Are Apricots Good For You? Health Benefits, Nutrition & Uses 2024

Sevginur Akdas

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

are apricots good for you

Apricots have a good nickname as golden fruit. The high amount of carotene content gives this golden color to apricots with many health benefits. Besides, it has a good composition of nutritious structures such as polyphenols, flavonoids, potassium, iron, or dietary fiber.

Eating apricots may lead to health benefits in different systems and functions in the body. You may get benefits for your digestive system, metabolic health, vision, anti-cancer mechanisms, and skin health. The unique flavor and fragrance of apricot make them enjoyable fruit to add to our diets. 

Are Apricots Good For Your Health?

  • Health behind the color
  • Health behind the flavor
  • Dietary fiber source
  • Get your micro-essentials 

The bioactive compounds determine apricots’ color, taste, and health benefits. A study[1] examining different types of apricots showed that more orange-colored apricots were higher in total flavonoid, total carotenoid, and antioxidant capacity than lighter yellow apricot varieties. In addition, the taste you get from apricots is directly proportional to this content. These bioactive components were higher in dark apricots, which also have a sweeter taste.

Health Behind The Color

Carotenoids are responsible for the yellow-orange color of fruits. Apricots may contain 0.44 to 3.55 milligrams of carotenoid per 100 grams. The dominant subtype is beta-carotenoid among the carotene family.

Beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A that we obtain from plants. It is a well-known essential vitamin[2] for immunity and eye function. It also contributes to skin health by maintaining skin cell function. When we get alpha-carotene and beta-carotene from diet sources, we convert them into retinol, the active form of vitamin A.

Beta-carotene may reduce oxidative stress during infection or inflammation. Also, several studies[3] systematically reviewed indicate that higher beta-carotene levels may help against cancer.

Suppose you have blood sugar control or insulin resistance issues or you have diabetes in your family, you may get benefits from apricots. The reason is that their beta-carotene[4] content showed beneficial effects on blood insulin and blood sugar level in type 2 diabetes patients. Researchers indicated that people with high body weight have a lower[5] beta-carotene level in their tissues compared to healthy people. Furthermore, when their beta-carotene level is increased, they showed normalized blood lipid levels, which were high before.  

Health Behind The Flavor

Flavonoids, polyphenols, and organic acids contribute to the apricot’s unique taste and smell besides its natural sugar and carbohydrate content.

Phenolic and flavonoid compounds are important signs for the quality of fruits and vegetables. These are commonly studied nutraceuticals in treating various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases or aging. 

 The phenolic content may vary more than threefold according to the type of apricot. Similar to carotenoids, phenolic content is also higher in dark-colored apricots than in light-yellow ones. 

The main phenolics and flavonoids are gallic acid,[6] caffeic acid,[7] p-coumaric acid,[8] and quercetin,[9] rutin,[10] and resveratrol.[11] When you look up the literature, you can easily see that each has health advantages. 

Phenolic species have numerous benefits[12] in preventing cancers, cardiovascular health, immune function, skin health, and reducing neurologic diseases.

Dietary Fiber Source

Many studies indicated that high fiber intake in a low-fat and calorie-restricted diet has beneficial effects on weight loss and diabetes[13] in people at high risk. Dietary fiber also can increase motility in the digestive tract and decrease gut transit time, which regulates constipation and increases defecation frequency. 

Increased fiber intake contributes to appetite control[14] because soluble dietary fibers help hold a large amount of water. The increased volume in your digestive tract leads to gastric and intestinal tension. It stimulates the digestive system cells to produce several satiety hormones from the digestive system to the brain about fullness and satiation.

Get Your Micro-Essentials 

Apricots also include many essential vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamin B, and a precursor of vitamin A along with minerals. 

As it is well-established, vitamin C has an important function on gum, skin, and bone health because it plays a pivotal role in collagen synthesis besides its strong antioxidant capacity. 

Potassium is the most abundant mineral in apricots. Its concentration may differ according to apricot type, like other phytochemicals, even twice the time. The second mineral found in apricots at high levels is phosphorous, and iron follows. Copper and zinc also occur in apricots.

Potassium[15] has a special place in cardiovascular and metabolic health. For vascular health, it has a vital function in maintaining intracellular and extracellular fluid balance.[16] It is a key ion for insulin synthesis in the beta-cell of the pancreas. It is important to consume low-sodium and adequate-potassium foods for heart health.  

