Monday, January 27, 2014

Apricot

Scientific name: prunus armeniaca

Description:

Apricots are small deciduous tree originally cultivated in Persia and Armenia and belong to the Rosacea
family like pear, apple and pear. The leaves are ovate with a rounded base, pointed tip and serrated edge.
The flowers are pinkish white that are produced singly or in pairs.  The fruit is golden orange with a
velvety smooth skin and inside is a single seed enclosed in a protective outer shell.
The flesh is not as juicy as peaches but it's usually firm and its taste ranges from sweet to being tart &
musky.

Apricot is enjoyed as a fresh fruit or as dried. It is also distilled into brandy and liquor or cooked into
pastry or made into jam. The essential oil from seeds is also commercially sold as almond oil.

Parts used: fruit(fresh and dried), leaves, seeds.

Health benefits:

Apricots are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, dietary fiber, and potassium.

Apricots contain phytochemicals called carotenoids which gives it the red, orange and yellow hues. One of the carotenoids found in apricots is lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that protects from cancer.

Vitamin A - promotes good vision, reduces risks of having cataracts, lowers risk of age-related macular
degeneration and good for the skin.

Beta-carotene - helps protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation and helps prevent heart disease.

Vitamin C - prevents colds and other respiratory diseases.

Fiber - prevents constipation and diverticulosis.


Medicinal properties and uses:


Cancer: Apricots are rich in antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals and prevents cancer cells from forming. In folk medicine, apricots seeds, leaves or even the dried apricot fruits are considered effectove against tumors and cancers.

Anemia:
Apricot is a good source of iron which plays an important role in the formation of blood. Eating
apricots regularly improves blood flow and prevents anemia.

Heart Diseases:
Since apricot is rich in lycopene and other antioxidants and is also a good source of Vitamin
C then it plays a good role in making the heart healthy - reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, lowers
bad cholesterol (LDL) and improves general heart health.

Eye vision: As mentioned above, apricot is rich in carotenoids which reduce risk of eye vision problem.
Together with Vitamins A,C,E these components help improve eye vision and prevent macular degeneration.

Good for the Skin/ Anti-Aging: Apricot is a good source of antioxidants that nourishes the skin.

Improve digestion:  Apricot is rich source of dietary fiber that helps in digestion and prevents constipation
problems.

Weight loss: Apricot is rich in dietary fiber that proves beneficial to lose weight.

Asthma: Apricot is proven to treat asthma.

Arthritis and joint pains:
The oil extracted from apricot seeds are used as liniments to alleviate pain.

Choose fully ripened fruit to get the most antioxidants.


Precautions:

Apricot seeds are believed to contain cyanide and can be dangerous when taken in large quantities.