Apricots are rich in vitamins and can definitely be added to the list of world’s healthiest fruits. One serving of fresh apricots, around 100 grams, contains only 50 calories but can provide 12% of your daily requirement of vitamin C and vitamin A. It is also a good source of potassium. So we all know that the fresh apricots are definitely great for your health, but what about dried apricots? Are they good too? Let’s find the answer.
Are Dried Apricots Good For You?
The answer is a definite yes! It is good for you.
Fresh apricots have high water content. They are dried using a process in which the moisture is evaporated without destroying the nutrition value. These dried apricots have the same content of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients as the fresh ones. It is only the water which is taken out of fresh apricots. One serving of dried apricots (one cup) has 158 micro grams of vitamin A. Dried apricots are also rich in vitamin C, iron, potassium, calcium and phosphorous. These nutrients are essential to maintain good health and help the body to fight against diseases.
Health Benefits of Dried Apricots
The major health benefits of dried apricots are:
1. It Contains Dietary Fiber
Half cup of dry apricots provides 19% of daily fiber requirement.
Dried apricots are an excellent source of dietary fiber. They are especially rich in soluble fiber which forms a gel like substance in the digestive tract and binds with fats to help to remove them. That is the reason why dried apricots are helpful in reducing LDL and bad cholesterol levels.
2. It Can Help to Prevent Anaemia
One serving of dried apricots can provide 10% of daily iron requirement.
Iron can help prevent anarmia. Anaemia or low haemoglobin can lead to lethargy, tiredness and can cause many other complications. The iron present in dried apricots is known as non-heme iron. This kind of iron gets absorbed in a better way with the presence of vitamin C and other heme iron. Since anaemia is an extremely prevalent condition, it is recommended to include iron rich foods in diet.
3. It Is Rich in Antioxidants
One serving of half cup dried apricots provides 47% of recommended daily allowance for vitamin A.
This high vitamin A content makes them one of the most nutrient rich dried fruits. Vitamin A plays a vital role in maintaining good health and is necessary for a strong immune system, vision, growth and overall well-being.
The antioxidant properties of vitamin A enable it to fight with free radicals and to neutralize or reverse their damaging effects. Free radicals are by-products of metabolism and are responsible for aging and other damages to the DNA. Dried apricots, being full of antioxidants, combat with these and reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer, and cancer.
4. It Is Good for Bone Health
Dried apricots are rich in calcium which is essential for strong bones. They also contain phosphorus, magnesium and other minerals required for bone growth and rejuvenation, and can improve and prevent brittle bones and osteoporosis.
5. It Benefits Heart Health
Are dried apricots good for your heart? Yes, one of the most important health benefit of dried apricots is its ability to prevent many heart diseases. Dried apricots are cardio protective in many ways. They reduce the bad cholesterol, keep the blood pressure under control and have an overall positive effect on heart health.
6. It Can Balance Your Fluid Levels and Metabolism
The human body contains a lot of fluids. The fluid balance mainly depends upon sodium and potassium, while dried apricots have very high potassium content. This high potassium content also enables proper energy distribution, boosts metabolism and prevents cramps.
7. It Can Prevent Asthma
Evidences show that apricot oil is good to treat and prevent asthma. Dried apricots are rich in essential oils which have expectorant properties. Besides, essential oils can also relax the respiratory system, thereby preventing asthma attacks.
8. Other Benefits
Some more health benefits of dried apricots include:
- Blood clotting: Dried apricots contain a fair amount of vitamin K which is essential for clotting factor production. A deficiency of clotting factors or vitamin K can lead to excessive bleeding after trauma or injury.
- Pregnancy: Dried apricots have been used in ancient remedies for infertility. Besides, their vitamin and mineral contents make them an excellent snack choice during pregnancy.
- Digestive Health: Are dried apricots good for your digestion? Yes, they are. They improve digestive tract health and stimulate digestion as they contain alkali which can neutralize acids. What’s more, dried apricots also act as laxative and clean the digestive tract.
Note: Though they have many health benefits, remember that dried apricots have very high sugar content. This extra sugar can be harmful for your teeth, so rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth after having them.
How to Make Dried Apricots at Home
You can easily make dried apricots at home. Take fully ripe apricots and clean them thoroughly. Put them in the hot water for 10-15 minutes and then take them out. After dividing them in halves and taking out the pit, place them on a sheet of parchment paper. Heat the oven and keep the temperature at its lowest possible value. Keep the apricots in it for ten to twelve hours. After that, turn the dried apricots inside out if they are not completely dry. Put them back in the oven for another 12 hours. Then you can enjoy them.
Here is a great video for you about homemade apricots: