Dry fruits such as apricots, dates, and raisins are safe food products to add to a diabetic-friendly diet. Individuals often are anxious about glucose sources and fruits are among those. However, a majority of fruits contain a low GI score. And, dry fruits contain a lower GI value. Hence, they don’t spike glucose levels to a large extent. Individuals may consume these dry fruits as low GI food to swap for higher GI foods. Hence, we can say that apricot is good for diabetes.
What are Apricots aka Khumani?
Apricot ( Prunus armeniaca ) is a stone fruit. It is also referred to as Khumani(in Hindi). Apricots are round and yellow in colour. They appear as a smaller version of a peach. The fruit is intensely nourishing and packs lots of health benefits like eye health and better gut health. In dried form, apricots make a perfect snack. The fruit is moderately high in natural sugars and is a very healthy food. Fresh apricots contain a very beautiful sweet taste.
Nutritional Facts of Apricots
Apricot (khumani) is a very healthy dried fruit. It also comprises several vitamins and minerals. Around two fresh apricots (about 70 grams) offer nutrients like:
- Carbohydrates: 8 grams
- Fiber: 1.5 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 0.27 grams
- Calories: 34
- Vitamin A: 8% of RDI
- Vitamin C: 8% of RDI
- Potassium: 4% of RDI
- Vitamin E: 4% of RDI
Also, apricot is a decent source of lutein, zeaxanthin, beta carotene, etc. All these are effective antioxidants that assist in fighting free radicals in a person’s body. People must enjoy fresh apricots in whole and unpeeled form. As the apricot’s skin packs a huge quantity of nutrients and fiber. Make sure to remove the stone, as it’s unpalatable.
Apricot contains fewer calories and fat. The dried fruit is also a rich source of vitamins A, E, D, and C. Apricots contain a very sweet and delicate flavour. Their remarkable nutrient content makes this fruit an ideal inclusion to a diabetic diet. Apricots also pack beneficial potassium, copper, and manganese. Furthermore, apricots may aid in satisfying the sweet tooth without causing havoc on the glucose levels contrasting to sweets comprising a sugar and processed carbs. The low GI of apricots and nutritional profile aid in better diabetes control, which suggests apricot is good for diabetes.
What is Glycemic Index?
GI is a ranking scale of carbs of food products. It is determined by how they have an impact on the blood sugars. Foods with a high GI (more than 55) might prove damaging to blood glucose levels. Instead, foods having low GI allow a gradual release of sugar. And, this avoids the increase in glucose levels.
Glycemic Index of Apricots (Khumani)
Is apricot good for diabetes? Fresh apricots have a GI score of 34. These come under low glycemic index foods. Dried apricot’s glycemic index is even lower i.e., 30, which makes it a low glycemic fruit. This implies that both fresh apricots and dried apricots exert a constant effect on the levels of blood glucose following a meal than foods having a high GI. This might bring about increased blood glucose after consuming food. Intake of foods with low GI plays a crucial role in overall health if a person has difficulty in blood sugar control. Including fresh or dried apricots in a diabetic diet is an excellent idea because it’s a low-sugar fruit.
Below is a list of top low GI fruits & foods that a person may add to a diabetes diet:
- Sweet potato
Make sure to include the above foods in your diet. These would help in natural blood sugar management. People must ensure not to overeat them and practice moderation.
Read More: Check Glycemic Index of any Food?
Health Benefits of Apricots (Khumani)
Rich in Antioxidants
Apricot is a significant source of antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E, and beta carotene. Moreover, they contain a rich amount of polyphenol antioxidants named flavonoids. These exert a protective effect against various ailments like cardiovascular problems and diabetes.
The major flavonoids in this dried fruit include quercetin, chlorogenic acid, and catechin. These flavonoids act by neutralizing the free radicals. These are damaging compounds that harm the body cells and result in oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is associated with a number of chronic problems like heart disorder.
A high intake of flavonoids and anthocyanins is associated with a reduced inflammation score. High flavonoid consumption also relates to a reduced oxidative stress score.
