Although they're not a citrus fruit, apricots do contain a small amount of citric acid, which gives this small orange fruit its tart taste. While the acid in the fruit offers some health benefits, some people need to limit their intake of the natural substance because of an intolerance. Consult your doctor if you feel sick after eating apricots.
Citric Acid in Apricots
The amount of citric acid in apricots varies depending on whether you're eating fresh or dried versions of the fruit. While dried fruits are generally a more concentrated source of nutrients, that isn't the case for citric acid. A 100-gram serving of fresh apricots, which is approximately three apricots, contains about 7 to 10 grams of citric acid, while the same serving of dried apricots contains about 6 to 9 grams. An 8-ounce glass of orange juice contains just 2 grams of citric acid.
Benefits of Citric Acid
Citric acid isn't a vitamin or mineral and isn't essential, but it does offer some health benefits. As an antioxidant, citric acid may help prevent or delay damage to cells. But citric acid's best-known use may be to help prevent kidney stones. Getting more citric acid in your diet from foods such as apricots may help prevent the formation of kidney stones as well as help break up the ones you may already have, according to the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.
Citric Acid Intolerance
Some people can't tolerate citric acid because of an inability to metabolize it. Common reactions include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, rash or itchy skin. The amount of citric acid that can cause a reaction varies from person to person. If you have difficulty tolerating citric acid, talk to your doctor to determine if it's OK to eat apricots.
Additional Apricot Benefits
Apricots make a healthy addition to your diet, whether you're eating them to up your intake of citric acid or because you enjoy their taste. A 100-gram serving of fresh apricots has less than 50 calories, 11 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber. It also meets almost 40 percent of the daily value for vitamin A and 17 percent of the daily value for vitamin C. As antioxidants, these vitamins boost your body's fighting power against cell damage.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Citric Acid
- PubChem: Citric Acid
- European Food Research and Technology: Effect of Drying Temperature on Polyphenolic Content and Anitoxidant Activity of Apricots
- University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics: Citric Acid and Kidney Stones
- University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service: Chemical Cuisine
- HealthAliciousNess.com: Nutrition Facts Comparison Tool: Apricots Raw, Apricots Dried Sulfured Uncooked
- MedlinePlus: Antioxidants
- Right Diagnosis: Food Additive Adverse Reaction: Citric Acid Intolerance