They are called the golden fruit, not only for their color, orange and precious, but above all for their nutritional profile and their health properties. We are talking about apricots, the small fruits that cheer up the shelves of the greengrocer from the end of May to July. So let's try to deepen the properties of apricots, trying to understand why it is important not to miss them now that it is the season!
Apricots contain sugars, and therefore energy, fibers, proteins, vitamins, such as vitamins C, E, groups B, A and K, mineral salts, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc (Fratianni et al, Front Nutr, 2022). Apricots are rich in antioxidants, such as beta carotene, lycopene and lutein, but also flavonoids and phenols such as quercetin, resveratrol, chlorogenic, caffeic and ferulic acids (Alajil et al, Foods, 2021).
Apricots, microbiota and cholesterol
Apricots are rich in fiber. In particular, they provide pectin which is a type of soluble fiber with a prebiotic action on the intestinal microbiota. This means that pectin promotes the proliferation of good intestinal bacteria, capable of fighting inflammation and supporting the immune system (Blanco Perez et al, Curr Allergy Asthma Rep, 2021). Not only that, pectin helps reduce bad LDL cholesterol since it slows its absorption in the intestine (Blanco Perez et al, Curr Allergy Asthma Rep, 2021).
Apricots and sight
The carotenoids contained in apricots are important to protect the macula, the central part of the retina, from degeneration (Alajil et al, Foods, 2021). Apricots, thanks to their contribution in carotenoids, have been shown to protect and support visual acuity.
Apricots and liver health
Studies have shown that apricots are hepatoprotective. In fact, these fruits counteract fatty liver disease, protect the liver from oxidative stress and damage caused by alcohol and a high-fat diet (Moustafa et al, J Food Sc Technol, 2019). Obviously this does not mean that if you eat apricots, you can eat unregulated and overindulge in alcohol. Indeed, a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are essential for our well-being. The statement just wants to bring attention to the power of apricots for liver health. Then, it was also observed that eating dried apricots for three weeks stimulated the regeneration processes of the liver (Yilmaz et al, Transplant Proc, 2013).
Apricots and skin
Apricots provide valuable antioxidants, such as beta carotene, which is present in large quantities in the skin and helps protect it from UV damage, cellular degeneration and aging processes. Not only that, the polyphenols contained in apricots help to keep the skin soft, hydrated, young and fresh, counteracting inflammatory processes (Michalak et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2022).