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2011-11-23

Apricot - The Nutritious Tonic

Author: nutrovitasub nutrovitasub

APRICOT

Apricots are those beautifully orange colored fruits full of beta carotene and fiber that are one of the first signs of summer. Although dried and canned Apricots are available year-round, fresh Apricots with a plentiful supply of vitamin C, are season from May through August.

Apricots are originally from China but arrived in Europe via Armenia, which is why the scientific name of Apricot is "Prunus Armenaica".

The Apricots are said to be a native of China and has spread to Pakistan, India, Iran, Egypt & Greece. It is abundant in Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, Kullu and Shimla. Apricots belongs to the sub-acid class.

It is somewhat acid in its raw state, but its acidity decreases and the sugar content increases in the process of ripening. The Apricots are regarded as a nutritious and tonic food and enjoys world wide popularity.

Apricots are a good source of dietary fiber with insoluble cellulose and lignin in the skin and soluble pectin's in the flesh. The Apricot's creamy golden color comes from deep yellow carotenes including beta-carotene that make the fruit a good source of vitamin A.

Apricots also have vitamin C and iron. Cyanogenic glycosides which is found in most stone fruit seeds, bark, and leaves are found in high concentration in Apricot seeds. The drug laetrile, a purported treatment for cancer, is extracted from apricot seeds.

As early as AD 502 apricot seeds were used to treat tumors and in the 17th century apricot oil was used in England against tumors and ulcers. 

Seeds of the Apricot grown in central Asia and around the Mediterranean are so sweet that they may be substituted for almonds. The bark, leaves and the inner stony pit of the apricot all contain Amygdalin which is a naturally occurring compound that degrades to release hydrogen cyanide or prussic acid in your stomach.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF APRICOT

Apricots are good source of sugars and vitamin A, and contains appreciable amounts of thiamine and iron. Fresh Apricot yield 86% of edible matter. Analysis of Apricot shows the presence of nutrients in following proportions:

Moisture 85% Vitamin B2 0.22 mg

Iron 4.6 mg Carbohydrate 73.4%

Phosphorus 70 mg Calcium 110 mg

Vitamin C 6 mg/100 g Protein 1.6%

Ripe Apricot pulp contains: total solids, 1,2.4-16.7; insoluble solids, 2.1-3.1; acids (as malic acid), 0.7-2.2; total sugars (as invert sugar), 3.6-8.6; glucose, 3.2-4.8; fructose, 1.4-4.2; sucrose, 1.4-5.4.

Malic acid and citric acid are said to be the principal acids of Apricots. Presence of tartaric acid and succinic acid in Apricot is also reported. The free amino acids present in Apricot are: asparatio, glutamic, threonine, serine, proline, alanina, glycine, valine, leucine, histidine, tyrosina, orginina etc.

Apricot is rich in natural sugars, vitamin A and calcium. Apricot is a good source of the Vitamins, i.e. B Complex, riboflavin and niacin as well as vitamin C.

 The nut of the Apricot is rich in protein and fat and is considered as valuable as any other nut. Apricot contains 40 to 45 per cent of an oil which is practically identical with almond oil in its physical as well as chemical properties.

BENEFITS OF APRICOT

Apricot Kernels are very nutritious. Just one of the nutrients they contain is "Amygdalin" categorized as Vitamin B17. It is found that People who still eat a traditional, natural diet, containing "Amygdalin" have been found to be largely free from cancer.

The Apricot Kernels, which yields an oil similar to that of the almond, have been widely used for their sedative, antispasmodic that gives relief to strained muscles and demulcent or soothing properties. Apricots are useful in the healing of wounds, in expelling worms and as a general tonic.

Apricot is highly valued as a gentle laxative and is beneficial in the treatment of constipation. This is due to its cellulose and pectin contents.

Apricots have an alkaline reaction in the system. They aid the digestion, if consumed before a meal. The Apricot is an excellent food remedy for anaemia on account of its high content of iron.

The small but essential amount of copper in Apricot makes iron available to the body. The production of hemoglobin could be increased in the body by liberal use of Apricots.

 It tones up the eyes, stomach, liver, heart and nerves by supplying vitamins and minerals. Fresh juice of Apricot leaves is useful in skin diseases. It can be applied with beneficial results in scabies, eczema, sun-burn and itching of the skin due to cold exposure.

USES OF APRICOT

Apricots are a good source of fiber, which has a wealth of benefits including preventing constipation and digestive conditions such as diverticulosis.

Apricot Kernels oil is used for food purposes and in cosmetic and pharmaceutical preparations.

Apricots also use in medicine for different ailments.

Apricot is advised to persons suffering from fever as it has cooling effect.

Apricots is also useful as laxative.

Apricot juice is very refreshing.


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