The apricot is a tasty and versatile fruit, also known as apricot, APRICO, Apricot, abricoque or alperche often confused with the plum.
Its tree, the apricot, is small, usually measuring 3 to 6 meters, but reaching 10. Its origin is uncertain, and there are those who claim to have come from Armenia, or even from Siberia or China. However, its biggest production is in the Middle East.
Many confuse apricots with peaches , but they are different fruits. We can even say that they are from the same family (Prunus), but not the same thing. Slightly smaller than peaches, with yellow or slightly orange or pink skin and pulp, it is widely used in Arab cuisine, passing through savory and sweet dishes. It can be consumed fresh (in natura), dry (dehydrated).
Apricot fruit is still little consumed in Brazil, probably due to its low cultivation in the country, cultivated only in Rio Grande do Sul and cold regions of Minas Gerais. For this reason, it is more common to find it in its dry form. Your price may vary by location and time of year.
The benefits of apricot go far beyond flavor and versatility. Do you know them all?
Apricot has a high nutritional value, let’s check some of its properties:
- Vitamin A – helps protect the body from infections and viruses, important for the skin, eyes and hair;
- Vitamin C – protects cells, free radical fights, colds and flu prevents and treats;
- Potassium – controls blood pressure, fights stress and anxiety, prevents cardiovascular disease, regulates metabolism, helps weight loss and lean mass gain;
- Fibers – Aids weight loss, natural laxative, cleans the body, lowering blood glucose levels,
- Iron – prevents anemia, provides energy for the body, good for the skin, important for pregnant women,
Apricot has a low caloric index, only 48 calories per 100 grams.
- Good for eye health;
- Source of antioxidants;
- Heart healthy;
- Assists in weight loss;
- Strengthens bones;
- Quickly restores energy (great for athletes)
An excellent ally for those who need to strengthen their diet, such as athletes, children, people with anemia or pregnant women.
APRICOT X PEACH
In the wonder peach and apricot are confused, both come from the Prunus family .
DAMASK – Prunus armeniaca / PEACH – Prunus Persian
The differences are not just the name. The peach has a velvety skin, its flesh can be white or yellow, and its seed (by many considered toxic) is red, oval-shaped, and is not found and consumed in its dehydrated form. The apricot has a less succulent pulp and its color can be yellow or orange; The size of the apricot is slightly smaller than the peach and its seed has many beneficial properties.
DRY OR FRESH APRICOT: WHICH TO CHOOSE?
Fresh apricots (in natura) and apricots (dried) differ somewhat in their nutritional values. The dried version of the fruit has greater nutritional power, as the loss of water that occurs in the dehydration process causes a greater concentration of vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, calories increase. Fresh food should be consumed within 3 to 5 days, while the dry one lasts longer and you can take it in your bag and consume it wherever you are.
THE APRICOT PEEL
For some, it is already a habit to peel the fruit to eat, what they do not know or ignore is that some foods have their highest amount of vitamins and fiber in the skin, and this is the case with apricots.
Apricot rind is rich in beta-carotene (the substance that gives it its orange color), an antioxidant that helps prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer. So it is wise to consume it and not waste it.
THE APRICOT SEED
The apricot has a real hidden treasure, which is its seed. Apricot seeds (or pits) are sources of fiber, protein and vitamins, used in Chinese medicine to treat respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis and have an expectorant action.
The seeds also extract very rich oils with moisturizing, antioxidant, healing, antiseptic, muscle relaxant and expectorant properties. These oils are used to moisturize the skin, hair and even to relieve earaches.
The seeds are also used to make facial scrubs that help fight acne, have microbial and analgesic action. It helps to balance blood PH and relieve constipation, contains vitamin B-17, the substance responsible for killing cancer cells, in addition to being an aphrodisiac.
HOW TO INSERT APRICOT INTO THE DIET
Inserting apricots into the diet is not a difficult task, but it is true that there are people who do not like or do not have the habit of eating fruit. It is possible to include it making juices, creams, yoghurts, ice cream, jellies, syrups, jams, salads, farofas and even use as an accompaniment to meats. The options are endless.
Some of these products can be found ready-made in supermarkets, but before buying them, it is necessary to be aware of the nutritional values and the processes to which the fruit was submitted, as well as the substances and preservatives contained in them .
Here is an excellent recipe for including apricots in your diet in a tasty way and, best of all, very healthy, as it is sugar free.
SUGAR-FREE APRICOT JAM
- 2 cups of dried apricot tea
- 2 cups of orange juice tea
- 3 cups of water tea
- Sicilian lemon zest
Place the diced apricots in a pan (you can also chop them in a food processor), orange juice, water and lemon zest. With the pan half open, let it cook, stirring occasionally until it boils, for approximately 30 minutes.
Turn off the heat, let it cool for a few minutes and beat a little of the mixture in a blender (approximately 2 scoops) until smooth, then pour it back into the pan with the rest of the preparation and cook for another 5 minutes. It’s ready, just let it cool and savor it all you want.
CARE TO BE TAKEN WITH THE APRICOT
- Before buying, note the color of the apricot, which should be yellow or orange;
- Always choose firm apricots;
- Always prefer organic fruits;
- Do not exceed 100 grams per day (apricot helps reduce blood pressure)
A fruit of enormous richness, which can be consumed from the skin to the seed, and besides, it brings it numerous beneficial properties. Those looking for a healthy life should definitely include apricots in their diet.
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