Fruits are packed with vitamins and nutrients and can provide numerous health benefits. Apricots are native to China, but the United States grows 90 percent of the world's apricots, according to Ann Henderson and Charlotte Brennand from the Utah State University Extension. These fruits fulfill a wide range of nutritional needs and are easy to pack as snacks, whether fresh or dried.
Vitamin A (Retinol)
Apricots are a good source of vitamin A, also known as retinol. This is a fat-soluble vitamin that aids in cellular differentiation, vision and healthy fetal development. It also is involved in immune-system functioning and keeping the skin and mucous membranes healthy. Vitamin A may also help treat acne and skin problems, promote healthy vision, reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and maintain bone strength. It may also be important in neurological functioning.
Apricots are a good source of dietary fiber, something your body needs to help with good intestinal function, and may help reduce blood pressure, says the University of Colorado Extension. One cup of apricots contains approximately 3 grams of fiber.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of the vitamins found in apricots. This vitamin is an antioxidant and can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, possibly reducing the risk of cancer and other diseases. This vitamin can also help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, age-related macular degeneration and the common cold. Since the vitamin is sensitive to light, air and heat, eating dried apricots still provides you with vitamin C, but eating fresh apricots will provide you with more.
Potassium is a mineral that every cell, tissue and organ in the body needs to function properly. This mineral, abundant in apricots, is an electrolyte, which means it helps control electricity in the body. It also is necessary for heart function and muscle contraction. Potassium is thought to play a role in bone formation, lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of stroke.
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Vitamin A (Retinol); Steven D. Ehrlich; June 1, 2009
- ApricotFacts: Health Benefits of Apricots
- Colorado State University Extension: Dietary Fiber
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid); Steven D. Ehrlich, MD; June 18, 2009
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Potassium; Steven D. Ehrlich; May 6, 2009
- Utah State University Extension; Preserve the Harvest: Apricots; Ann E. Henderson, Charlotte Brennand; July 2004
- United States Department of Agriculture: Apricots, Raw