Dried apricots are one of the most valued dried fruits. They contain huge amounts of important nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, thanks to which they support the work of many organs and participate in building immunity. What is most important, they do not lack culinary value, which is why they are simply ideal among food products – such a combination of health benefits and taste occurs extremely rarely. If dried apricots have not yet found their way into our menu, it is worth making a correction and put them there as soon as possible. Why eat dried apricots? Do dried apricots aid weight loss? What health properties do dried apricots have and how to use them in the kitchen?
Table of contents
- 1 Dried fruit – a treasury of nutrients and a culinary lifebelt in one
- 2 Apricot – one of the tastiest and healthiest fruits in the world
- 3 Dried apricots – nutritional properties. What ingredients can be found in the orange fruit?
- 4 Health benefits of dried apricots
- 4.1 Dried apricots aid digestion
- 4.2 Dried apricots support kidney function
- 4.3 Positive effects of dried apricots on blood pressure and heart
- 4.4 Dried apricots protect the eyes
- 4.5 Building immunity, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties of dried apricots
- 4.6 Dried apricots – support for muscles, joints and bones
- 4.7 Dried apricots improve the condition of skin and hair
- 5 Dried apricots – slimming properties. How do dried apricots support slimming?
- 6 Culinary applications of dried apricots
Dried fruit – a treasury of nutrients and a culinary lifebelt in one
We definitely pay too little attention to dried fruit in our nutrition plan. They are generally only a rarely used addition to a few dishes and desserts. For some, they are a lifeline during the winter when fresh fruit is scarce.
However, we should reach for dried fruit not only occasionally and not only in winter, but often and throughout the year! They have a lot of nutritional value, which results both from the rich composition of the fruit, as well as from the condensed form of dried fruit. During the drying process, water is removed from the fruit, as a result of which we have a much greater concentration of nutrients in a smaller volume of raw material.
Why is it worth eating dried fruit often?
- Dried fruit is rich in dietary fibre, thanks to which it is brilliant for digestive problems, constipation and lazy work of intestines.
- Dried fruit stimulates cleansing the body from toxins.
- Dried fruits are an excellent way to supplement vitamins and minerals in the body, they contain much more of them than fresh fruits.
- Dried fruits are rich in antioxidants which protect us against the decrease in immunity, fight inflammations, protect the cells against oxidative stress, prevent the creation of cancer cells and slow down the ageing process.
- Dried fruits contain vitamin A, copper, zinc, B group vitamins, thanks to which they have a positive effect on the condition of skin and hair.
- Dried fruits can add variety to many sweet and spicy dishes (they go well with meat, match vegetable and rice dishes of oriental origin, they combine well with yoghurts, oatmeal etc.).
- Dried fruits are an excellent way to supplement carbohydrates after a heavy physical effort, e.g. after a hard workout.
- Dried fruit is a valuable, dietetic, sweet snack which is a great alternative to those unhealthy and fattening snacks.
- Dried fruit is a great choice for physically active people. The electrolytes contained in them (potassium, magnesium and calcium) support proper body hydration. This nutritious snack will be perfect as an ingredient of home-made isotonic drinks.
Apricot – one of the tastiest and healthiest fruits in the world
Apricots are fruits originating from Asia, today they are widely cultivated all over the world. They are used especially in food industry, but also in herbal, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry. The apricot is a perennial plant belonging to the rose family. The apricot tree grows up to about 8 m tall with egg-shaped, double-sawn leaves, small white flowers and small spherical fruits, which are characterized by a beautiful deep yellow-orange color.
In cultivation, the apricot is not a difficult tree. It grows best and produces the most fruit on sunny, warm positions sheltered from the wind. The soil for apricot should be fairly compact, fertile, humus, without excess water, with a slightly acidic or neutral pH. The first fruits appear after 3-4 years from planting. The tree needs regular fertilizing and pruning, forming a ball-shaped crown from the branches.
Dried apricots – nutritional properties. What ingredients can be found in the orange fruit?
