The Diverse Benefits of Apricots

The Diverse Benefits of Apricots Supporting the Body and Providing Protection during the Aging Process 

Apricots (Prunus armeniaca L.) are a part of the Rosaceae family, which includes peaches, apples, cherries, berries and almonds. They contain a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fibers. 

Apricots have been used traditionally by the Chinese for the respiratory system and supporting detoxification (Kan T, Bostan SZ, 2010). They are a great source of phytochemicals with functions such as the prevention of oxidative stress in the body (Leccese A et al, 2011). They have been studied and show that their bioactives have a protective effect on different body systems and organs. They have demonstrated to have biological activity to protect the gastrointestinal tract, liver, cardiovascular system and against cell mutations (Fatima T et al, 2018). 

Antioxidant capacity of apricot 

It is known that oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals damage cells and tissues. Antioxidants such as those in apricots have demonstrated benefits to the cardiovascular system. 

The available, rich source of β-carotene in apricots having an orange color, provides 60−70% of the total carotenoid content (Jiang F et al, 2019). β-carotene is the key precursor of vitamin A, which is a major bioactive nutrient. Since vitamin A can’t be made in the body it is essential that it is consumed by humans, therefore apricots have significant value. 

Apricot with its β-carotene content is considered to be effective to prevent damaging effects from oxidative stress including effects on the intestines and kidneys (Vardi N et al, 2013; Vardi N et al, 2008). 

Liver protection 

There are animal studies that also show that apricots containing β-carotene also protects the liver (Ozturk et al, 2009) demonstrated by it lowering the liver enzymes, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and other measurements.

Age-related free radical protection 

There are many research studies that demonstrate an inverse relationship between carotenoids and age-related problems. The reason for this is because carotenoids have a potent effect against oxidative stress by extinguishing free radicals (Tan BL, Norhaizan ME, 2019). 

Supports the gastrointestinal system 

The gastrointestinal tract is very important since it is where nutrients are digested, absorbed and utilized for all their functional benefits. Fiber is critically important to provide roughage and bulk. Apricot fiber has demonstrated in animal research to improve gastrointestinal function and elimination (Tamura M et al, 2011). 

A study was performed where subjects consumed 3 apricots a day and it showed improvement on the inflammatory response in the stomach lining (Enomoto S et al, 2010). 

Supports the cardiovascular system 

Apricot’s bioactive compounds such as chlorogenic acid, lycopene and β-carotene help to reduce oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL), which helps to provide stronger antioxidant function to the heart and arteries (Vardi N et al, 2013; Chang HK et al, 2006). 

In summary, apricots have been used by the Chinese for decades to support different body systems. The bioactives such as carotenoids are important for extinguishing free radicals and reducing oxidative stress in the body. This also helps improve health during the aging process.

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

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