Nutrition Value

Apricot is a nutritious fruit for you to have in your daily diet. The nutritional value of fresh apricots was given in Food Data Central.[17] 

NutrientFresh Apricot (15 grams)Unit
Energy16.8kilocalorie
Protein0.49gram
Total lipid 0.136gram
Carbohydrate3.88gram
Total Dietary Fiber0.7gram
Sugars3.23gram
Calcium4.55milligram
Iron0.136milligram
Magnesium3.5milligram
Phosphorus8.05milligram
Potassium90.6milligram
Sodium0.35milligram
Zinc0.07milligram
Copper0.027milligram
Selenium0.035microgram
Vitamin C3.5microgram
Vitamin A33.6microgram
Carotene, beta382microgram
Carotene, alpha6.65microgram
Lutein + zeaxanthin31.2microgram
Vitamin E 0.311milligram

Impressive Health Benefits Of Apricots

After this information about apricot nutritional content, you may wonder what apricots are good for. Let’s look closer. 

Regulation Of The Digestive System

One of the main functions of apricots is the relief of constipation. The dietary fiber, especially the soluble fiber content of apricots, helps motility and increases stool frequency. It reduces stiffness and bloating in your belly. As we examined in detail before, increasing dietary fiber intake is the best way for you to manage your digestive problems.   

Eye And Vision Health

Vitamin A and beta-carotene intake are closely related to maintaining eye health against age-related eye diseases.[18] The daily recommended vitamin A dose is 900 micrograms for men and 700 micrograms for women. You can have nearly 250 micrograms of vitamin A per 100 grams of fresh apricots. Recommended beta-carotene intake[19] for adults is between 6 milligrams to 15 milligrams per day. Apricots will provide 2.5 milligrams per 100 grams.

Since we cannot synthesize vitamin A in our body, we must obtain it either from animal sources as pre-produced vitamin A or from plant sources as carotenoid forms that are precursors of vitamin A. The primary role[20] of vitamin A in the visual system is the photoreceptor function. Even in its short-term deficiency, it can affect vision functions and cause poor vision in night blindness or dim light conditions. Chronic vitamin A deficiency may result in the death of cells that carry out our visual functions.

Skin Care 

A diet rich in vitamins and minerals is necessary for healthy skin due to its antioxidant effects.[21] This is because the main cause of skin problems and skin aging is oxidative stress caused by environmental factors such as sun and air pollution. The antioxidant substances[22] we obtain from diet help skin cells and epithelial cells fight oxidative stress.

As we mentioned above, apricot has nutritional content including vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, flavonoids, and antioxidant minerals. This content helps to support skin health. 

Good Source Of Antioxidants

Many of the carotenes, flavonoids, organic acids, vitamins, and minerals contained in apricots have anti-cancer properties due to their antioxidant effects.

Also, chronic diseases such as obesity or cardiovascular diseases are closely related to oxidative stress. They are also mentioned as low-grade chronic inflammation diseases. Therefore, apricots consumption would help decrease the oxidative stress and inflammation in these diseases.   

Ways To Add Apricots To Your Diet

You have many options to eat apricots in your diet. You can consume apricots in fresh, dried, marmalade, juice, or jam form. However, choosing the forms that do not contain added sugar would be better to see the most health benefits. 

Healthy snack: You can prefer fresh or dried apricots, especially nuts, as a healthy snack you consume with your coffee or tea. Its dry form is advantageous for carrying to work or school.

are apricots good for you

Colorful salads: Using fruits alongside vegetables in salads is beneficial in providing a more diverse source of vitamins and minerals, and using dried apricots in salads is quite common because it is delicious. Try adding apricots to your salads, especially in salads with cheese. You will get a really delicious result.

are apricots good for you

Rich breakfast bowls: Oat bowls for breakfast have become a prevalent and healthy habit. Eating oatmeals, which are rich in dietary fiber, is beneficial for people with constipation problems. Starting the day with a healthy bowl prepared with apricots, oats, milk, or yogurt supports your digestive system and microbiota.

are apricots good for you

Are Dried Apricots Good For You?

Apricots are suitable for sun drying, making them a common fruit in the diet. Since the water is removed from the food during drying, you consume the same calories in a smaller volume. This can be a factor that makes it difficult for portion control for some people. However, after controlling your portion, you can take advantage of the dried fruits that are easy to carry for your snack time.

Don’t Miss The Benefits Of Apricot Kernel

Amygdalin is a molecule found in high amounts in the apricot kernel[23] which induces cancer or disturbed function cells to apoptosis, which means programmed cell death. This mechanism is vital for scavenging cancer cells from the body. Also, it is easy to eat the apricot kernel because it tastes like fresh almonds. Also, apricot kernel is nutritious in other macro- and micro-nutrients like most nuts and seeds.

