Both fresh and dried apricots
are highly nutritious and have
a low glycemic index, making
them an excellent food for
Fresh apricots contain vitamin C, folate, potassium, and vitamin E. Their high content of beta-carotene,
an important antioxidant, helps to prevent some cancers. They are also ideal for weight maintenance as they are a good source of fiber and are fat-free. The semidried, plumped fruit is a very good source of potassium and iron, although the drying process diminishes the vitamin C and carotene content. Dried apricots, because they contain less water, are, weight for weight, higher in calories than fresh ones, but they are an ideal energy-giving snack.
- Contain a range of carotenes: beta-carotene for cancer prevention; lutein and
- zeaxanthin for eye health; and cryptoxanthin, which may help to maintain bone health.
- High in total and soluble fiber for healthy heart and circulation.
- Excellent source of potassium.
Fresh apricots need to be fully ripe to maximize their carotene content, and cookingthem helps the carotene and soluble fiber to be better absorbed in the body. Fresh apricots are excellent in fruit crumbles or poached in white wine. When buying dried apricots, ideally choose organic varieties, because these do not contain sulfur dioxide, to which some people are allergic. Dried apricots are good in couscous, salads, and can be stewed then served with yogurt.
DID YOU KNOW?
Hunza apricots are a form of dried apricots that grow wild in the Hunza Valley in Kashmir, India. The fruits are left on the trees to dry and must be cooked before eating.