Apricot is a fruit, which, both in the fresh and dried version, is distinguished by its versatile culinary uses, velvety, crisp, sweet flavor and richness in nutrients. However, in the dried version the nutrients are present in multiplied quantities!
Dried apricots are known for their high vitamin A content. They also have a fairly high vitamin C content. They are also equipped with a wide range of other valuable vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. With such a rich content, they can be a worthy substitute for many vitamin complexes and micro- and macroelements in tablets! If we need a vitamin boost, but want to take a break from ready-made preparations, dried apricots will be a hit!
Valuable ingredients contained in dried apricots
- Vitamin A (beta carotene),
- Vitamin C,
- Vitamin E,
- B vitamins (B1, B2, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, folic acid, B12),
- antioxidants (e.g. flavonoids, zeaxanthin, lutein),
- dietary fiber,
- organic acids (citric, tartaric, malic).
Health benefits of dried apricots
Dried apricots aid digestion
Due to high content of dietary fiber and pectin, dried apricots have a positive effect on metabolism, aid digestion, eliminate the feeling of fullness and other digestive disorders, e.g. those occurring after a heavy meal. They also alleviate the feeling of fullness and other digestive disorders, e.g. those occurring after a heavy meal. By stimulating peristaltic movements of the intestines, they stimulate the process of eliminating toxins, deposits and all waste products from the body.
Dried apricots also help stabilize insulin secretion and prevent rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Moreover, dried apricots, thanks to their alkaline action, fight excess acids in the body, helping with heartburn, reflux and hyperacidity of the stomach.
By improving intestinal motility, dried apricots fight constipation, bloating and gas and restore regular, normal bowel movements. When eaten in large quantities, they may have a slight laxative effect.
Dried apricots support kidney function
Dried apricots also have beneficial effects on the kidneys. They help regulate kidney function and fight inflammation within the organ. They are also a valuable support in case of chronic kidney diseases and help to fight urinary tract infections.
Positive effects of dried apricots on blood pressure and heart
Due to their high potassium content, dried apricots should also benefit people with arrhythmia, those who tend to have high blood pressure spikes, and those battling hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. Dried apricots help stabilize blood pressure and heart function, support proper blood circulation and care for good condition of blood vessels.
The presence of phytosterols in dried apricots helps reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. And thanks to a large dose of iron, dried apricots help prevent anemia.
Dried apricots protect the eyes
Dried apricots also have the advantage of protecting the eyes, mainly thanks to lutein and zeaxanthin, two valuable antioxidants from the xanthophyll group. They protect the eyes against the influence of harmful UVA and UVB radiation and counteract diseases of the visual apparatus. By delaying the ageing processes, they help maintain proper and clear vision for longer.
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Building immunity, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties of dried apricots
The composition of dried apricots includes a whole list of substances that act as antioxidants, including xanthophylls, flavonoids, vitamin A, C and E. They all stimulate the immune system to more effective protection against pathogens (including viruses, bacteria, fungi) and infections caused by them.
Antioxidants present in dried apricots also protect us from the harmful effects of free radicals. Excess of free radicals in the body, produced mainly as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle (smoking cigarettes, excessive use of alcohol, living in polluted air, eating processed food and fried, fried foods).and fried, fatty food, excessive sun exposure), causes cells to become damaged or die prematurely. Thanks to antioxidants, free radicals are efficiently neutralized, and thus our cells are better protected.
The antioxidant effect of dried apricots translates into increased body vitality, slowing down aging processes and reducing the risk of many diseases of civilization, including cancer, atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases.
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Dried apricots – support for muscles, joints and bones
Thanks to the high content of calcium, potassium and magnesium, dried apricots support the correct functioning of muscles. Thanks to the aforementioned bio-elements and antioxidants, they are also beneficial to joints and bones – they strengthen them, revitalize, fight inflammation and protect against damage. Positive influence on the strength and composition of bones makes dried apricots a regular source of nutrition for people suffering from osteoporosis and women during and after menopause, when the bone tissue density begins to decrease.
