The Many Benefits of Apricot Juice
Millions of people enjoy the flavor of apricots, whether eating the fruit raw or cooking with it but not many people are aware of all the benefits associated with apricot juice. As a close relative to the peach and plum, apricots have a unique flavor but one that is very pleasant. For many years, it was believed that this fruit originated in China but newer studies now indicate that perhaps India was the country of origin.
Regardless, the one thing we do know for sure is that apricots were grown in mass quantities in Armenia, eventually being introduced to European countries by Roman Empire armies. Then, the fruit made its way to the Americas by Spanish colonization and once people started growing apricots in California, it was quickly discovered that the soil and climate provided perfect growing conditions. Because of that, most apricots in the United States come from this state.
Although numerous benefits are associated with raw apricots, and cooked fruit to some degree, it has been discovered that apricot juice is loaded with nutrients. For starters, this fruit is an excellent source of beta-carotene. In addition, apricots have a variety of other carotenoids to include zeaxanthin and lutein. Studies have proven that carotenoids and beta-carotene are outstanding antioxidants that can prevent eye problems and heart disease.
Antioxidants also help improve cholesterol levels and fight off damage from free radicals to the body’s cellular level. With arteries returning to normal levels of elasticity, blood flow improves, which means risk to the heart is dramatically reduced. Apricot juice also contains a lot of vitamin C and potassium so it is great for maintaining the body’s immune system and it is a great source of fiber. Of course, vitamin C also works as an antioxidant that helps fight bad cholesterol and supports proper development of collagen that is not only good for the arteries and heart, but also promotes youthful skin.
One of the more exciting benefits of apricot juice is the anti-cancer properties. This fruit contains lycopene, which is found in high qualities in tomatoes. While the level is much lower in apricots, the fact that it also contains lycopene is huge. Multiple studies have been conducted over the years as medical experts have searched for various natural sources to help prevent and fight cancer. Lycopene is one ingredient that has shown highly beneficial, whether in apricot juice, fresh fruit, or cooked fruit.
As we mentioned, apricot juice is also beneficial to the eyes. With this fruit containing the two mentioned carotenoids, coupled with the beta-carotene, means that the retina is protected from free radicals that come from UV light. Working together as powerful antioxidants, risk of development a number of eye diseases is greatly reduced to include glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. However, one important note is that the two carotenoids, zeaxanthin, and lutein are found primarily in the skin. Therefore, when creating a glass of apricot juice, be sure the skins are used.
The great thing about drinking apricot juice is that in addition to all the health benefits specific to cholesterol, heart disease, and eye diseases, and even cancer prevention, the flavor is delicious and fresh. Because of this, people who choose to juice fruits alone or together with other fruits and even vegetables find this to be an excellent way of getting needed nutrients when on a busy schedule but also enjoying the drink.