Facts About Apricot(Khubani)
Apricot or Khubani (stone-fruit), known as one of the most valuable foods throughout history till now (scientifically known as “Prunus armeniaca”) is a member of the rosaceae or rose family and is closely related to the similar-looking peach and plum. In Latin, this fruit is also called praecordium, which means “early-ripening peach.”
Apricots(Khubani) are grown throughout the temperate places of the world, especially in the Mediterrian region. It is believed that the first apricots(khubani) originated in Jammu & Kashmir (Ladakh) possibly as far back as 3000 BC. Alexander the Great brought apricots to Greece from China, and the apricot crop was already being cultivated around the world for centuries before Spanish missionaries introduced it to America in the late 1800s.
Do You Know?
Originally domesticated in China, the apricot is now grown on every continent except Antarctica. Archaeological evidence suggests that apricots were eaten in ancient Armenia, and in the early 18th century Spanish missionaries in California first brought them to the New World.
Apricots(Khubani) can also be eaten as fresh and dried. Dry apricots are filled with a variety of vital nutrients. They can be a nice and safe snack. But we recommend that you restrict their portion sizes since they are calorie-dense. It should be enough for a cup of dried apricots (about seven or eight) a day.
Health Benefits of Dried Apricot (Khumani)
- Good Source of Vitamin A
Vitamin A, which is also known as retinol, is rich among dried apricots. It is soluble in fat, and, among other things, which helps to boost vision. And, in the meantime, it holds the immune system in line, protecting your skin. Retinol and beta carotene (also found in apricots) also decreases the risk of developing a severe eye-related condition called neovascular ARMD, an age-related macular degeneration that over the years triggers vision loss.
- Rich with Fiber
Dried Apricots are a good source of dietary fiber, whether you eat them dried or fresh. Since retinol is fat soluble in apricot, the fruit dissolves easily in the body and the system easily absorbs the essential nutrients and it easily breaks down fatty acids, ensuring your digestion is in order. And not only that, by washing out the intestines daily, the fruit also protects you from gastrointestinal issues.
- High in antioxidants
Dried apricots are one of richest sources of antioxidants among all of the dried fruits. It allows the body to get rid of toxins we appear to accumulate over time when ingested on a regular basis. In exchange, antioxidants also kill free radicals that damage our cells. They are rich in a group of polyphenol antioxidants that have been shown to protect against diseases, including diabetes and heart disease, called flavonoids. Chlorogenic acids, catechins, and quercetin are the primary flavonoids in apricots. Such compounds act to neutralize free radicals, which are dangerous compounds that cause oxidative stress and kill your cells. Oxidative stress is associated with obesity and multiple chronic conditions, including heart disease.
- Great for the Skin
Healthy skin is guaranteed by the combination of Vitamin C, A, and phytonutrients. And did you realize the apricot antioxidants often slow down the process of ageing? So aside from a healthy skin care routine, don’t forget to eat those apricots every day.
- Nice for Blood
Any iron-containing plant product has non-heme iron present in it and that includes dried apricot. It takes time for this form of iron to be absorbed by the body, and the longer it remains in the system, the better the chances of avoiding anemia. To ensure better absorption of the non-heme iron, it is recommended that you take some vitamin C along with it.
- Diet Friendly
Dietary fiber in the fruit strengthens the digestive tract, which helps in increasing your metabolism. And it’s often advocated to eat a few dried apricots as a snack when you feel hungry, especially when you’re on a diet. It fills you up, but it doesn’t add any extra calories. However, try to clean your mouth after you have eaten the dry version. Dry fruits produce more sugar, and you don’t want it to affect your dental health.
- Strengthens Bones
Calcium is much needed in bone formation and growth, and dried apricots are loaded with calcium. It is also interesting to remember that calcium is not absorbed and disposed of equally without enough potassium in the body. And the good thing is that both of them are present in apricot!
- Relief from muscle spasms
Dried apricots also contain magnesium which helps to relieve muscle spasms and cramps. Some research has also shown that they can be helpful during pregnancy. Dried apricots, like most dried fruits, may also help supplement your efforts at weight loss if consumed in moderation.