protect the LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which in turn helps prevent heart disease.
The apricot seed is a nut that is rich in protein and fat like any other nuts. It also has an extremely high content of vitamin B17 which is known as Laetrile.  Daily consumption of this seed is claimed to be highly effective in preventing cancer.  Cancer patients on Laetrile Cancer Therapy have reported that their tumors have shrunk with high doses of vitamin B17.
These bitter seeds may be chopped up or ground and swallowed with a teaspoon of honey.

Health Benefits
The fruit, kernel (inner softer part of the seed), oil and flowers of the apricot have always been used in medicine and medical treatment from ancient days.
The kernel yields an oil that is similar to that of the almond and is widely used for their sedative, anti-spasmodic relief to strained muscles.  It is also useful for healing of wounds, expelling worms and as a general health tonic.
Anemia: The high content of iron in apricot makes it an excellent food for anemia sufferers.  The small but essential amount of copper in the fruit makes the iron available to the body.  Liberal consumption of apricot can increase the production of hemoglobin in the body.  This is ideal for women after their menstrual cycle, especially those with heavy flow.
Constipation: The cellulose and pectin content in apricot is a gentle laxative and are effective in the treatment of constipation.  The insoluble cellulose acts as a roughage which helps the bowel movement.  The pectin absorbs and retains water, thereby increasing bulk to stools, aiding in smooth bowel movement.
Digestion: Take an apricot before meal to aid digestion, as it has an alkaline reaction in the digestive system.
Eyes/Vision: The high amount of vitamin A (especially when dried) is essential to maintain or improve eyesight.  Insufficiency of this vitamin can cause night blindness and impair sight.
Fever: Blend some honey and apricots with some mineral water and drink to cool down fevers.  It quenches the thirst and effectively eliminates the waste products from the body.
Skin Problem: Juice fresh apricot leaves and apply on scabies, eczema, sun-burn or skin itchiness, for that cool, soothing feeling.

Consumption Tips
Apricots are usually picked when they are still firm.  An unripe apricot is often yellow and hard.  When ripe and soft, its color turn a consistent golden-orange hue.  At this time, handle the fruit with care as it is easily bruised.
Stored in the fridge, these fruits can last for three or four days.  When overripe, the fruit turns soft and mushy.


Caution
Fresh apricots contain a small amount of oxalates.  Individuals with a history of calcium oxalate-containing kidney stones should not consume too much of this fruit.
Whereas dried apricots contain sulfur-containing compounds such as sulfur dioxide.  These compounds may cause adverse reactions in people who suffer from asthma.

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Warm welcome to my health blog! This was introduced with an objective to educate and spread awareness among people, encouraging them to live healthier lives with longevity. Let me emphasize that our contemporary situation in individual’s life are so fast moving that we tend to neglect and spare some moments for our own health. My inspiration has turned into passion in a health care that turned into a blog. The ample of support and response was tremendously changed into positive results. I dedicated this blog for all those people who are very conscious for their health and life style. Hope so, I can bring differences for healthy living the fore my viewer comments are always valuable and your continued patronage is important for me. Wish you a happy and healthy life ahead!

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