Apricot for Good Health

Apricot for Good Health

The apricot (Prunus armeniaca) is one of the most important fruits. It belongs to the sub-acid class. It is somewhat acidic in its raw state, but its acidity decreases and the sugar content increases in the process of ripening. The fruit is regarded as a nutritious and tonic food and enjoys world-wide popularity.

The apricot is a stone fruit and has nuts within it. It is round or oblong in shape, flattened to some extent. It is similar in shape as peach, but is considerably smaller. It is yellowish in color. The fruit which ripens on the tree alone develops its true flavor which is very much like that of the peach.

Origin and Distribution

The apricot is believed to have originated in China, where it has been cultivated for over 4,000 years. It has also been grown in India and Tibet from time immemorial. The Hunzas, who live in the Himalayan mountains of northern Pakistan and are known for their vitality and longevity, have cultivated and valued this fruit for its health building virtues for over 1,500 years. It was regarded as a food medicine by Greek physicians, while the Romans dedicated it to Venus, the goddess of love.

In was introduced in Europe during the time of Alexander, the Great. In the Middle East, apricots were very popular for their taste as well as for their invigorating perfume.

Food Value

Apricots are rich in various food ingredients. The fresh fruit is rich in natural sugars, vitamin A and calcium. It is a good source of the Vitamins, i.e. B Complex, riboflavin and niacin as well as vitamin C. The nut of the apricot is rich in protein and fat and is considered as valuable as any other nut. It contains 40 to 45 per cent of an oil which is practically identical with almond oil in its physical as well as chemical properties.

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