Apricots comprise several antioxidants, mostly flavonoids. They assist in protecting the body from oxidative stress, relating to several chronic ailments which make apricot good for diabetes.
Supports Gut Health
Apricots might support digestive health. Around 1 cup (165 grams) of sliced apricots deliver about 3 grams of fiber. Apricots comprise both the forms of fiber, soluble and insoluble. The soluble type is water-soluble and involves gums, pectin, and polysaccharides. And, the insoluble type is not water-soluble and involves lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose.
Apricot is rich in soluble fiber particularly. It is vital for maintaining healthy levels of blood glucose and cholesterol. Also, fiber delays the motion of food via the gut and feeds on favourable gut bacteria. An improved gut microbiome is associated with a reduced risk of obesity. One apricot (roughly 35 grams) packs only 0.7 grams of fiber. Hence, some can be easily consumed in one sitting.
Apricot is a dry fruit and a good source of soluble fiber. This type of fiber feeds healthy digestive bacteria and improves gut health.
Supports Eye Health
Apricots pack manifold compounds vital for eye health. These are vitamins A and E. Vitamin A prevents night blindness, a disorder resulting from a deficiency of light pigments in the eyes. And, vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that goes into the eyes and guards them against damaging free radicals.
Also, beta carotene provides apricots with their yellow-orange colour. It acts as a precursor to vitamin A, signifying that a person’s body may convert it into this vitamin. Other significant carotenoids present in apricot are lutein and zeaxanthin. These are present in the lenses and retinas of the eyes. And, carotenoids help in protecting against oxidative stress.
Apricot is a significant source of zeaxanthin, beta carotene, lutein, and vitamins E, and C. These nutrients help in improving eye health and protect them from any damage.
Good Hydrating Power
Similar to many fruits, apricots naturally contain a high-water content. This helps in controlling blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and joint health. A cup (165 grams) of fresh, sliced apricots offers around 2/3 cup (142 ml) of water.
Nowadays, many individuals don’t drink a sufficient amount of water. For them, consuming fresh apricot may help them reach their daily requirements. If a person is dehydrated, his or her blood volume reduces. This forces the heart to function harder to pump blood. Besides, good hydration permits better circulation of nutrients and waste products all over the body.
In addition, consuming apricots might be a simple approach to replenish both water and electrolyte loss post-exercise. As apricot delivers excellent amounts of water and potassium, due to this was can suggest that apricot is good for diabetes.
Apricot contains a high-water content. And, this is vital for staying hydrated. Proper hydration plays a crucial role in numerous aspects of health, such as blood pressure and heart rate.
Rich in Potassium
Apricot contains rich amounts of potassium. It is a mineral that acts as an electrolyte. In a person’s body, it is useful for transferring nerve signals and controlling fluid balance and muscle contractions. Around 2 apricots (70 grams) offer 180 mg of potassium.
Potassium acts in association with sodium to maintain fluid balance. Its sufficient consumption can aid in preventing bloating and maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Potassium helps in fluid balance, nerve signaling, and muscle contractions. Consumption of potassium-rich foods like apricots prevents hypertension. It also lowers the risk of stroke.
Apricots are helpful for protecting the liver from oxidative stress. In 2 animal studies, rats fed alcohol and apricots had reduced liver enzymes and inflammatory markers than rats fed alcohol but no apricots. The study proposes that apricots might aid in preventing liver damage due to their naturally high antioxidant content.
In 2 rat studies, apricots were observed to exert a lover-protectant effect from oxidative stress due to alcohol intake. However, more human studies are essential.
Improves Skin Health
Having apricots is seen to benefit a person’s skin. The major reasons for skin damage and wrinkles include environmental factors. These can be pollution, sun, and cigarette smoke. In addition, studies show a direct relationship between sunburns, UV light exposure, and the risk of melanoma, a lethal type of skin cancer.
