Apricot is a medium sized deciduous tree that grows best in well-drained mountainous slope soils. During the spring, the plant bears plenty of beautiful pinkish-white flowers, which attract bees. The fruits have almost uniform size, 4-5 cm in diameter, and weigh about 35 g. In structure; the fruit is a drupe, consist of a centrally located single seed surrounded by crunchy, aromatic edible flesh. The seed is enclosed in a hard stony shell, often called a “stone.”
Fresh, ripe apricots have a sweet flavor similar to plums. Sun dried organic fruits have concentrated nutrient values than fresh ones, although they are lesser in vitamin-C content. Its seed is also edible and taste like that of almonds. Oil extracted from the seeds has been used in cooking.
Health benefits of apricots
Fresh fruits are low in calories, composing just 50 calories per 100 g weight. Nonetheless, they are rich source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The fruits are enriched with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals; that helps prevent heart disease, reduce LDL, (“bad cholesterol”) levels and offer protection against cancers.
Apricots are excellent sources of vitamin-A, and carotenes. 100 g fresh fruits have 1926 IU or 64% of daily-required levels of vitamin A. Both compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin-A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes helps protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Fresh fruits contain vitamin-C, another natural anti-oxidant. Vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
They are an also good source of minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc, calcium and manganese. Potassium is a heart-healthy mineral; an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
The total anti-oxidant or ORAC value of raw apricots is 1115 umol TE/100 g. Much of this in these fruits comes from some important health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic anti-oxidants such as lutein, zea xanthin and beta cryptoxanthin. Altogether, these compounds act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging, cancers and various disease process.
Further, zea-xanthin, a carotenoid selectively absorbed into the retinal “macula lutea” in the eyes where it is thought to provide anti-oxidant and protective light-filtering functions. Thus, consumption of fruits like apricots rich in zea-xanthin helps eyes protect from age-related macular disease (AMRD), especially in the elderly people.
Apricots are small, golden orange fruits, with velvety skin and flesh: not too juicy but definitely smooth and sweet. Their flavor is almost musky, with a faint tartness that is more pronounced when the fruit is dried. Some people think of the flavor as being somewhere between a peach and a plum, fruits to which they’re closely related.
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Top 10 Disturbing Facts About Foods You Eat Every Day
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You’re bound to read at least one news article about food a day, and that article will probably either be about how a food is now considered bad for you or how a formally bad food is now considered good. But there are so many food facts out there that more often than not it’s impossible for people to keep up. We’ve complied some of the more disturbing ones that might cause you a couple sleepless nights.
Text version: http://www.toptenz.net/10-disturbing-facts-foods-eat-every-day.php
10. Weight Loss Products Will Only Make Your Wallet Lighter
9. What You Know About BMI and a Healthy Weight is False
8. Low-Fat Dairy Drinks are Not as Good as They Look
7. Fruits and Vegetables Can Lead to Disease
6. You’re Drinking Fish With Your Beer
5. Superfoods Are Nonsense
4. Coffee Can Be Lethal
3. Margarine Is Worse Than Butter
2. Sugar Is Everywhere
1. Light, Diet and Low-Fat Products Are No Better Than Their Original Counterparts