8 Healthy Reasons to Love Fresh Apricots

July 30, 2015 Updated: July 26, 2015

In India, it is common to see vendors selling piles of bright orange apricots tinged with rich red color. Eager buyers press the flesh to ensure the fruit is not overripe. A good apricot smells fragrant and has blemish-free skin that “gives” just a little, indicating that it is ripe and juicy. In North America, apricots are in season too, so make the most of them while they are around.

The taste of an apricot is similar to peaches and plums—not surprising, because it belongs to the same family. Of course it is delicious on its own, but I enjoy slicing it over yogurt, tossing it into smoothies and popping it into my salads. Look up these healthy ideas for eating and cooking with fresh apricots.

(Tuned_In/iStock)
Apricots keep you hydrated. (Tuned_In/iStock)

 

This fruit is a miracle worker for skin, eyes, heart and other vital organs. Here are a few of its amazing benefits: 

They are a rich source of antioxidants, which battle the ill effects of air pollution and sun exposure. The antioxidants in apricots are particularly beneficial for eye health. That’s because the high levels of beta carotene in the fruit improve blood flow to the eyes, preventing macular degeneration. 

They are good for your heart: Apricot is an excellent fruit for maintaining heart health. Research says that people who eat foods rich in Vitamin C are less susceptible to heart diseases. The high levels of dietary fiber remove the excess cholesterol from the arteries, reducing strain on the heart. 

Apricots keep you hydrated: The potassium in apricot regulates the balance of intracellular and extracellular water levels, thereby regulating blood pressure. Half a cup of apricot provides the body with 10 percent of the recommended amount of potassium.

Your skin loves a touch of apricots: Face masks and scrubs starring fresh apricots are popular for a good reason. The fruit contains vitamins and skin-replenishing minerals that endow you with radiance. Simply puree two ripe apricots, and stir in some fresh plain yogurt. Add a few drops of olive oil for deeper hydration. Apply the mask all over your face and neck. Wash off with warm water after 10 minutes. 

Apricots keep your digestion smooth: They contain a high amount of pectin, a soluble fiber, which helps in the treatment of constipation. It is often recommended to patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Fiber bulks up the stool, making it easier to transport through the bowels. It activates the peristaltic motion of the digestive tract, regulating the bowel movements. The high levels of fiber in apricot are also vital for colon health.

They tone your bones, too: An anti-inflammatory fruit, apricots reduce pain from gout and arthritis. Additionally, they contain boron, an essential trace mineral that works to decrease the amount of calcium and magnesium excreted in the urine. 

 Apricots are a guilt-free fruit: At just 17 calories a piece, apricots make a delicious addition to your weight loss plans. Besides, they are rich in fiber, which makes them a satisfying snack that keeps you feeling full for a longer time. 

They protect you from anemia: Apricots are an excellent source of iron, which is good news for your hemoglobin levels. The copper content in apricots helps absorb iron, leading to better blood flow and more energy. 

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This article was originally published on www.Care2.com. Read the original here.