Apricots are small, golden, orange fruits, with soft and velvety smooth surface, not too juicy but definitely sweet. Apricots are one of the most anticipated summer fruits. The golden-orange color and velvety apricot rind make them irresistible.
Apricots originated from China, carried into Europe through Armenia, and therefore the scientific name is Prunus Aarmenaica. Apricot trees are transported to Virginia in 1720, and Spanish missionaries distribute them in California in 1792 where the climate is perfectly suited to apricot culture, which is why the main production of apricots in the United States is in the sunny gardens of California.
Composition of apricots
Apricots are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, tryptophan and potassium. They contain notable amounts of vitamins of the groups B, E and PP. They are rich in carbohydrates, most of which are easily absorbed substances and pectic sugars - fructose, glucose and maltose.
Apricots contain phytochemicals called carotenoids - compounds that give red, orange and yellow colors to fruits and vegetables. The powerful antioxidant lycopene is a carotenoid that is found in apricots. An apricot contains 16.8 calories, 0.49 g protein, 1 milligram of cholesterol.
Selection and storage of apricots
Apricot season is from May to August. In winter they are imported from South America. When choosing apricots should be sought fruits with deep orange color, avoiding those that are pale and yellow. Apricots should also be slightly soft. To be the best antioxidants should be selected fully ripe berries. Avoid too soft apricot with brown spots and places because these are signs of overripe.
Keep apricots 2-3 days at room temperature in a dark, dry and cool place can keep them for up to three weeks.
Culinary use of apricots
Apricots can be eaten fresh as well as dried or used for making sweets and jams. Fruits can also be distilled for making brandy and liquor. Apricot Nectar is one of the most delicious. Apricots are used in many creams. They are used for decoration and to maintain in the winter to prepare compote.
Benefits of Apricots
The nutrients contained in apricots can help protect the health of the heart and eyes. Three or more apricots a day reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss in elderly people. vitamin A contained in abundance in apricots is a good antioxidant that promotes healthy vision and protect against free radicals.
The high concentration of beta-carotene and lycopene in apricots makes them extremely important for heart health. They protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which may help prevent heart disease. Carotenoids and lycopene significantly reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. Only a handful of apricots contains the recommended daily dose of beta-carotene required for our body.
Apricots also contain nutrients such as vitamin A, which helps for good vision. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals that damage cells and tissues. Free radicals can harm the eye lenses.
Apricots are a good source of fiber, which helps to improve the process of digestion. Apricot is ideal for constipation and digestive disorders such as diverticulosis. Eat dried apricots with constipation because they contain more fiber than fresh in the case are helpful in constipation. Apricot is also known as a powerful wizard fighting against tapeworms.
The endless list of ingredients and benefits of apricots may be extended further, and is not surprising that dried apricots were at number one on the list of supplies for astronauts at NASA.
Dangers of apricots
Dried apricots, which are commercially produced, may have been treated with sulfur dioxide. They are treated with sulfur in order to extend their shelf life, as it is a kind of preservative that prevents oxidation and bleaching of colors. Sulfur can cause severe reactions in people who suffer from asthma.
Apricots are not recommended for people who suffer from diabetes, thyroid gland and liver diseases.
Beauty with apricots
Apricots are a tasty and useful fruit that is widely used in cosmetics. Cosmetic masks with apricots have beneficial effects on the skin – they refresh and rejuvenate it. Apricot oil made from the pips is also used in cosmetic masks that smooth wrinkles.
You can make your own apricot cream. For this purpose, melt 2 tablespoons almond butter, 2 tablespoons lanolin and 1 tablespoon apricot oil. Mix everything and add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.