Apricots - Nutrients and Benefits

Apricots - Nutrients and Benefits

Apricots are a good 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 good source of vitamin A. Apricots also have vitamin C and iron.

The bark, leaves and inner stony pit of the apricot all contain amygdalin, a naturally occurring compound that degrades to release hydrogen cyanide (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 true. 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.

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