Are you familiar with this little yellowish fruit named apricot? This fruit symbolizes summer that comes into season from May through August and belongs to the genus Prunus or stone fruits, contains lots of nutrition, and is rich in flavor. Apricot also has many vitamins and minerals. It has velvety golden orange skin and is often made into dried apricots. Although quite popular because of its taste and catchy appearance, there are quite a few facts that people might not know about apricot thanks to its yellow color. Find these ten facts about apricot we have concluded below!
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1. The origin of the apricot is lost in time
Although widely known as a fruit that originated in China and was cultivated about 4000 years ago, the origin is unknown. It has existed for so long, where and when it was first domesticated are the facts that got lost in time. Apricot is also a crop widely grown in ancient Persia (now Iran). Some insist that its cultivation history begins in India in 3000 BC, while others say it all began in China.
Apricot held high favor with traders, locals, and travelers that it began its journey to the west along the Silk Road and started to grow across Central Asia and the Middle East. Apricot has reached the Mediterranean around 2000 years ago, and it flourished in the warm and sunny climate. Nowadays, Turkey had produced an enormous amount of apricots, producing over three-quarters of a million tons every year. The second place belongs to Iran with half a million tons, and the third-place belongs to Uzbekistan. There are almost 40 nations around the world that have produced more than 10.000 tons of apricots.
2. Where does the name apricot comes from?
The name “apricot” first appeared in English in the 16th century, after it went through 9 changes of words and different languages, where it was first called as praecocia from Latin [persica that means “peach”] which means “early ripening”, then changed into late Greek πραικόκιον (praikókion, which means “apricot”), then to the Byzantine Greek, “βερικοκκίᾱ” (berikokkíā, means apricot tree), changed into the Catalan’s “a(l)bercoc”, to Spanish “albaricoque” and later Middle French’s “aubercot” and later “abricot”, then changed into “abrecock” before finally it received its long-lasting name up until now, which is the “apricot”.
3. Apricot was once regarded as an aphrodisiac
In the 16th century, this yellowish fruit was regarded as having an aphrodisiac effect as suggested by William Shakespeare in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. The queen Titania directs her fairies to feed Puck some apricots as part of a love potion to ignite passion between them. Aboriginals also used apricot for aphrodisiac tea by steeping its kernels.
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4. Apricot is a recommended healthy food
Apricot is recommended whenever you need healthy food or snack. They have a high amount of vitamins, potassium, and flavonoids. The flavonoids will strengthen and protect our blood vessels, helping us reduce signs of inflammation. Meanwhile, potassium will allow nutrients to move around our body, as it is an essential mineral for muscle and nerve function. It will also promote healthy blood pressure and heart health.
The recommended portion for daily consumption is 30grams, around three to four apricots. We can also consume the dried apricots, which have the same nutritional qualities as the original fresh fruit. What’s more, dried apricots contain more antioxidants, minerals, and fiber than raw fruit. Hence dried apricots are recommended for our daily consumption.
5. Apricot for the health of our vision
We often neglected our vision’s health, even though it’s very vital to keep our eyes healthy from any risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, and many more. Thankfully, apricot is here to help our supply of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and other carotenoids that will promote our eye health. There is also lutein that will help support our retina and lens’ health. Meanwhile, carotenoids and vitamin E will help support our vision.
6. Apricot for a better digestion system
By consuming apricot regularly, it will offer plenty of dietary fiber to help our digestive tract. The total fiber content is half soluble fiber and half insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber will help our digestive system to retain enough water and encourages the lives of good bacteria. Insoluble fiber will help to maintain healthy gut bacteria levels.
7. How does an apricot taste?
An apricot’s taste is not overly juicy, but it has a lovely sweet and tart flavor, best described as a cross between a peach and a plum. Due to their small size, this fruit is often eaten in multiples.
8. Apricots is rich in vitamin C
Because vitamin C cannot be stored in our bodies, we need to eat it every day. Vitamin C is beneficial to help us protect our cells and help create collagen that will maintain the connective tissues for our skin, cartilage, and bones. It is vital for a healing process. Moreover, vitamin C is an antioxidant that will help us absorbing iron into our bodies.
9. Apricots for our daily potassium intake
Apricot has exceptional potassium levels that can help supply critical minerals for our body. Potassium can control the balance of fluids in our body and maintain the proper function of the heart, brain, and control our blood pressure. The recommended daily intake for potassium is 3.500 mg. Four or five dried apricots will help around a fifth of this requirement.
10. The beneficial apricot oils
More than just a mere delicious fruit, apricot can also be used for other needs. The kernel of apricot’s fruit can be extracted into oil and used widely in cosmetics and massage oil. It consists of a high amount of unsaturated fats and is claimed to work well as a moisturizer and to help reducing inflammation when applied externally. Apricot oil can also be used as an essential oil in aromatherapy. Some products of apricot oils are also edible and can also be used for cooking or put on salads.
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