Apricots, relatives of peaches, originate from the mountainous regions of northern China and are one of the first signs of summer. These small, golden orange fruits are known for their velvety skin and sweet, slightly tart flesh. They are consumed fresh or dried and are used in a variety of culinary applications worldwide.
Per 100 grams, apricots offer:
- Calories: 15
- Protein: 0.5 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
- Carbohydrates: 3.9 grams
- Fiber: 0.7 grams
- Vitamin A: 13% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 4% of the DV
- Potassium: 2% of the DV
- Copper: 2% of the DV
Apricots offer a range of health benefits:
- Rich in Antioxidants: Apricots are a great source of antioxidants, including vitamins A and C, which can help protect your cells from damage by free radicals.
- Eye Health: The high levels of beta-carotene in apricots contribute to eye health, potentially reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
- Digestive Health: Despite their small size, apricots pack a punch when it comes to fiber, promoting healthy digestion and preventing constipation.
While apricots are generally safe to consume, a few points of caution should be noted:
- Allergy: Some people may have an allergic reaction to apricots, which could include symptoms like itching, swelling, dizziness, and difficulty breathing.
- Pits: Apricot pits, or seeds, should not be consumed as they contain a substance called amygdalin, which can be converted into a potentially toxic compound called cyanide in the body.
Weight Loss Benefits
Apricots can be a valuable addition to a weight loss plan:
- Low-Calorie Snack: With their low-calorie count, apricots can be a satisfying snack or addition to meals without adding many calories.
- Dietary Fiber: Apricots are a good source of fiber, which can promote feelings of fullness and help control overeating.
Five Practical Ways to Incorporate Apricots into Your Diet for Weight Loss
- Apricot Smoothie: Blend apricots with unsweetened almond milk, Greek yogurt, and a touch of honey for a refreshing smoothie that’s both satisfying and nutritious.
- Apricot Salad: Fresh apricots can add a burst of sweetness to salads. Try them with mixed greens, grilled chicken, and a lemon vinaigrette for a light, flavorful meal.
- Roasted Apricots: Roasting apricots intensifies their sweetness, making them a fantastic addition to savory dishes or as a healthy dessert with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Apricot Salsa: Create a unique salsa with diced apricots, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro. This can serve as a vibrant topping for grilled fish or chicken.
- Apricot Infused Water: For a twist on regular hydration, add slices of apricot to your water. It’s a delightful way to enjoy the taste of apricots while encouraging you to drink more water.
Apricots are versatile and nutritious fruit with a distinct sweet-tart flavor. Their fiber content and low-calorie count make them a wonderful option for those following a weight loss plan.