The Bottom Line

All these research results we have summarized show that apricot is a fruit rich in key antioxidant molecules for health. Adding apricots to your diet can increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, flavonoids, some minerals, and especially dietary fiber. Moreover, it is pretty easy to add apricots to the diet because it has properties that can take many forms.


+ 23 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Alajil, O., Sagar, V.R., Kaur, C., Rudra, S.G., Sharma, R.R., Kaushik, R., Verma, M.K., Tomar, M., Kumar, M. and Mekhemar, M. (2021). Nutritional and Phytochemical Traits of Apricots (Prunus Armeniaca L.) for Application in Nutraceutical and Health Industry. Foods, [online] 10(6), p.1344. doi:10.3390/foods10061344.
  2. Sommer, A. and Vyas, K.S. (2012). A global clinical view on vitamin A and carotenoids. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, [online] 96(5), pp.1204S1206S. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.034868.
  3. Chen, Q.-H., Wu, B.-K., Pan, D., Sang, L.-X. and Chang, B. (2021). Beta-carotene and its protective effect on gastric cancer. World Journal of Clinical Cases, [online] 9(23), pp.6591–6607. doi:10.12998/wjcc.v9.i23.6591.
  4. Asemi, Z., Alizadeh, S.-A., Ahmad, K., Goli, M. and Esmaillzadeh, A. (2016). Effects of beta-carotene fortified synbiotic food on metabolic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A double-blind randomized cross-over controlled clinical trial. Clinical Nutrition, [online] 35(4), pp.819–825. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2015.07.009.
  5. Östh, M., Öst, A., Kjolhede, P. and Strålfors, P. (2014). The Concentration of β-Carotene in Human Adipocytes, but Not the Whole-Body Adipocyte Stores, Is Reduced in Obesity. PLoS ONE, [online] 9(1), p.e85610. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085610.
  6. Jiang, Y., Pei, J., Zheng, Y., Miao, Y., Duan, B. and Huang, L. (2021). Gallic Acid: A Potential Anti-Cancer Agent. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, [online] 28(7), pp.661–671. doi:10.1007/s11655-021-3345-2.
  7. Muhammad Abdul Kadar, N.N., Ahmad, F., Teoh, S.L. and Yahaya, M.F. (2021). Caffeic Acid on Metabolic Syndrome: A Review. Molecules, [online] 26(18), p.5490. doi:10.3390/molecules26185490.
  8. Abdel-Moneim, A., Yousef, A.I., Abd El-Twab, S.M., Abdel Reheim, E.S. and Ashour, M.B. (2017). Gallic acid and p-coumaric acid attenuate type 2 diabetes-induced neurodegeneration in rats. Metabolic Brain Disease, [online] 32(4), pp.1279–1286. doi:10.1007/s11011-017-0039-8.
  9. Shen, P., Lin, W., Deng, X., Ba, X., Han, L., Chen, Z., Qin, K., Huang, Y. and Tu, S. (2021). Potential Implications of Quercetin in Autoimmune Diseases. Frontiers in Immunology, [online] 12. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2021.689044.
  10. Negahdari, R., Bohlouli, S., Sharifi, S., Maleki Dizaj, S., Rahbar Saadat, Y., Khezri, K., Jafari, S., Ahmadian, E., Gorbani Jahandizi, N. and Raeesi, S. (2020). Therapeutic benefits of rutin and its nanoformulations. Phytotherapy Research, [online] 35(4), pp.1719–1738. doi:10.1002/ptr.6904.
  11. Zhou, D.-D., Luo, M., Huang, S.-Y., Saimaiti, A., Shang, A., Gan, R.-Y. and Li, H.-B. (2021). Effects and Mechanisms of Resveratrol on Aging and Age-Related Diseases. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, [online] 2021, pp.1–15. doi:10.1155/2021/9932218.
  12. Tsao, R. (2010). Chemistry and Biochemistry of Dietary Polyphenols. Nutrients, [online] 2(12), pp.1231–1246. doi:10.3390/nu2121231.
  13. Sylvetsky, A.C., Edelstein, S.L., Walford, G., Boyko, E.J., Horton, E.S., Ibebuogu, U.N., Knowler, W.C., Montez, M.G., Temprosa, M., Hoskin, M., Rother, K.I. and Delahanty, L.M. (2017). A High-Carbohydrate, High-Fiber, Low-Fat Diet Results in Weight Loss among Adults at High Risk of Type 2 Diabetes. The Journal of Nutrition, [online] p.jn252395. doi:10.3945/jn.117.252395.
  14. Slavin, J. (2013). Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits. Nutrients, [online] 5(4), pp.1417–1435. doi:10.3390/nu5041417.
  15. Weaver, C.M. (2013). Potassium and Health. Advances in Nutrition, [online] 4(3), pp.368S377S. doi:10.3945/an.112.003533.
  16. The Nutrition Source. (2019). Potassium. [online] Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/potassium/
  17. Usda.gov. (2023). FoodData Central. [online] Available at: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2344717/nutrients
  18. Agrón, E., Mares, J., Clemons, T.E., Swaroop, A., Chew, E.Y. and Keenan, T.D.L. (2021). Dietary Nutrient Intake and Progression to Late Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies 1 and 2. Ophthalmology, [online] 128(3), pp.425–442. doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2020.08.018.
  19. Mayoclinic.org. (2022). Beta Carotene (Oral Route) Proper Use – Mayo Clinic. [online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/beta-carotene-oral-route/proper-use/drg-20066795?p=1
  20. Dewett, D., Lam-Kamath, K., Poupault, C., Khurana, H. and Rister, J. (2021). Mechanisms of vitamin A metabolism and deficiency in the mammalian and fly visual system. Developmental Biology, [online] 476, pp.68–78. doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2021.03.013.
  21. Michalak, M., Pierzak, M., Kręcisz, B. and Suliga, E. (2021). Bioactive Compounds for Skin Health: A Review. Nutrients, [online] 13(1), p.203. doi:10.3390/nu13010203.
  22. Michalak, M. (2022). Plant-Derived Antioxidants: Significance in Skin Health and the Ageing Process. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, [online] 23(2), p.585. doi:10.3390/ijms23020585.
  23. Saleem, M., Asif, J., Asif, M. and Saleem, U. (2019). Amygdalin from Apricot Kernels Induces Apoptosis and Causes Cell Cycle Arrest in Cancer Cells: An Updated Review. Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, [online] 18(12), pp.1650–1655. doi:10.2174/1871520618666180105161136.
Sevginur Akdas

