Apricot

Apricot

Apricot belongs to the Rosaceae family, in the same family as nectarine and peach; it is cultivated throughout the temperate regions of the world. Apricot is native to China, it was introduced to the United States in the 18th century by Spanish missionaries, and it is now cultivated in Central and Southeast Asian, Southern Europe and North Africa. The apricot fruit is round to oblong in shape, similar to the shape of a peach. It has a soft, velvety, golden yellow to orange colour skin and flesh, with a single pit in the core. The flesh is not too juicy, but smooth and sweet with a faint tartness that lies between a peach and a plum. Apricot is in season from May through September in North America; the fresh fruit that is available in the winter months is usually imported from South America or New Zealand. Apricot can be eaten raw as a fresh fruit, but also dried, cooked, preserved as jam, or distilled into brandy and liqueur; moreover, its pit can also be extracted into essential oil.

Nutritional Facts

Apricot is a good source of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant which quenches free radical damages to cells and tissues, and protects eye’s lenses against radical damage. It is also a good source of fiber, which can prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive system. Moreover, the high beta-carotene content of apricot helps protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which may help in heart disease prevention.

Reference

Britannica Encyclopedia (n.d.) Apricot. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/30806/apricot

The World’s Healthiest Foods. (n.d.) Apricots. Retrieved from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=3