Good Living

Healthy Food – Apricots

Apricots are excellent sources of vitamin-A and carotenes. 100 grams of fresh fruits carry 1926 IU or 64% of daily required levels of vitamin-A. These compounds known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin-A also required for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes helps protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers. Fresh fruits contain vitamin-C, another natural antioxidant. Vitamin-C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals. They are an also good source of minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc, calcium and manganese. Potassium is a heart-healthy mineral; an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure. The total antioxidant or ORAC value of fresh apricots is 1115 μmol TE/100 g. Most of this value attributed to some important health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin. Altogether, these compounds act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging, cancers and various disease process. Further, zeaxanthin, a carotenoid selectively concentrated in the retinal “macula lutea” in the human eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective UV light-filtering functions. Thus, consumption of fruits rich in zeaxanthin helps eyes protect from age-related macular disease (AMRD), especially in the older adults.

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