Written by:

Sevginur Akdas, RD

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Sevginur Akdas is a researcher, medical writer, and clinical dietitian, who is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in metabolism, chronic diseases, and clinical nutrition fields. She has many scientific articles, meta-analyses, systematic reviews, and book chapters on nutrition, chronic diseases, dietary supplements, maternal and child nutrition, molecular nutrition & functional foods topics as a part of a research team currently. Besides her academic background, she is also a professional health&medical writer since 2017.

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Trusted Source

Go to source

SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

Trusted Source

Go to source

African Journals Online

Non-profit Platform for African Journals

Trusted Source
Go to source

Journal of The American Board of Family Medicine

American Board of Family Medicine

Trusted Source
Go to source

Informit

RMIT University Library

Trusted Source
Go to source

European Food Safety Authority

Science, Safe food, Sustainability

Trusted Source
Go to source

OrthoInfo

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Trusted Source
Go to source

American Academy of Family Physicians

Strengthen family physicians and the communities they care for

Trusted Source
Go to source

Agricultural Research Service

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Trusted Source
Go to source

The American Journal of Medicine

Official Journal of The Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine

Trusted Source
Go to source

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Database From National Institute Of Health

Trusted Source
Go to source

Lippincott Journals

Subsidiaries of Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Trusted Source
Go to source

