How many dried apricots should I eat in a day, you ask? Apricots are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Moreover, they contain significant amounts of vitamin A and C as well as calcium, zinc, and folate. This makes them an extremely healthy addition to diet. Dried Apricots are a healthy snack whether eaten whole or as part of a trail mix. Learn how many dried apricots should be eaten per day. Here are some of the health benefits of dried apricots:
How Many Dried Apricots Can You Eat In A Day?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we need to consume about 1 to 2 cups of fruit every day. Those who are more active may need more.
When it comes to dried fruits, half a cup of them counts as a cup of fruit. Though there is no information about the dosage of dried apricots, you may have a cup of them in a day.
There is less information on the side effects of dried apricots. The fruit is naturally healthy in normal food amounts. However, you should be careful while purchasing dried apricots (or any dried fruit) from the market.
Dried fruits that are improperly stored may be contaminated by toxins and other fungi.
Certain dried fruits in the market are also preserved using sulfur dioxide, which may trigger asthma in susceptible individuals.
Dried apricots are a nutrient-dense healthy snack. They are packed with essential nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Benefits of dried apricots include weight loss, better blood circulation, and diabetes management. Dried apricots may promote vision, bone, and skin health as well. However, excess consumption can lead to unpleasant side effects. In some cases, improper storage may cause toxins to accumulate. These apricots may also trigger asthmatic symptoms in some individuals. If you experience any adverse effects, stop the intake and seek medical advice.
“How many grams of dried apricots per day?”
We answer you!
The standard portion size is 30-40g per day for a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
In fact, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and international guidelines recommend a maximum consumption of 40g of dried fruit per day. When consuming Dried Apricots, it is essential to pay attention to the doses: 100g of dried apricots have a significantly higher calorie content than 100g of fresh fruit.
How many dried apricots are to be eaten if you don’t have a scale at hand?
In such cases, our hands are the perfect unit of measure that are always available and that can help checking the amount of pitted prunes eaten.
In fact, the ideal portion size is 3-4 pieces, which is achieved by joining two thumbs together.
According to the British Nutrition Foundation‘s ‘Find Your Balance’ guide, using your hands to easily estimate the portions of food you eat is an intuitive and, literally, ‘hands-on’ method for a long and healthy life. But the hand is not the only unit of measurement identified by the BNF, who also recommend using your fist and thumb.
Of course, it is good to bear in mind that each person has their own specific nutritional needs depending on their constitution, age, gender, level of physical activity, etc. and, for this reason, the portions of food vary according to individual needs. In fact, the study reveals that the hand method is proportionally applicable because a larger person, with larger hands, will automatically consume larger portions than smaller people, with smaller hands.
What Are The Benefits Of Having Dried Apricots?
Dried apricots are rich in important nutrients, including fiber, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Some research shows that they may be of help during pregnancy. If consumed in moderation, dried apricots, like most dried fruits, may also help supplement your weight loss efforts.
1. Are Rich In Nutrients
Dried apricots are rich in vital nutrients. They are replete with potassium, fiber, and several other nutrients.
A hundred grams of dried apricots (or about 30 dried apricot halves) contains the following:
- 241 calories
- 4 g of protein
- 5 g of fat
- 63 g of carbohydrates
- 3 g of fiber
- 1160 mg of potassium
- 55 mg of calcium
- 3 mg of iron
- 32 mg of magnesium
- 71 mg of phosphorus
- 2 mcg of selenium
- 180 mcg of vitamin A
- 1 mg of vitamin C
- 10 mcg of folate
Apricots of different cultivars contain varying amounts of polyphenolic compounds. These commonly contain gallic acid, rutin, epicatechin, ferulic acid, p-coumaric acid, catechin, procyanidins, caffeic acid, epigallocatechin, and chlorogenic acid.
2. May Help With Weight Loss When Taken In Moderation
As discussed, dried apricots are high in calories. But they also contain fiber, and consuming them in moderation may help with your weight loss plans.
