Apricots are one of the most important fruits in the world, and their incredible health benefits make them a great addition to a healthy diet. Relatives to peaches, apricots are one of the first signs of summer.
You can get dried apricots in most any supermarket year-round, but buy fresh ones as much as possible in the summer months as they are rich in vitamin C and fresh nutrients. I suggest you juice these fabulous fruits, to get their maximum benefits… but what are these benefits?
1. Beautiful Skin And Hair
You may have seen that many facial scrubs available at the store use apricot as the main ingredient. This is because apricot is a rich source of vitamin C and helps to improve skin elasticity. The nutrients present in apricot juice also prevent hair loss and stimulate hair growth. Dried apricots juice is also used in treating itching due to acne, eczema, scabies and sunburn.
2. Bone & Muscle Health
Apricots contain a considerable amount of calcium that helps improve bone health and prevents age-related osteoporosis. Women especially should consume apricot juice regularly as they are more prone to bone degradation. Dried apricots contain potassium which is necessary for bodily functions such as metabolism; thus, it is important for muscle-building and body growth.
3. Brain Function
Apricots contain magnesium and phosphorus which enhance brain functioning. Irregular blood pressure can cause brain stroke, and apricots score here too! They contain potassium which helps in healthy blood pressure thereby helping to keep your brain stroke-free. Both fresh and dried apricots are rich in potassium but dried apricots have a higher content.
4. Superior Eyesight
Dried apricots contain Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that helps combat free radicals which can damage eye lenses, leading to cataracts or loss of vision. Eye disorders like macular degeneration and glaucoma can be prevented by regular consumption of apricot juice.
5. Better Digestion
Apricots have pectin and cellulose that act as mild laxatives and treat constipation. Its juice flushes out unwanted waste in your digestive tract and aids the body’s digestive juices to create an alkaline environment. You can also consume half a cup of apricot juice before a meal since it can stimulate digestion and neutralize acids that cause hunger-pangs.
6. Treats Blood Disorders
Fresh apricots have small amounts of iron and also contain Vitamin K that is required for blood clotting. Make sure your daily diet includes a cup of dried apricots to get the RDA-recommended 4 mcg of Vitamin K.
7. Cancer Protection
New research shows that apricots can play a significant role in protecting against diseases like cancer. Dried apricots are high in antioxidants and have a high content of beta-carotene, such as lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin, compounds which can protect your cells against free radicals that cause cancers and other diseases.
How to Select and Store Apricots
- Select those fruits that are a vibrant orange in color; stay away from apricots looking pale and yellow.
- The fruit should be slightly soft at the time of purchase. Choose fully ripe fruits to get the most antioxidants, but make sure you consume these quickly.
- Store apricots in a dry container away from heat and humidity. You can also store them in the open air, if you intend to consume them within a day or two.
- If you have extracted apricot juice, you should ideally consume it within 10 minutes. That said, the juice can be frozen for one month and consumed later too.
So you are now eager to make apricot juice! There are two methods for juicing apricots:
1. Using a juicer:
- Cut each apricot in half to remove the pit.
- Slice the fruit in small pieces and feed them into the juicer.
- Juice as per the instructions on your juicer.
2. Using a strainer:
- Add the washed apricots to a pan and cover them with water.
- Bring the water to a boil and simmer the apricots; the flesh should be easily pierced by a toothpick, but still slightly firm (boiling the fruit with the skins intact helps prevent nutrient loss).
- Once done, drain the apricots and let them cool; then, peel, pit, and slice them.
- Strain the fruits using a strainer or cheesecloth.
You can choose any option, but the strainer method may yield slightly more juice!
I hope this article has given you the right incentive to make apricot juice a staple in your diet. Not only is the fruit healthy, but it is delicious and an ideal summer beverage too! Happy juicing!