Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Fruit Of The Week - Apricot

Fruit Information:
Sweet, fragrant rich, golden-orange apricot fruits are another summer delicacies of Asian origin. These much-prized fruits were first brought to Europe by Greeks who called them as “golden eggs of the sun”. Today, the most important commercially producing countries are Turkey, Iran, Italy, France, Spain, Syria, Greece, and China. Botanically, the fruit is closely related to peaches and nectarine, sharing with them in the broader Rosaceae family of fruit trees in the genus, Prunus. Scientific name: Prunus armenia. - Nutrition & You

Nutritional Benefits:
Apricots contains high amounts of the antioxidant beta cryptoxanthin.  
In the human body, cryptoxanthin is converted to vitamin A (retinol) and is, therefore, considered a provitamin A. As with other carotenoids, cryptoxanthin is an antioxidant and may help prevent free radical damage to cells and DNA, as well as stimulate the repair of oxidative damage to DNA. - Carcinogenesis

Beta-cryptoxanthin seems to reduce the risk of lung cancer and colon cancer. Studies have demonstrated that beta-cryptoxanthin can reduce the risk of lung cancer by more than 30 per cent. Researchers believe that the anti-cancer effect is linked to the antioxidant effect of beta-cryptoxanthin, but also to a specific expression of a gene that protects cells from becoming cancerous. Other studies showed that beta-cryptoxanthin reduces risk for rheumatoid arthritis by 41 per cent. - Phytochemicals

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