Six dried apricots (40 grams) contain about 10 grams of total fiber.
In a cross-sectional study, a lower intake of fresh whole and dried fruits was associated with a higher BMI in subjects. Some research also suggests that both fresh and dried fruits can help reduce hunger, increase meal satisfaction, and decrease energy intake when taken as snacks or along with meals.
Dried apricots are healthy, and their high fiber content may complement your weight loss diet. But there is no research linking dried apricots directly to weight loss. Hence, practice moderation and consult a registered dietitian.
3. May Be Beneficial During Pregnancy
Apricots contain iron that may help improve blood health.
A woman’s blood volume increases by 50 percent during pregnancy. This means she would need more iron in her diet. Dried apricots are a good source of iron and may help in this regard.
Pregnancy and lactation may cause metabolic changes in your body. Too little exercise or an unbalanced diet can often lead to constipation. Drinking enough water and consuming fiber-rich foods, like dried apricots, may relieve digestive issues.
4. May Help Treat Anemia
The iron in apricots could help in the treatment of anemia.
In anemia, your blood lacks an adequate supply of healthy red blood cells (RBCs). This occurs due to a deficiency of hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying molecule in the blood). Hemoglobin shortage occurs due to iron deficiency.
Severe blood loss, chronic bleeding in the stomach, and chronic inflammation may also cause anemia. Pregnant and menstruating women are at a higher risk of anemia.
Consuming iron-rich foods is the best way to reverse anemia. Dried apricots are very good sources of iron. Also, the vitamin C they contain further enhances iron absorption.
However, you may not be able to meet your daily iron intake through dried apricots alone. A cup of dried apricot halves contains about 3.5 milligrams of iron. You may have to consume 10 such cups to meet your daily iron intake. Hence, we suggest you also include other sources of iron in your diet, like spinach, lentils, and beans.
5. May Help Relieve Constipation
The fiber in dried apricots may play a role here.
Dietary fiber increases stool bulk and accelerates its movement through the colon.
When fiber is fermented in the intestine, it produces short-chain fatty acids (butyrate, propionate, acetate, etc.). These alter the gut microbiome (microorganisms) by decreasing the luminal pH. This further improves stool consistency, quantity, and mobility, thereby treating constipation.
Dried apricots contain fiber and can aid in constipation treatment.
6. May Aid Diabetes Treatment
Dried fruits, like apricots, have a low glycemic index. As per studies, they would not increase blood glucose levels excessively.
Moderate amounts of fructose from dried fruits (including dried apricots) may also help control postprandial glucose levels.
Dried apricots were also found to have beneficial effects on insulin levels.
7. May Promote Eye Health
The lutein and zeaxanthin in dried apricots may contribute to eye health. These nutrients function as blue light filters and protect the ophthalmic tissues from phototoxic damage. They may also lower the risk of cataracts.
8. May Improve Bone Mineral Density
Low bone mineral density is common in aging and post-menopausal women. It is the leading cause of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and other similar bone disorders. The boron in dried apricots may help improve bone mineral density.
In studies, postmenopausal women who took 3 to 4 mg of boron a day for a year showed an improvement in bone mineral density.
9. May Protect Your Skin From Damage And Aging Effects
Apricots contain beta-carotene, which gets converted to vitamin A in your body. Dried apricots also naturally contain a ton of vitamin A (retinol). This vitamin plays a role in skin health.
As is the case with any other food, there is a limit to the number of dried apricots you can eat in a day.
TEN THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT APRICOTS
1. The origins of apricots are lost in time
Apricots have been a valued food for so long that just where and when they were first domesticated are facts lost in time.
The scientific name Prunus Armeniaca links them to Armenia where they have certainly been grown for centuries and where fifty varieties are produced today. They were also a major crop in ancient Persia (modern Iran) and while some authorities insist their cultivation history begins in India as long ago as 3000 BC others argue it all began in China.
2. Apricots are a recommended health food
Obviously dried apricots count as one of your five a day. The recommended portion is 30gms (3 or 4 apricots).
