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Consider the Nutritional Benefits of Apricots!

January 9, 2012

My clients often tell me that it’s hard to eat enough fruits during the winter because there aren’t many to choose from.  If you’ve been slacking on eating enough fruits each day, I have some news for you!  Today is National Apricot Day so be sure to eat at least one apricot at some point today in honor of this special day. 

Apricots are in season during the months of May through August, but that shouldn’t stop you during the winter months.  You can still enjoy them either canned or dried.  Apricots are originally from China.  The first major production of apricots in the U.S. was recorded in 1792 in an area south of San Francisco.   Today, about 95% of the apricots grown in the U.S. come from California.

Health Benefits

Apricots are rich in beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A), which can help protect the heart by preventing LDL cholesterol from oxidation, and in turn can help prevent heart disease.  Vitamin A also helps to promote good vision by reducing free radical damage to cells and tissues of the eyes, which can injure the eyes lenses.  Studies have shown that those studied who had the highest vitamin A intake reduced their risk of developing cataracts by 40%. 

 Apricots are also a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.  The antioxidant lycopene found in apricots gives the fruit its golden orange color. 

 

Meal Planning Tips

  • Add sliced apricots to hot or cold cereal
  • Add chopped apricots to whole wheat pancake batter
  • Add apricots and walnuts to your salad
  • Make a fruit smoothie with apricots and some of your other favorite fruits
  • Add sliced apricots to low fat vanilla yogurt with lowfat granola for a delicious parfait
  • Put dried apricots in a baggie and keep in your pocketbook for a midafternoon snack. 

When selecting apricots, be sure to choose those that have a rich orange color and are fully ripened to ensure the most antioxidants.

What are YOUR favorite ways to eat apricots?

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