Friday 4 July 2014

Peachy: Apricots, The Forgotten Fruit?

Apricots are not a commonly eaten fruit in Western countries. Nutritionally they are classed as  a drupe, which means they are a one-seeded fruit with the single seed inside a stoney pit and surrounded by flesh. Apricots therefore come from the same family as peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries. As well as being a good source of micronutrients including potassium, apricots also contain carotenoids, which accounts for the orangy yellow colour of their flesh and skin. The carotenoids in apricots include lycopene and lutein, the former being most commonly associated with tomatoes. The high concentration of carotenoids suggests that apricots may protect from cancer, as lycopene in particular is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Dried apricots contain the same levels of carotenoids as fresh apricots, but are preserved by addition of sulphites. Those sensitive to sulphites should therefore stick to consuming the fresh fruit. 

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