National Institute on Aging

Database From National Institute Of Health

Trusted Source
Go to source

Translational Research

The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine

Trusted Source
Go to source

Cell

An All-science Publisher

Trusted Source
Go to source

Journal of Translational Medicine

BioMed Central

Part of Springer Nature
Go to source

Federal Trade Commission

Protecting America's Consumers

Trusted Source
Go to source

National Human Genome Research Institute

Database From National Institute Of Health

Trusted Source
Go to source

Food Production, Processing and Nutrition

BioMed Central

Part of Springer Nature
Go to source

BMC Gastroenterology

BioMed Central

Part of Springer Nature
Go to source

ACS Publications

A Division of The American Chemical Society

Trusted Source
Go to source

Annual Reviews

Independent, Non-profit Academic Publishing Company

Trusted Source
Go to source

PubChem

National Center for Biotechnology Information

National Library of Medicine
Go to source

PLOS Journals

Nonprofit Publisher of Open-access Journals

Trusted Source
Go to source

Thieme E-books & E-Journals

Peer-reviewed & Open Access Journal

Trusted Source
Go to source

European Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences

Peer-reviewed International Journal Publishes

Trusted Source
Go to source

Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing Home

Chemical Science Journals, Books and Database

Trusted Source
Go to source

Frontiers

Publisher of Peer-reviewed Articles in Open Acess Journals

Trusted Source
Go to source

De Gruyter

German Scholarly Publishing House

Trusted Source
Go to source

Hindawi

Open Access Research Journals & Papers

Trusted Source
Go to source

Oilseeds and Fats, Crops and Lipids

EDP Sciences

Trusted Source
Go to source

Cambridge Core

Cambridge University Press

Trusted Source
Go to source

FoodData Central

U.S. Department Of Agriculture

Trusted Source
Go to source

Journal of the American Heart Association

Peer-reviewed Open Access Scientific Journal

Trusted Source
Go to source

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S Department of Health and Human Services
Go to source

The Americans with Disabilities Act

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

Trusted Source
Go to source

Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Organization of Food and Nutrition Professionals

tr
Go to source

Sage Journals

Database From Sage Publications

Trusted Source
Go to source

National Institute of Drug Abuse

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S Department of Health and Human Services
Go to source

The ClinMed International Library

A Repository and an Open Access Publisher for Medical Research

Trusted Source
Go to source

The Royal Society Publishing

United Kingdom's National Academy of Sciences

Trusted Source
Go to source

APA PsycNet

Database From American Psychological Association

Trusted Source
Go to source

The Pharma Innovation Journal

Peer-reviewed And Refereed Journal

Trusted Source
Go to source

Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Development

Peer-reviewed Bimonthly Journal

Trusted Source
Go to source

British Pharmacological Society

Journals - Wiley Online Library

Trusted Source
Go to source

American Psychological Association

Scientific and Professional Organization of Psychologists

Trusted Source
Go to source

AAP Publications

Database From American Academy of Pediatrics

Trusted Source
Go to source

Karger Publishers

Academic Publisher of Scientific and Medical Journals and Books

Trusted Source
Go to source

Cambridge University Press & Assessment

Database From Cambridge University

Trusted Source
Go to source

National Institute of Mental Health

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Go to source

MDPI

Publisher of Open Access Journals

Trusted Source
Go to source

Bulletin of the National Research Centre

Part of Springer Nature

Trusted Source
Go to source

The New England Journal of Medicine

Massachusetts Medical Society

Trusted Source
Go to source

Economic Research Service

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Trusted Source
Go to source

MedlinePlus

Database From National Library of Medicine

U.S Department of Health and Human Services
Go to source

National Institute of Health

An agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Trusted Source
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S Department of Health and Human Services
Go to source

The BMJ

Weekly Peer-reviewed Medical Trade Journal

The British Medical Association
Go to source

The British Psychological Society

The British Psychological Society is a charity registered in England

Database From Wiley Online Library
Go to source

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S Department of Health and Human Services
Go to source

PubMed

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S National Library of Medicine
Go to source

DailyMed

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S National Library of Medicine
Go to source

Google Scholar

Go to source

Science.gov: USA.gov for Science

Government Science Portal

Go to source

ResearchGate

Social Network Service For Scientists

Find and share research
Go to source

American Heart Association

To be a rentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives

Go to source

BioMed Central

Research in progress

Go to source

JAMA Network

Home of JAMA and the Specialty Journals of the American Medical Association

Go to source

Springer Link

Database From Springer Nature Switzerland AG

Springer - International Publisher Science, Technology, Medicine
Go to source

ODS

Database from Office of Dietary Supplements

National Institutes of Health
Go to source

Federal Trade Commission

Bureaus of Consumer Protection, Competition and Economics
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Governmental Authority
Go to source

Oxford Academic Journals

Oxford University Press

Trusted Source
Go to source

Taylor & Francis Online

Peer-reviewed Journals

Academic Publishing Division of Informa PLC
Go to source

WHO

Database from World Health Organization

Go to source

Journal of Neurology

Peer-reviewed Medical Journal

American Academy of Neurology Journal
Go to source

ScienceDirect

Bibliographic Database of Scientific and Medical Publications

Dutch publisher Elsevier
Go to source

Wiley Online Library

American Multinational Publishing Company

Trusted Source
Go to source

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

U.S. National Public Health Agency

U.S Department of Health and Human Services
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database from U.S. National Library of Medicine

U.S. Federal Government
Go to source

U.S. Food & Drug Administration

Federal Agency

U.S Department of Health and Human Services
Go to source

PubMed Central

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S National Library of Medicine
Go to source
Feedback

Help us rate this article

Thank you for your feedback

Keep in touch to see our improvement