Dried apricots improve the condition of skin and hair
Since dried apricots are a very rich source of vitamin A (a few dried apricots cover the daily requirement for this vitamin), they have an extremely beneficial effect on the skin. Vitamin A accelerates the renewal of the epidermis, regulates sebum secretion and prevents excessive water loss, thus comprehensively improving the condition of the skin. By stimulating collagen and elastin production, it prevents skin aging processes, loss of firmness and wrinkles.
Also contained in dried apricots, vitamins C, E and B vitamins, as well as copper, are the allies of beautiful, smooth, well-nourished skin. The same substances also take care of the condition of hair and nails – they strengthen them and make them look healthier.
If we are already talking about the valuable effects of apricots on skin and hair, it is worth, in addition to consuming these fruits, reach for it is also worth reaching for apricot oil (it can be purchased in almost every drugstore and online), which is perfect for daily care. It can be used directly on the skin, body and hair or added to homemade cosmetics, such as masks, scrubs and lotions.
Read also: How to rejuvenate your face?
Dried apricots – slimming properties. How do dried apricots support slimming?
In almost every slimming diet, products with a high content of dietary fibre play the first role, such as products from whole cereal grains, seeds and seeds, groats, legumes, vegetables and fruits, including dried fruits, which contain double the amount of fiber!
Thanks to fibre, dried apricots will benefit our figure in various ways: They improve digestive processes, help to get rid of food debris, toxins and deposits from the body faster and easier, regulate bowel movement, contribute to elimination of flatulence and constipation, and reduce abdominal circumference. They will also provide us with the feeling of satiety, help to normalize blood sugar levels, curb appetite and persevere on a diet with reduced calorie content. Due to their sweet taste, they will be a good alternative to sweets.
Unlike sweets, sticks, crisps or other fattening snacks, dried apricots are perfect as a snack between main meals. They will fight the feeling of hunger for some time and allow you to “survive” until lunch or dinner and additionally provide the body with a number of important elements.
If you are engaged in some form of physical activity, it is worth reaching for a portion of dried apricots after training. This will allow us to supplement carbohydrates and minerals.
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Dried apricots – calories. Are dried apricots fattening?
Although dried apricots have a lot of carbohydrates, we can without fear introduce them into a slimming diet, of course not in astronomical quantities. A few dried apricots will provide the body with about 100-150 kcal. This is quite a lot for such a small amount of product, but let’s not forget that along with the fruit to our digestive system will go a lot of fiber and pectin, which will be used in the diet.and pectin, which will bring us many benefits, with the acceleration of intestinal transit, detoxification of the body and satisfying the appetite for sweet at the top.
To sum up, dried apricots are very sweet fruit, so we should keep moderation in their consumption. Due to the large amount of sugars contained in them, they should not be eaten in the evening or in large quantities, especially by people striving for rapid weight loss. However, a handful or two of dried apricots daily will certainly not harm our figure.
Culinary applications of dried apricots
How to eat dried apricots? There are many ways to use this fruit, full of unique flavour. They go well with all sweet dishes, but they also match many savoury dishes such as turkey roast with dried apricots, shoulder or pork loin with dried apricots, tenderloin with dried apricots, risotto with dried apricots, salad with apricots and ham, mozzarella and vegetables, tajine with apricots, pilaf with dried apricots, chicken curry with dried apricots.
You can eat dried apricots as a snack without any additives or make them an ingredient of a tasty and healthy sweet dish: oatmeal, millet, buckwheat, yoghurt dessert, sweet rice, millet pudding, fruit mousse or jelly. We can also make smoothies with them from the blender.
If we are lovers of homemade cakes and pastries, dried apricots will give us an excellent field for culinary feats. They go well with cheesecakes, cakes, gingerbread, fruitcakes, tarts, yeast cakes, croissants, mazurkas and many other baked goods.