Apricots Nutrition Facts

Calories in Apricots and Their Health Benefits

Fresh Apricots
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Apricots, dried or raw, are a naturally sweet tasting fruit. They are rich in beta-carotene, giving them that beautiful orange hue. Beta-carotene, a type of phytonutrient, is a precursor for vitamin A, and can help to protect your cells from damage. They also contain vitamin C, fiber and are low in fat and sodium.

Apricots can be eaten whole, dried, out of can, or as preserves. The most important thing to consider when eating apricots is to keep your portion to one serving and to avoid eating foods made with apricot preserves that contain a lot of added sugar.

This way, you can receive the nutritional benefits of apricots without all the added sugar.

Apricot Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 apricot (35 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 17 
Calories from Fat 2 
Total Fat 0.2g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 0mg0%
Potassium 90.65mg3%
Carbohydrates 3.8g1%
Dietary Fiber 0.7g3%
Sugars 3.2g 
Protein 0.5g 
Vitamin A 14% · Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 0% · Iron 1%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

One small apricot contains about 20 calories (if raw) and 10 calories (if dried). One serving of fruit is about 60 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrate, therefore a regular serving of apricots is about 3 raw apricots or 5 to 6 dried.

Apricots contain about 3 g of fiber per serving, making them a good source of natural fiber. Apricots also contain a considerable amount of sugar in a small serving, especially if you are monitoring your carbohydrate intake.

When eating, aim to stick to one serving, and if you are particularly hungry, consider opting for fresh, as opposed to dried. Fresh apricots take longer to eat and provided more volume than their dried counterpart.

Health Benefits of Apricots

Apricots are an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C.

Vitamin A is an important fat soluble vitamin that has many roles, one of which is maintaining eye health. Vitamin C, a water soluble vitamin, aids in keeping your immunity high and is an important nutrient involved in wound healing. In addition, apricots contain phytonutrients, which can protect your cells from damage.

Common Questions About Apricots

Are dried apricots high in sugar?

If you've been told to avoid apricots because they are rich in sugar, their is some validity to this. Apricots, especially dried, contain about 2 grams of sugar in one small piece. It can be easy to overeat dried fruit; therefore, if you are someone who is trying to watch your carbohydrate intake or if you have diabetes, avoiding dried fruit is probably a good idea.

How do you eat an apricot? Can you eat the skin?

Apricots can be eaten whole, skin and all. The only time you may want to remove the skin is if you are using apricots to make baked goods, as the skin can change the texture and appearance. It is important to remove the "stone," or the pit of the fruit.

Picking and Storing Apricots

Apricots can be purchased fresh, dried, canned and used in jams, spreads, and preserves. Typically, you won't find fresh apricots readily available in grocery stores year-round in the United States because apricots are in season in the late spring and summer.

However, you will find dried, canned, and apricot spreads readily available all year long.

Dried apricots can be purchased in the grocery store next to other dried fruit, such as raisins and cranberries. When purchasing dried apricots, purchase ones that are unsweetened. It isn't necessary to eat dried fruit, which is naturally sweet, that contains added sugar. Added sugar will only pack on unnecessary calories, carbohydrates, and sugar.

If you are buying canned apricots, purchase those that have no sugar added and are in their own juice. Most jams and spreads contain a lot of sugar per serving, but a small amount can be used to sweeten recipes.

If you are buying preserves you can save on sugar by purchasing those with no sugar added.

If you are looking to purchase fresh apricots, choose those that have a rich, orange color that's uniform. Avoid fruit that is pale or has any yellow on it, as it is not yet ripe. A hint of red, however, is okay and may indicate the fruit was tree-ripened. Fruit should be slightly soft, but firm to the touch. Avoid fruit that is overly firm, as it is not yet ripened.

Storing apricots is easy. If ripe, keep apricots in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If, purchased, unripe, leave the apricots on the counter in a paper bag, out of direct sunlight for two to three days to ripen.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Apricots

Apricots can be eaten simply whole, by themselves, as a snack. They can be chopped up and added to yogurt, cottage cheese, hot cereal, or baked goods. A few dried apricots can pair well with a handful of nuts for a filling, fibrous post workout or midday snack for an energy boost.

Apricots can also be used in dessert recipes. The natural sweetness of apricots can help you to reduce the added sugar content. In addition apricots can be used to make fruit spreads and sauces. Lastly, apricots, particularly apricot preserves, can add sweetness, color and vitamins and minerals when used as glazes in meat recipes.

Apricot Recipes  

The following recipes were taken from Diabetes Forecast, the healthy living magazine for people with diabetes. Even if you don't have diabetes, you can benefit from making these recipes, as most are low in sodium, saturated fat, and rich in fiber and protein. They contain a controlled amount of carbohydrates which can help to sustain energy levels stable and prevent blood sugar excursions. Find ways to use apricots for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. 

Sources: 

USDA National Nutrient Database for Reference

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