The apricot tree, which belongs to the Rosaceae family, is a fruit tree that typically ranges from 4 to 6 meters in height. Apricot fruits are slightly larger than walnuts, yellow in color, fl eshy, juicy, fi rm, and have a single seed. Its fl owers are white or pink. While it is cultivated worldwide, it is mainly grown in countries near the Mediterranean, as well as in Europe and Asia. Turkey ranks fi rst in the world’s fresh apricot production, with a 15% share, followed by Spain in second place and Italy in third place. Regions like Malatya, Elazığ, Erzincan, Kars-Iğdır, Mersin, Muş, Hatay, and the Aegean and Marmara regions are the major apricot-producing areas. There are various varieties of apricots, including Şekerpare, Şam, Tokaloğlu, İmrahor, Muhittinbey, Hacıkız, Hasanbey, Darende, and more.
Apricots are rich in vitamins A, B, C, and P and can be consumed both dried and fresh. They are also used to make compotes and jams, and apricot kernels are used to extract oil.
Health Benefi ts of Apricots:
Apricots are a nutritious fruit known for their appetite-stimulating properties. They are rich in iron and are used to treat anemia. Apricots help eliminate toxins from the body and blood, and they are protective against various types of cancer, including lung and skin cancer. They provide energy to the body, reducing physical and mental fatigue. Apricots also help prevent growth disorders like rickets and are benefi cial for children in their growth phase. Apricot compotes act as diuretics and relieve constipation. They moisturize and nourish the skin.
Health Benefi ts of Apricots for the Body:
Apricots, being rich in iron, play a supportive role in the treatment of anemia and other diseases caused by iron defi ciency. They aid in cleansing the blood and removing harmful substances.
Apricots Reduce the Risk of Cancer: Apricots are eff ective against harmful free radicals that can damage cells and are rich in antioxidants that protect organs. They combat pollution caused by free radicals and damage from UV rays. Free radicals and UV rays cause changes in cells and DNA, negatively aff ecting the normal cell replication process, which can lead to the formation of cancer cells. Apricots are rich in vitamins A and C, making them essential for fi ghting cancer. They are also powerful antioxidants. In addition, apricot kernels contain B17, which is highly eff ective in combating cancer.
Apricots Relieve Constipation: Apricots contain high levels of pectin and act as a mild laxative due to their high cellulose content. Apricots are vital for colon health, preventing constipation, which can cause colon cancer. The fi ber in apricots also maintains digestive system health.
Apricots Promote Heart Health: Due to their richness in vitamin C and lycopene, apricots reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. These
antioxidants lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, thereby minimizing the risk of heart attacks and maintaining heart health.
Treating Anemia with Apricots: Apricots are a rich source of iron, which plays a signifi cant role in blood formation, increasing blood fl ow and energy levels. Iron defi ciency can lead to anemia, and apricots can help meet the body’s iron needs. They are also rich in copper. Consuming apricots regularly can alleviate iron defi ciency, reduce the risk of anemia, increase blood fl ow, raise body temperature, and assist in hemoglobin production. Eating 3-4 dried apricots on an empty stomach in the morning can signifi cantly reduce the risk of anemia.
Apricots Aid Weight Loss: Apricots are low in calories and rich in dietary fi ber, making them helpful for weight loss.
Apricots Benefi t Eye Health: Apricots contain vitamins A, C, and E, which reduce the risk of vision problems and are rich in carotenoids. This helps maintain eye health and prevents degeneration as people age. They also reduce the risk of cataracts.
Apricots Alleviate Asthma: Apricots have been shown to be helpful in relieving the symptoms of asthma, tuberculosis, and bronchitis. Consuming 3-4 apricots on an empty stomach in the morning can reduce the
severity of asthma attacks. Regularly drinking apricot juice can also help with respiratory problems.
Apricots Maintain Bone Health: Apricots are a rich source of calcium, which is essential for bone formation and growth. Regular consumption of apricots helps maintain bone health and prevents potential bone-related problems.
Apricots Reduce Fever: Apricots can help lower fever when consumed during a fever. Preparing apricot juice and adding a bit of honey to it can help reduce fever, as the minerals in this mixture help cleanse the body of microorganisms.
Benefi ts of Apricots During Pregnancy: Apricots are rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as minerals such as phosphorus, silicon, calcium, iron, and potassium, which are highly benefi cial for maternal health during pregnancy. Pregnant women often face the problem of anemia, making the consumption of dried apricots highly recommended.
Apricots Maintain Electrolyte Balance: Apricots contain minerals like potassium and sodium, which are essential for maintaining the body’s electrolyte balance. This is crucial for transporting ions to cells and preserving fl uid levels, important for muscle contraction.
Benefi ts of Apricot Oil/Apricot Kernel Oil:
Apricot oil or apricot kernel oil is primarily used for skin and hair health and is derived from apricot seeds. It is not recommended for oral consumption.
Apricot oil preserves skin health, providing softness and strengthening skin cells. It moisturizes the skin and helps alleviate itching, especially for dry skin types. It is eff ective in treating skin conditions like eczema and other skin diseases.
It can be an alternative solution for oily skin types, used both on the face and as a massage oil for diff erent parts of the body.
Apricot kernel oil is used in many hair products and helps maintain hair texture and health. It can keep hair soft, healthy, and shiny.
Applying slightly heated apricot kernel oil to the scalp is benefi cial. Massaging the scalp with apricot oil for 15-20 minutes at night, leaving it on overnight, contributes to scalp health and supports hair health.
Benefi ts of Apricot Kernels:
This section discusses the potential health benefi ts of apricot kernels, but it’s important to note that apricot kernels can be dangerous if not used properly. Using apricot kernels without medical guidance can lead to serious health issues.
Apricot kernels are claimed to contain vitamin B17 and are said to destroy cancer cells. It’s believed that fruits containing vitamin B17 can prevent and even treat cancer, especially in its early stages.
There have been reports of people experiencing serious health problems, including heart issues, after consuming apricot kernels. It’s crucial to exercise caution when using apricot kernels, and it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional.
Apricots’ Side Eff ects: Apricot consumption typically does not have harmful eff ects on the body. However, excessive consumption can lead to issues like bloating, cramps, and diarrhea. Apricot kernels, if consumed incorrectly, can cause serious problems.
icot kernels are not considered safe when ingested orally or injected due to the presence of amygdalin, a toxic
chemical. Amygdalin can be converted to cyanide in the body, leading to serious side eff ects, including death.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Apricot kernels are considered UNSAFE for pregnant and breastfeeding women. They are not recommended for consumption.
Apricots off er numerous health benefi ts, ranging from skin and heart health to cancer prevention and bone health. Encouraging children to consume apricots from a young age is recommended, as it supports bone health.
It is advisable to prepare apricot juice at home rather than purchasing it from the store.