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Apricots or Prunus armeniaca look a lot like peaches. They are related, but they’re very different! Apricots are smaller and sweeter. They also don’t have a fuzzy skin like peaches.
The kernel (pit, seed) of an apricot is used for medicinal purposes. It’s actually what apricot oil is made out of. However, a peach’s kernel is actually considered toxic.
Now that you know the differences, it’s time to learn about apricot’s benefits. Here are seven ways this tasty fruit can boost your health.
7 Health Benefits Of Apricots
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1. Soothes Inflammation
If you suffer from inflammatory diseases, you’ll love the benefits of apricot. For example, an apricot kernel is a traditional remedy for gastric inflammation. It’s been shown to soothe ulcerative colitis and the ulcers that come with it. The anti-inflammatory properties regulate the immune response, making it easier to combat inflammation. Even the expression of pro-inflammatory cells is suppressed by the apricot kernel.
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2. Cures Acne
Apricot oil also has benefits for the face. It’s made from the kernel, which has anti-microbial properties. This means that it can treat acne once and for all.
Specifically, it kills both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, two strains that show up in breakouts. The anti-inflammatory benefits will also help.
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3. Treats Hair Problems
The beauty benefits of apricot oil will also help your hair. For example, dandruff is often caused by a condition called seborrheic dermatitis. It’s an anti-inflammatory condition, but apricot oil can soothe it.
You can also use apricot oil as a hair treatment. It’s lightweight and silky, so it’ll make your hair feel super smooth. Use it as a natural alternative to expensive hair oils.
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4. Boosts The Immune System
Thanks to the vitamin C in apricots, you’ll be able to enhance your immunity. One apricot has 3.5 mg of vitamin C which will contribute to your daily intake. This nutrient is extremely important for immune function, so be sure to get enough! It’ll protect you from disease and aid iron absorption.
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5. Slows Down Eye Damage
Apricots are full of carotenoids, including lutein to zeaxanthin. These compounds protect the eyes from sun damage and therefore, age-related macular degeneration. Additional apricot fruit benefits include protection from cataracts. But if you already have a cataract, lutein and zeaxanthin will slow down the progression.
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6. Improves Brain Function
The lutein in apricots also offers benefits for brain health. Studies have shown that lutein is linked to improved cognitive function, even in older women ages 60 to 80 years old. Low levels of lutein have also been observed in people with mild cognitive impairment, suggesting a positive effect on brain function.
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7. Reduces Cholesterol
In just one cup of dried apricots, you’ll get 9.5 grams of fiber. This nutrient can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, while increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Even your triglycerides will improve. Together, these benefits of dried
apricots reduce your heart disease risk.
Apricots can be enjoyed in so many ways. The raw and dried fruit taste great in salads, smoothies, and yogurt. As a beauty remedy, apricot kernel oil can be used as a carrier oil. It also works well in homemade creams and face scrubs.