Dried fruits not only prolong the flavor of summer but also give us a different sweetness. The desiccation or dehydration to which some fresh fruits are subjected is an operation intended to reduce to the maximum the content of water in the constitution of the fruit, in order to paralyze the action of the germs that need moisture to live. To achieve this purpose, recourse is made to natural heat (sun exposure) or artificial heat (combustion of wood or coal, gas or electricity).
The apricot (also known by the name of Damascus, and usually confused with peach), is a fruit that at least in Spain can start enjoying from mid-April until about the end of August. They are really characteristic fruits and of a certain wonderful aroma. They have a size somewhat smaller than the peach, with an orange, white, yellow or reddish skin and a soft and velvety touch. Although we already talked about its properties in the article dedicated to the benefits of apricot, today we want to look at its interior; more specifically, in apricot kernels, which also bring interesting qualities.
What are apricot kernels?
As you can imagine, apricot seeds are small pipes that can be found in this fruit. They present a shape that reminds many times of an almond.
Nutritional properties of apricot kernels;
Apricot kernels are especially rich in vitamins, highlighting above all their high content of group B vitamins. Especially surprising is the presence of vitamin B17, also known as Para-aminobenzoic acid or Laetril, and which provides antioxidant virtues.
During the drying of fresh fruit, its water content is reduced, which results in the concentration of nutrients. The caloric value of dried fruits is high (from 163 calories per 100 grams of dried plums to 264 calories of raisins) for its abundance of simple carbohydrates.
Already in antiquity, the incredible properties of apricot kernels were known. As proof of that, there are papyri from 5000 years ago that contain information about apricot water, used to treat skin cancer … Bitter apricot kernels are a great source of vitamin B17 (tonsillar). The amygdalin is responsible for the bitter taste of the seeds. Besides, they contain a lot of vitamin A, E, B15 and salicylic acid. Essential oils are prepared from the apricot kernels. The characteristics of the products and functionalities described are generic information, based on public access materials.
Apricot kernels – Properties for health
The apricot kernels combine very well with breakfast cereals and enrich it with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which can be an interesting alternative for people of all ages, with the idea of making this first meal of the day, attractive, varied and with new flavors.
apricot kernels are an ideal restorative supplement of the diet and, because of their extra contribution in sugars and calories, they are particularly appropriate when they practice long-term sports or intense physical efforts, so they should always be part of the provisions of mountaineers and hikers Its consumption is discouraged in case of overweight and obesity, as its caloric content is four to six times higher compared to fresh fruit of origin, and should be taken into account by people with diabetes and hypertriglyceridemia, due to its concentration in simple sugars.
Apricot kernels – Fiber
Its fiber content converts dried fruits into interesting foods in different situations or diseases. Soluble fiber abounds in its composition, which has the capacity to form viscous gels that fix fat and cholesterol, which decreases the absorption of these substances; a reason why moderate consumption of dried fruits is positive in case of hypercholesterolemia if this is not associated with excess weight.
Apricot kernels – Rich in minerals
Apricot kernels are one of the foods with the highest concentration of potassium, so its consumption is especially recommended for those taking diuretics that eliminate potassium and for people with bulimia since by self-induced vomiting large amounts of this mineral are lost. However, for people who suffer from renal failure and who require controlled diets in potassium, the consumption of dried fruits is contraindicated.
The richness of magnesium of apricot kernels makes them interesting in situations in which the needs of this mineral are increased: chronic intestinal absorption, alcoholism, treatment with certain medications. Also, diets rich in refined foods (white bread, white rice, sugar, pasta …), tend to have lower magnesium content than those rich in vegetables and whole grains. The mineral is lost during the refinement of cereals, such as wheat flour and rice, and the processing of food, such as sugar, and is not added as part of grain enrichment.
Benefits of apricot kernels:
Help raise the defenses
Apricot seeds are especially useful in increasing the defenses, thanks to their ability to stimulate the immune system, which means that they improve the natural defenses of our body to fight infections and diseases.
Antioxidant and analgesic properties
Because of its content in vitamin B17, these seeds provide analgesic properties, and according to different studies (although for the moment they would be needed more to be able to confirm it without leaving room for doubts), it could prevent the appearance of cancer cells, or destroy existing ones thanks to its antioxidant qualities.
It helps to take care of the skin
Vitamin B17 is also an interesting nutrient for skin health. In fact, it helps to treat different related problems, as for example is the case of seborrhea and eczema.
Reduces blood pressure
In case of having high blood pressure levels, apricot seeds are used to lower these values. We owe this benefit again to the presence of vitamin B17.
Apricot kernels use:
Experts warn that you cannot consume more than one apricot kernel for every 4.5 kg of body mass. The exact amount depends on the metabolism and the nutritional habits of each one.
– Apricot kernels can be eaten raw or as an ingredient in various dishes: soups, vegetables, and fruit juices.
– The oil obtained from bitter apricot kernels is used to dress salads.