Manager’s Feature: Dried Apricots

Making dried apricots a regular part of the diet is a smart idea –  they are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in a tasty bite-sized snack.When fresh apricots are dried, the ending result is five pounds of fresh fruit packed into just one pound of dried apricot. This ratio formula accounts for an exceedingly higher nutritional value. So now you know dried apricots are full of health benefits, and wonderful nutrients. But what exactly are the benefits and nutrients?Apricots have not gained the popularity that is well known of apples, bananas, oranges, and other fruits. But if more consumers were aware of apricots value, they just might choose to purchase this less reputable fruit in fresh or dried form over that of other choices.Beta caroteneApricots are a significant source of beta carotene, which produces vitamin A or retinol in the body. With more beta carotene than carrots, apricots promote healthy eyes and skin. And as an antioxidant, beta carotene works to boost the immune system and eliminate free radicals.IronApricots are an excellent food source for iron. The mineral is an essential component of hemoglobin, and can only be absorbed from foods.CalciumTwo ounces of dried apricots delivers the equivalent of 52mg of calcium, providing decent preventive measures for osteoporosis.PotassiumDried apricots actually rank fairly high as a source for potassium. A 100g serving provides 1.9g of the mineral, about 53 percent of the recommended daily allowance. And that’s not bad at all. This essential mineral helps to provide muscular strength, efficient metabolism, water balance, and electrolyte functions. Potassium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body, and is required for keeping the brain, heart, kidney, muscle tissues and other important organs in optimal condition.FibreDried apricots provide 9.5 grams of fibre for a 130 gram serving. Whereas 130 grams of  fresh apricot would only provide about 4.2 grams of fiber. So really, dried apricots are a pretty good source of fiber, as well.Dried fruits are generally higher in sugar than of course, fresh fruits. Still, many times the nutritious benefits far outweigh the extra sugar content. Being that the nutrients in dried fruit is so concentrated, and much is packed into small bite-sized pieces, one does not have to consume a lot to get the value of the foods nutrient sources.NOTE: dried apricots contain sulfites. Most people are not affected by foods containing sulfites, but certain people are sensitive to the chemical, and can have allergic reactions.

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