Spring is in full swing. We’re fond of spring because it means delicious seasonal produce to grace our homes and plate. So, in honor of spring, we’re going to take a look at one seasonal fruit that doesn’t always get much attention: the apricot.
Apricots, aka Prunus armeniaca, are closely related to fruits like peaches, plums, cherries, and even almonds. Most people know them for their dried form (which, by the by, can be a good way to get a bit of iron), but they can also be enjoyed in their fresh form for a tasty, albeit diminutive, treat.
Visually, apricots look a bit like a mini-peach, but their flavor has a tartness that you won’t find in the bigger fruit. Some people compare the taste of an apricot to a cross between a peach and a plum. If that sounds at all appealing, you might want to give it a try. After all, apricots may be small in stature, but they’re also full to bursting when it comes to nutrition.
So, without further ado, here are five reasons to eat more apricots.
The first reason to add apricots to your diet is that they provide an extra burst of hydration. Eating fruit can be a good way to help you get what you need if meeting your daily water goal proves difficult and apricots are no exception.
Like most fruits, apricots have a naturally high water content. Just one cup of them clocks in at about 2/3 of a cup of water. And, as an added bonus, there’s also potassium in there. So, if you’re looking to get back water and electrolytes after some strenuous activity (say, your daily workout) this little fruit might just be the way to go.
2. Good for the Gut
While hydration is certainly a wonderful thing, that’s far from all there is to apricots. They also offer plenty of good dietary fiber which can help if you’re looking to have a healthy digestive tract.
One cup of apricots will have about 3.3 grams of fiber (and about 79 calories) which can amount to up to 13% of your daily recommended value (it can vary a bit). What’s more, this content includes two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Both of these are excellent for lowering your chance of certain diseases and for keeping things moving (if you catch our drift). Soluble fiber, in particular, can help keep your blood sugar and cholesterol at healthy levels as well as encourage good bacteria to thrive.
3. Antioxidants to Spare
The thing that we really love about fruit is that it can really hit the spot when we’re craving something sweet. Even better, while we’re giving our sweet teeth exactly what they want (yes, have them and we’re unrepentant about that fact) we can also give our bodies a good dose of antioxidants.
Apricots in particular are a great way to get a variety of antioxidants. They contain beta carotene as well as vitamins A, C, and E which all can help fight against free radicals, potentially preventing harmful diseases.
And there are a lot more where those came from.
4. Supple Skin
The antioxidants in apricots are great for their health benefits, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t also like what they can do for your skin.
Vitamins E and vitamin C can both be beneficial for your skin by helping to fight UV damage and improve skin elasticity. Vitamin C in particular is essential for collagen production.
Plus, we suppose the hydration won’t hurt either.
5. Looking Forward
Finally, the nutrients in apricots can be beneficial for your vision.
This is largely due to their vitamin A content. This antioxidant assists in keeping your eyes working well by allowing our bodies to make the pigments needed by our retinas. Without them, we can develop night blindness. Additionally, Vitamin A also helps our eyes to stay lubricated. Have you ever had dry eyes? Not fun.
Vitamin E likewise can help protect your eyes from free radical damage.
So have we convinced you?
If you want to work more apricots into your diet, you won’t be starved for options. You can add them to a salad, enjoy them raw, or even make them into a sauce for your favorite meat dishes.