Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers also knew about the value of dried apricot. Remember, in childhood we were often given a segment of dried apricots instead of favorite chocolate candy? And for good reason, because dried apricots contain a huge amount of vitamins and minerals. And what is most surprising, in fresh apricots useful properties are much less. But is everything as beautiful as we imagine? And is dried apricots so useful? The benefits and harms of this product are scientifically relative. So let's look at this issue in more detail.
Dried apricots: composition and calorie
We all know and are accustomed to the fact that fresh fruits and vegetables are healthier than dried ones. However, this rule does not apply to dried apricots. After drying, the concentration of beneficial substances in this product only increases. So, what is included in the dried apricots?
Dried apricots occupy a leading position in the content of nutrients compared with other dried fruits. The composition of dried apricots includes:
- a number of useful vitamins of group B, as well as C and A;
- macronutrients are represented by a high content of potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium;
- Do not forget about the high concentration of trace elements such as copper, iron, manganese and zinc;
- 12 essential amino acids are worthy of special attention, and the most valuable of them are tryptophan, lysine, isoleucine and threonine.
However, we must remember that, despite the large concentration of nutrients, dried apricots - high-calorie product. The energy value of 5-6 slices, and this is about 100 g of dried apricot - 230 Kcal. For comparison, fresh fruit contains only 45 Kcal. The caloric content of 100 g of dried apricots consists of the following substances:
- 5.4 g of protein;
- 16 g of sodium;
- 52 g of carbohydrates;
- 0.4 g fat.
An amazing fact: though dried apricots are dried fruit, they contain almost 70 g of water, which is quite a lot.
The benefits and harms of dried apricots for the body
The beneficial properties of dried apricots for the human body is very difficult to overestimate. Besides the fact that it is a natural sugar substitute and a vitamin complex, there are a number of other popular qualities:
- For example, pectins are a natural antioxidant that helps remove accumulations of heavy metals and radionuclides from the body.
- The high content of plant fibers helps cleanse the intestines.
- Dried apricots reduce cholesterol in the blood, which significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- In the spring periods, when the body lacks vitamins, doctors advise to eat a couple of dried apricots a day. This simple action hinders the development of vitamin deficiency.
- Due to the high concentration of biologically useful substances, dried apricots have a positive effect on the change in blood composition, increasing the level of hemoglobin and glucose.
- Recent studies have shown that regular consumption of dried apricot significantly reduces the risk of the onset and development of cancer.
Doctors recommend eating 3-4 slices of dried apricots a day to maintain the body in good shape and strengthen the immune system.
What harm is dried apricots?
Dried apricots - a great addition to a healthy diet, but only if you consume it in moderation. Excessive consumption of dried apricots can adversely affect your body:
- Cellulose, which contains dried apricots, helps cleanse the intestines. However, excessive consumption of vegetable fibers can lead to such gastrointestinal problems as diarrhea, bloating, gas.
- A day is enough to eat a few slices of dried apricot. But this fruit is so tasty that it is sometimes difficult to resist the temptation. Do not forget about the high calorie content of dried apricots, excessive consumption of this dried fruit can lead to problems with overweight.
- Some dried fruits, in order to reduce the level of moisture to a minimum and prevent sticking, are covered with additional sugar coating. Such products are especially harmful because they stick to the teeth, causing sugar to remain on the enamel for a long time, and this leads to the appearance and development of caries.
- Unscrupulous producers of dried apricots to make the fruit salable use chemicals that are harmful to the body in large quantities. The more beautiful the product looks, the more preservatives it contains. So do not rely on the external qualities, it is better to buy nondescript dried apricots of dark brown color.
As you can see, dried apricots are far from perfect, but as a small snack, they are much healthier and more nutritious than chips and other processed junk food.
Can I have dried apricots during pregnancy?
Pregnant doctors recommend sticking to a special diet. In the food must be such useful substances as iron, iodine, calcium, protein and folic acid. These trace elements in sufficient quantities contains dried apricots.
The advantages of using dried apricots during pregnancy are as follows:
- high levels of folic acid, iron and copper prevent the risk of anemia, which pregnant women often suffer from;
- to meet daily energy needs, expectant mothers should receive 300 calories per day more than an ordinary person needs;
- the high content of plant fiber in dried apricots not only contributes to the proper development of the fetus, but also helps the mother to avoid fragility of hair, teeth and nails.
Dried apricots compote
Obstetricians believe that dried apricots during pregnancy are beneficial not only in pure form. Compote from dried apricots perfectly quenches thirst and tones the body, and also helps to cope with the manifestations of toxicosis and heartburn. But during the period of breastfeeding to abuse such a drink is not worth it, because boiled dried apricots is harmful to the digestive system of the baby and can cause diarrhea and colic.
And although dried apricots are quite valuable and useful products, the rule of the "golden mean" has not been canceled. In order for the body to get enough nutrients without experiencing any adverse reactions, nutritionists recommend eating no more than a few dried apricots a day.