All dried fruit contains the same nutritional qualities as the original fresh fruit. In fact, weight for weight the dried form contains more of the antioxidants, minerals and fibre than the raw original. So dried apricots are recommended, including by the NHS for their health benefits which include important levels of Vitamins A and C, fibre and minerals.
3. Apricots are a great source of fibre
Apricots are a great source of fibre the element in our diet which most of us neglect yet which can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and some cancers.
Three whole dried apricots contain 5gms of fibre which is around 20 per cent of your daily fibre requirement. Usefully the apricot fibre is shared half and half between the soluble and insoluble types.
As well as aiding the digestive system, insoluble fibre is linked with reducing bowel cancer risk. Soluble fibre combines with cholesterol, prevents it being absorbed and carries it out of the body.
4. Apricots contain carotene – a form of vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for maintaining the structure and function of the skin and mucous membranes. It comes in two forms. Retinol is found in animal derived foods and carotenoids found mainly in plants.
It is the beta carotene in apricots that makes them such a notable source of the carotenoid benefits which may include helping to protect the eyes from age-related damage. But this is a fruit that also contains catechins which have helped earn green tea its positive reputation.
5. Apricots help our bodies absorb vitamin C
Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body and we therefore need to eat it every day. It helps protect cells and is involved in the creation of collagen which maintains connective tissues which are vital for the maintenance of the skin, cartilage and bones, it’s therefore crucial for the healing process.
Vitamin C is also an important antioxidant and also helps with the absorbing iron into the body. This is useful since the iron contained in apricots is of the variety (called non-heme) which needs help with absorption.
6. There are many notable minerals in apricots
The notable potassium levels in apricots help supply a mineral that is critical to our health. Potassium not only controls the balance of fluids in the body but also the proper functioning of the heart and brain (it may also help control blood pressure).
The recommended potassium intake target is 3,500 mg. Four or five dried apricots can supply around a fifth of this requirement. They will also supply the minerals iron, zinc, calcium and manganese.
7. Apricots were once regarded as an aphrodisiac
In the 16th century apricots were regarded as having aphrodisiac qualities as suggested by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Nights Dream. When Titania, the Queen of the Fairies, wants Bottom the weaver to fall for her she tells her helpers;
“Be kind and courteous to this gentleman. Hop in his walk and gambol in his eyes. Feed him with apricoks and dewberries, with purple grapes, green figs and mulberries.”
There are still some who maintain the aphrodisiac link but this may be on the basis that apricots are so good for your health they are bound to be good for your sex life.
8. The many uses of apricot oil
Apricot oil is extracted from the kernel of the fruit and used widely in cosmetics and as a massage oil. Largely consisting of the unsaturated fats oleic and linoleic acid the oil is claimed to work as a moisturizer and in reducing inflammation.
It’s also used as a carrier for essential oils in aromatherapy. If you’re planning to use apricot oil in food on salads for example make sure you get a clearly marked edible version as cosmetic versions may contain additives.
9. One farm alone has over 5,000 apricot trees
Historically apricots have been grown in Britain in the walled gardens and glass houses of the gentry. But an expanding industry in Kent and the Isle of Wight now counts its harvest in hundreds of tons. One farm alone has 5,000 trees.
It’s not a great year for apricots in Europe. The trees like a clear distinction between winter cold and a warm growing season. A mild winter, as in this year, means growth continues later and can then be struck by frosts. Italy, France and Spain are all reporting a reduced harvest. By contrast Turkey is expecting a bumper crop.
10. Who’s producing the most amount of apricots?
Turkey is by far the worlds biggest producer harvesting over three quarters of a million tons each year. Second is Iran with just under half a million tons and third Uzbekistan. There are now almost 40 nations around the globe which annually produce more than 10,000 tons.
In California growers are complaining of competition from lower-priced production elsewhere in the world as the US has fallen to 18th place in the international growing league with a harvest figure of just 55,000 tons.