Apricot facts! Well, these facts can take you by surprise. These beautiful, brightly colored fruits are a summer delicacy. They are loaded with some excellent nutritional benefits too. So, instead of wasting our time beating around the bush, let us start learning about apricot facts. We are pretty darn sure that you will love these facts.
Apricot Facts: 1-5
1. You really think apricot is a fruit, don’t you? Don’t worry! You aren’t wrong. But you know what? If you take a little bit of intellectual stance, we might want to get a bit scientific and say, ‘apricot is a tree’. Actually it is.
2. Apricot refers to a tree which from the genus Prunus or stone fruits. In this genus Prunus, there are several species. Of these various species, there is a specific species known as armeniaca. The fruit of this species is known as apricot.
3. Interestingly, the genus Prunus also has several other species such as mume, P. brigantine, P. sibirica and P. mandshurica. The fruits from these species are also often known as apricots because they are very similar to the fruits of the species P. armeniaca.
4. The apricot tree is pretty small. It grows 26 to 39 feet in length. The trunk of the tree has a diameter of only 16 inches. The canopy of the tree is dense and it spreads out.
5. There is no unanimous agreement on the origins of the apricot. Some give the crown to Armenia. Some say China was the first country to domesticate apricot cultivation. While other say that apricot originated in India somewhere in 3000 BCE.
Apricot Facts: 6-10
6. It is said that Alexander the Great introduced apricot to Greece. It is believed that it was General Lucullus of Rome who brought apricot to Rome from Armenia.
7. There is an Egyptian drink known as amar al-din. This drink is made from apricots. First, the apricots are dried. Then, a sweetener is added to the dried fruits and then the drink is made out of it.
8. Americans who happen to love apricot so much actually didn’t even know about the existence of the fruit till 17th The English settlers were the ones who brought apricot to the settlements in New World.
9. Most of the apricots that are produced in America are actually from apricot seedlings that Spanish missionaries carried to the west coast.
10. California leads commercial production of apricots in America. Utah and Washington contribute slightly. Actually 95% comes from California.
Apricot Facts: 11-15
11. Apricot actually comes from rose family. It other words, it is a member of rosaceae family.
12. In the US, there is something called National Apricot Day. It is observed on 9th of January every year.
13. Typically, an apricot tree is capable of producing fruits for a period of 20 years to 25 years.
14. The ripening process of apricots is dampened dramatically when refrigerated. This is why, you should always leave the apricot at room temperature and when it is ripe, refrigerate it.
Apricot Facts: 16-20
16. Apricots are very rich in vitamin A. In fact, they are very rich in beta-carotene and just an ounce of it will supply 20% of daily advised intake of vitamin A. Did you know that vitamin A is a very powerful antioxidant that helps to remove harmful free radicals from the body?
17. Apricots are rich in soluble fiber, which helps with digestion of food, prevents constipation and several gastrointestinal disorders.
18. The soluble fiber present in apricots actually melt inside the body and convert into a gel-like substance. This in turn breaks down fatty acids entering our body.
19. Apricots also reduce LDL or bad cholesterol content in our body and help to increase HDL or good cholesterol. This helps with the prevention of cardiovascular disorders. In case you didn’t know, apricots are also good sources of potassium. Potassium is required to maintain a good electrolyte balance in the body. If this balance is disturbed, heart muscles fail to work properly. Hence, apricots are really good for heart.
20. Apricots are good sources of a type of iron known as non-heme iron. Our body takes time to absorb this variant of iron and hence, it is a good for anemic patients, who have low hemoglobin content in blood.
Extra Apricot Facts:
a. The antioxidants of apricots help to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals can actually cause cancer. Research shows that apricot seeds can kill cancerous growth without causing side effects.
b. Antioxidants in apricots also help to maintain a good skin. Apricots have antiaging properties and help in faster cell regeneration. They help to get rid of fine wrinkles and also keeps skin acne-free.
c. Potassium and calcium are present in abundance in apricots and thereby help to maintain healthy bones. Interestingly our body cannot properly absorb calcium if potassium is absent. You should know that even magnesium helps to aid calcium absorption. (Read about Milk Myth here)