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Benefits of Apricots
21. Protect Against Inflammation
Apricots are a strong dietary source of catechins, a broad family of flavonoid phytonutrients (you may be familiar with these phytonutrients since they are often cited for the benefits provided by green tea). A single apricot will provide you with 4 5 grams from catechins. These phytonutrients are potent anti inflammatory nutrients and researchers have looked extensively at their health effects. Researchers have discovered that catechins can inhibit the activity of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase 2 (COX 2), one of the critical steps in the process of inflammation.
22. Other Health Benefits
Apricots are a good source of dietary fiber. This overall fiber content should be helpful for most people in supporting digestive health. Within the total dietary fiber provided by apricots, about half consists of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is one type of fiber that can help to control blood cholesterol levels.
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.
Apricots are originally from China but arrived in Europe via Armenia, which is why the scientific name is Prunus armenaica. The apricot tree came to Virginia in 1720 but its appearance in the Spanish missions of California around 1792 marked the fruit s real arrival. The climate there is perfectly suited to apricot culture, and apricots in the United States are grown primarily in the sunny orchards of California.
25. How to Select and Store
Apricot season in the U.S. runs from May through August. In the winter, apricots are imported from South America. Look for fruits with a rich orange color while avoiding those that are pale and yellow. Fruits should be slightly soft. If they are too firm they have not been tree ripened, and tree ripened fruits always taste best. For the most antioxidants, choose fully ripened fruit.
26. Individual Concerns
Commercially grown dried apricots may be treated with sulfur dioxide gas during processing. They may also be treated with sulfites to extend their shelf life. Sulfur containing compounds are often added to dried foods like apricots as preservatives to help prevent oxidation and bleaching of colors.
27. Nutritional Profile
Apricots are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of pro vitamin A carotenoids), and a good source of vitamin C, copper, dietary fiber, and potassium. Apricots contain phytochemicals called carotenoids, compounds that give red, orange and yellow colors to fruits and vegetables. The powerful antioxidant Lycopene is one of the carotenoids found in apricots.
28. In Depth Nutritional Profile
An in depth nutritional profile for Apricots is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.
29. How Do You Store Apricots
Apricots should be stored at room temperature until ripe and then kept in the fridge in a plastic bag or bin for three to five days. When storing, be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight.
30. What About Dried Apricot
Dried fruit offers some benefits to fresh fruit: convenient, keeps well, and quick energy boost. Research suggests that dried fruit provides rich sources of dietary fiber and iron
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