Apricot is a low calorie, fat free, delicious and nutritious fruit. It is consumed fresh and in dried form. The apricot tree is a native of Armenia and China, grows in Australia, Turkey, Pakistan Italy, India (in the state of Jammu and Kashmir) and a few other temperate regions all over the world. The tree grows up to a height of 15 meters. It has branches bearing ovate serrated leaves and pinkish white flowers followed by the fruit. The fruit has an orange yellow skin, yellow flesh and a seed.
Part used: Fruit and oil extracted from seeds.
Chemical composition: Apricot is a source of vitamin A, C and E, minerals including potassium, calcium and iron, lycopene, little carbohydrate and fiber.
Apricot is a good source of energy. Dried apricots contain carbohydrates and are used in jams, jellies, cakes, and pastries.
Apricot is good for the eye. It also helps with other age related degenerative problems due to presence of, phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamin A and carotenes.
Apricots prevent cell damage caused by free radicals and are considered helpful in the prevention of cancer. It has also been suggested that apricot seeds contain vitamin B 17, which can help in the treatment of cancer.
Due to the presence of Vitamin E and antioxidants, apricots can help treat skin problems and reduce ageing signs and wrinkle formation. It is therefore used in face packs. Apricot oil contains vitamin E and is quickly absorbed by skin, giving it a glow. It also nourishes and moisturizes the skin. It is used for treating sunburn, eczema and scabies. Apricot oil is anti-asthmatic and is often applied to treat respiratory problems. A juice made from fresh apricot leaves has a soothing effect on the skin and can help treat scabies and eczema.
Apricots contain a high amount of fiber and can help reduce constipation, regulate bowel movement, reduce cholesterol, prevent heart disease and help in obesity. It is a complete health diet for obese people.
Apricots are also is beneficial for pregnant women due to the presence of Calcium. It reduces anemia and increases hemoglobin levels. When taken with water and honey, it can help regulate fever.
Contraindications: Fresh apricots contain a small number of oxalates. Hence people with kidney stones or kidney problems should not consume apricots in excess. People with respiratory problems such as asthma should take medical advice before consuming dry apricots.
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