Dried apricot is a traditional dried fruit, but nowhere else you can find so many varieties of dried apricots like in Uzbekistan. No wonder that according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, world production of apricots is led by Uzbekistan. Chocolate-coated dried apricots are a popular type of confectionery in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia. Egyptians usually dry apricots, add sweetener, and then use them to make a drink called “amar al-dīn”.
If during a week you replace a few servings of fresh fruit with smaller portions of dried apricots, you will enrich your diet with fiber, potassium, iron, and antioxidants.
Dried Apricots Nutritional Value
One ounce (28g) of dried apricots is about 1/4 cup, or eight halves of the dried fruit. It supplies about 67 calories, 17g of total carbohydrates (including 15g of sugar that provide 90% of the calories and 2g of fiber), 1g of protein and trace fat. There are only 3mg of sodium per serving, making dried apricots a low-sodium food and a good choice for those with high blood pressure.
Dried apricots are:
- a good source of provitamin A beta-carotene
- rich in vitamin E that fights free radicals
- high in iron that improves hemoglobin production
- low in glycemic index which is good for people with Type 2 diabetes
- rich in potassium and low in sodium which help regulate blood pressure
5 Health Benefits of Dried Apricots
1. Dried apricots are a good source of provitamin A, beta-carotene
The beta-carotene found in apricots converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. It takes part in many metabolic reactions throughout the body that help maintain good vision, gene transcription, immune function, embryonic development and reproduction, bone metabolism, skin and cellular health, and mucous membrane conditions. Vitamin A deficiency is “the leading cause of preventable childhood blindness,” according to UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund).
2. Dried apricots have decent amount of vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that acts as a free radical scavenger. Vitamin E travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals. It has significant anti-inflammatory effects that result in the reduction of symptoms in asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin E has also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer, help decrease the severity and frequency of hot flashes in women going through menopause, and help reduce the development of diabetic complications.
3. Dried apricots improve hemoglobin production
because they are rich in iron. Iron is an active component of hemoglobin that delivers oxygen to every cell in the body. It is the nutrient that keeps us energized.
4. Dried apricots are rich in potassium
Potassium is a mineral our bodies need to regulate blood pressure and keep sodium levels normal.
5. Dried apricots have a low glycemic index
That makes them health-beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.
Dried apricots also contain various polyphenols, including catechins. However, polyphenols have poor bioavailability, meaning that our body cannot absorb them and metabolise. Catechins show absorption of about 5%.
Enjoy dried apricots a few days a week!