The California Apricot, one of nature’s nutritional powerhouses, not only has a rich history, but is also the leader of apricot production in the United States. Over 300 growers in California, covering 17,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley, produce over 95% of the apricots grown in the United States.
California produces over 95% of the apricots grown in the U.S.
Most apricot farms in California are small, family-owned businesses that pride themselves on growing one of California’s most prized specialty crops. This small, delicate fruit not only packs a powerful punch of nutrients, but is also extremely versatile due to its sweet, tart flavor, variety of menu uses, and the variety of ways it is produced, packaged and sold.
Resource via: California Fresh Apricots
Health Benefits of California Apricots
California apricots are packed with vitamins and nutrients that can provide numerous health benefits. Tiny, but mighty, apricots fulfill a wide range of nutritional needs and are easy to pack as snacks, whether fresh or dried. Check out some of their amazing health benefits below.
Apricots Promote Cancer Prevention
The powerful antioxidants found in apricots help protect the body from free radical activity and damage to cells and DNA. Though controversial, recent studies say that apricot seeds fight cancer due to their laetrile content. Laetrile, also known as B17, is a controversial substance found in the seeds (also known as “pits” or “kernels”) of apricots. B17 has been noted for both its cancer-fighting potential as well as its supposed toxic effect on humans.
Apricots are High In Antioxidants
Apricots are a good source of vitamin C and a great source of vitamin A, providing 20% of one’s DV per serving.
California Apricots are Heart Healthy
The beta carotene found in apricots is now considered by many studies to play a positive role in cardiovascular health and heart disease prevention. They help prevent oxidation to LDL cholesterol and detoxify the blood.
Apricots are High In Fiber
The high fiber content in apricots offers a variety of health benefits. It may be essential in colon health, is great for digestion and helps balance the metabolism and maintain a healthy body weight.
Apricots Promote Positive Eye Health
Fruit like apricots, high in vitamin A and carotenoids, are now considered by many to help strengthen the eyes. One report stated that eating 3 or more servings of these fruits per day may help to prevent age related eye disease like macular degeneration.
Apricots Can Ease Anemia
Apricots contain a good amount of iron and copper, both of which may help in the formation of hemoglobin.
California Apricots Aide Weight Loss
Apricots are a low calorie, nutrient rich food source that may be a great addition to any weight loss program. In addition, the fiber in apricots may help to maintain a healthy weight level.
Apricots Can Help Create Healthy Skin
Rubbing apricot oil on the skin may help relieve the symptoms of conditions like eczema and scabies.
Resource via: Health Diaries
Apricot Fun Facts
- In Latin, apricot means “precious.”
- Apricots originally were grown in China over 4000 years ago.
- In one ounce apricots contain enough beta carotene to supply 20 percent of your daily vitаmin A requirements.
- Dreaming of apricots, in English folklore, is said to be good luck.
- Astronauts ate apricots on the Apollo moon mission.
- Over half the apricots grown are canned due to their short season.
- Three and one half ounces of dried apricots can supply four million grams of beta carotene.
- Dried apricots are over 40 percent sugar. (Try and purchase unsulphured dried apricots.)
- Store ripe apricots in the crisper bin of the refrigerator for one to two days.
- To ripen apricots, place them in a closed paper bag at room temperature.
Resource via: Top Food Facts