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The Nutrients and Benefits of Apricots

Apricots are a excellent source of dietary fiber with insoluble cellulose and lignin in the skin and soluble pectins in the flesh. The apricot’s creamy golden color comes from deep yellow carotenes (including beta-carotene) that make the fruit a excellent source of vitamin A. Apricots also have vitamin C and iron.

The bark, leaves and the inner stony pit of the apricot all contain amygdalin which is a naturally occurring compound that degrades to release hydrogen cyanide or prussic acid in your stomach. Apricot oil, treated during processing to remove the cyanide, is marked FFPA to show that it is “free from prussic acid”.

Extract of apricot pits, known medically as Laetrile, has been used by some alternative practitioners to treat cancer on the theory that the cyanide in amygdalin is released only when it comes in contact with beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme common to tumor cells. Scientifically designed tests of amygdalin have not shown this to be right. Laetrile is illegal in the United States.

The most nutritious way to serve apricot is when it is dried. Ounce for ounce, dried apricots are richer in nutrients and fiber than those fresh apricots.

Diets that may restrict or exclude apricots are low-fiber diet, low-potassium diet and low-sodium diet (dried apricots contain sodium sulfide).

Cindy is the host of asianonlinerecipes.com asianonlinerecipes.com, a Free Asian Recipes website dedicated to all things on Asian Cooking and Culinary Guide.

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