Dried fruits are indeed small depots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and thus a natural source of healing factors. In the past, people used to dry the fruits only because that was an efficient way of storing them over the cold season. But the benefits of drying fruits really lie in the aging processes that make some of the nutrients more easy to assimilate.
Dried apricots – composition
Dried apricots have a high content of vitamins and minerals:
- vitamin A (3604 IU/100 g – 72% of the recommended daily value),
- vitamin E (4.3 mg/100 g – 22%DV), niacin (2.6 mg/100 g – 13%DV),
- vitamin B6 (0.1 mg/100 g – 7%DV), potassium (1162 mg/100 g – 33%DV),
- copper (0.3 mg/100 g – 17%DV), iron (2.7 mg/100 g – 15%DV)
- manganese (0.2 mg/100 g – 12%DV)
- magnesium (32 mg/100 g – 8%DV)
- phosphorus (71 mg/100 g – 7%DV)
- calcium (55 mg/100 g – 6%DV).
They are also very rich in dietary fibers (7.3 g/100 g – 29%DV) and beta carotene (2163 mcg/100 g), a compound with strong antioxidant properties that make it efficient in preventing heart disease and protecting against cancer. Apart from beta carotene, dried apricots also contain several other carotenoids, such as antheraxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta cryptoxanthin (lutein and zeaxanthin are especially good for the eyes, being selectively assimilated in the retina, which they protect against age related macular degeneration).
Dried apricots are good for maintaining skin, hair and eye health and for improving mental function (learning and memory). Also, they are efficient in treating hypovitaminosis and certain health issues such as:
- Eye inflammation
- High blood pressure
- Pulmonary, gastric and bladder cancer
Preparation and dosage
The usual dose is 80-100 g throughout the day, recommendable before a meal.
Dried apricot can also be used in salads (with carrots, walnuts, apples, lemon and cream) or made into tea (add 2 tablespoons of finely cut dried apricots in a cup of hot boiled water and let steep for 1-2 hours).
Do not exceed the daily recommended dose, because dried apricots are particularly rich in dietary fibers and if the anti-constipation effect can sometimes be felt even after consuming 3-4 dried apricots, you can imagine what an overdose can do to you. (In Traditional Chinese Medicine, dried apricots are used not only to relieve constipation, but also to induce diarrhea, in cases of disorders thought to be caused by an accumulation of water or wetness.)
Dried apricots are contraindicated for those who suffer from hypothyroidism, hyperacid gastritis, diabetes or hepatitis.