It’s not hard to lose track of your health and fitness goals when you’re a woman in a fast-paced lifestyle.
Helping yourself to fast food takes up far less time than preparing a nutritious meal, and crafting and following a specialized workout regime is a struggle few of us can find the time and moolah to manage when we’re juggling a dozen other responsibilities.
For those of us with limited time, apricots are a unique blessing—an almost miracle fruit that can help you achieve your health and beauty goals on the go.
Here are five reasons you need to start stocking up on this wonder fruit right now.
1. They prevents skin damage and aging.
Most of us are guilty of hiding our acne or wrinkles under a neat layer of foundation, but what if we didn’t have to?
Apricots are loaded with Vitamin C, an anti-aging supplement that makes the skin smooth and elastic, and Vitamin A, an age-fighter that reduces wrinkles, roughness and brown spots.
It also contains traces of Vitamin B3, a lotion ingredient known to reduce redness of the skin. If that isn’t reason enough to substitute your daily soda with apricot juice, we have more: apricot juice and apricot oils are used in the treatment of acne, eczema, scabies and sunburn.
2. They’re great for your eyesight.
We’ve all grown up hearing how amazing carrots are for the eyesight, but new research shows that apricots could be an even better aid for improving and maintaining your vision.
The average apricot has 39% Vitamin A, a vitamin needed by the retina for low-light and color vision. It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, members of the carotenoid family that protect the macula—the part of the eye with the sharpest vision—by absorbing harmful ultra-violet light.
Because lutein and zeaxanthin are concentrated in the apricot’s skin, consuming apricot juice that is made with the skins only is excellent for preventing vision loss, cataract, macular degeneration and glaucoma.
3. Apricots reduces the risk of heart disease.
According to the WHO’s 2014 fact sheet, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women worldwide. It goes without saying that building up a healthier heart has never been more important.
The good news is that apricots contain beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that prevents atherosclerosis, the leading cause of heart attacks, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.
Consuming apricots in any form improves cholesterol levels—an important factor in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Apricots’ Vitamin C content also propels the development of collagen, a substance that helps to maintain the natural elasticity of arteries.
4. They also combats anemia.
Because of the way our bodies function, women are at the greatest risk of anemia, a condition in which the red blood cells don’t have enough count or hemoglobin to circulate oxygen.
Anemia disrupts the normal functioning of our organs and tissues, forcing the heart to work harder than it should have to in order to pump oxygen-rich blood.
If you’re menstruating, pregnant or suffer from certain chronic conditions, your risk for the condition is even greater. Fortunately, dried apricots are the perfect everyday snack to prevent and eliminate anemia.
Low on calories, loaded with iron, and vitamin-rich to the core, apricots are recommended by the UK National Health Services as a dietary supplement to treat iron-deficiency anemia.
5. Apricots catalyze bone formation and strength.
Did you know that women—especially middle-aged women—are at the greatest risk of osteoporosis, a disease in which the bones become so fragile that even a firm handshake can break them?
Whether you’re male or female, making apricots a regular part of your diet can help to prevent osteoporosis.
When it comes to bone-health, apricots contain a wonderful mix of minerals and vitamins that has much to offer. This mix includes boron, which activates Vitamin D to carry calcium and magnesium into your bones, instead of excreting it through urine.
It also contains high levels of potassium for aiding muscle function, some copper for maintaining the functioning of bones and joints and traces of Vitamin K, the vitamin that is essential for allowing calcium-binding proteins called osteocalcin to build bone.
So, whether you’re in the western or eastern hemisphere, in your 20s or hitting your 50s, raising a family or doing a 9-5 job, apricots are a multi-tasker that can help you achieve your health and fitness goals on the go.
Have them in your regular morning drink, snack on dried apricots while watching your favorite TV show or mix them into your favorite dessert. There are plenty of ways you can add apricots to your diet to achieve a healthier lifestyle, and none of them have to be disruptive, drastic or time-consuming!