There are so many benefits of apricots that we often don’t give those little fruits enough credit. In fact, for many of us, we forget about them altogether until their dried versions are sprinkled onto a salad or added to a trail mix. More often than not, when people are asked about their favorite fruits, apricots simply don’t make the list. It’s not that people don’t like them – they simply forget all about them.
That is rather unfortunate, as the benefits of apricots make them a worthy choice for any healthy and balanced diet. They’re full of helpful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. While they may not always be available in every supermarket, when they’re in season it’s a great time to snatch them up.
Consider some of the following benefits of apricots that you’ll want to remember the next time you see them in the produce aisle:
· Protect cells against free radical damage – The antioxidants in these fruits provide considerable protection against free radical damage to cells. These antioxidants are primarily vitamin C and beta-carotene (vitamin A), as well as flavonoids and other polyphenols. These may help to reduce the risk of heart disease, among other conditions.
· Support eye health – The carotenoids and xanthophylls in apricots may play a role in protecting eyes from age related macular degeneration – the leading cause of blindness in humans. It’s believed that these nutrients help to cut down on the damage caused by blue light over time.
· Fight inflammation – Due to the catechins (a flavonoid phytonutrient family) in apricots, they may play an important role in the body’s battle against inflammation. Inflammation can lead to a broad range of different health problems, ranging from pain and swelling to cardiovascular issues and other discomforts and disorders.
· Encourage overall health – Aside from more specific effects on the body, apricots are also good for health in general. As nutritious fruits that are also a good source of dietary fiber, they can be enjoyed as a part of a healthy diet. The fiber they contain supports digestive health while assisting in controlling blood cholesterol levels.
Even though you may not always see them at your grocery store, it’s a good idea to keep your eyes open for apricots. This is particularly true when you shop at specialty markets that carry fruits and veggies you wouldn’t typically see at your supermarket. Once they are in season, take the opportunity to buy a few and give your diet a bit of helpful variety.