Particularly, a person may fight some of this skin impairment via a healthful diet packed with antioxidants, which apricots deliver. Vitamins E, C are present in this dried fruit. These vitamins help in defending the skin. Particularly, vitamin C shields the body against UV damage and environmental pollutants by stabilizing free radicals.
Besides, this vitamin aids in building collagen. This provides elasticity and strength to the skin. A consuming meal rich in vitamin C helps in skin healing from UV damage and avoids wrinkles. Beta carotene is another apricot nutrient. It helps in guarding against sunburns. While people must carry on using sunscreen, consumption of apricots might give added protection.
Apricot contains rich amounts of antioxidants. They protect the body against environmental damage from pollution, sunlight, or smoke. These compounds are helpful for skin health as they reduce the risk of sunburn and wrinkles.
Effect of Fiber
Is dried apricot good for diabetics? Fiber constitutes a few of the favorable effects of apricots on blood glucose levels. Dietary fiber delays the process of digestion to regulate the glucose released into the blood. Also, it helps in improving the body’s capability to react to insulin. And, this further aids in blood sugar control.
One cup of sliced fresh apricot comprises 3 g of dietary fiber. Also, ½ cup of dried apricots packs 4.7 g of fiber. Every serving of dried apricots offers about 18% of the daily fiber needs for females and 12% for males, which makes apricots good for diabetes and non-diabetes people too for balancing their fiber intake.
The vitamin E present in dry and fresh apricots adds to their effect on blood glucose. Vitamin E works as a powerful antioxidant. In addition, a meal containing antioxidants aids in improving the glucose levels in type 2 diabetics. Intake of ½ cup of dried apricots improves the vitamin E consumption by 3mg and offers 19% of the daily consumption. One cup of fresh sliced apricots comprises 1.5mg of vitamin E, or 10% of RDI.
Easy to Include in the Diet
Both dried and fresh forms of apricots are easy, quick, tempting snacks. People may include apricots in their diet in several ways, like by:
- consuming fresh as a snack
- mixing into granola or trail mix
- including in desserts such as cakes, or pastries
- slicing or adding into yogurt or salad
- stewing in a slow-cooker using meat like chicken or beef
- using it in salsa, jams, or preserves
As apricots are sweet and tart, they may replace plums or peaches in many recipes.
Both dry and fresh types of apricots are extensively available. People may consume these on their own or include them in favourite sides, dishes, or desserts.
Intake of More Apricots (Khumani)
Are dry fruits good for diabetics? Dry apricots constitute a filling snack and function well when used with nuts and seeds. This makes a great homemade trail mix. Also, chopped dried apricots are great inclusions to salads.
People usually combine sliced dried apricots, quinoa, green onion, fresh mint, and orange juice for a high-fiber salad. This aids in controlling the levels of blood sugars. People have fresh apricots on their own or utilize thinly cut apricots to top their toast. This makes an apricot good for diabetes with other dry fruits.
Apricots are tasty dried fruits full of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. They are composed of multiple benefits, such as better digestive, skin, and eye health. Fresh or dried apricots are simple to include in salads, yogurt, or main meals. If a person is accustomed to consuming peaches and plums, apricots may be a good way to modify a person’s routine.
When is a good time to have apricots?
The dietary fiber in apricots helps in improving gut health. This aids to enhance your metabolism. Moreover, it is suggested to have some apricots as a snack when you’re feeling hungry, particularly if you’re following a diet.
What is apricot glycemic index?
With a GI score of 34, fresh apricots come under low GI food. Dried apricots contain an even lower glycemic index of 30.
How many dried apricots are safe for consumption in a day?
There is no suggested dose of dried apricots for a day, a standard serving contains around 8 halves to 5 per day. The dose may differ as per the individual’s choice.
Are apricots rich in carbohydrates and sugar?
A fresh apricot contains roughly 4g of carbs, with below 1g of fiber and more than 3g of naturally occurring sugar. Dried apricots provide more natural sugar per serving. Also, they contain added sugar during processing. Hence, it’s always better to read the food label.
Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.