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APRICOTS  (Prunus armeniaca)



Apricots are one of the most nutrient dense fruits there are and many of these nutrients can help protect the colon, digestive system, eyes and heart and protect the body against and fight off cancer.

Heart and brain health

The high beta-carotene and lycopene activity of apricots makes them important heart health foods. Both beta-carotene and lycopene protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which may help to prevent heart disease. The potassium in apricots helps to reduce blood pressure, protect the heart and prevent strokes

Eye health

They also are a rich source of vitamin A that promotes good vision. Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, reduces free radical damage to cells and tissues. Free radical damage can injure the eyes' lenses and may lead to cataracts or damage the blood supply to the eyes and cause macular degeneration. The vitamin A in apricots, along with the carotenoids and lutein prolong vision in individuals that have retinitis pigmentosa and delays the loss of peripheral vision.


The apricot is an excellent food remedy for anaemia because of its high content of iron. The good amount of copper, that is also in the fruit, makes iron available to the body.

Bacterial and viral infections

Quercetin, one of the bioflavonoids in apricots, has also shown in studies to be a powerful antiviral substance against herpes, influenza, mengo, polio, pseudorabies and the rabies viruses.

Colon and digestive health

The quercetin in apricots helps the body defend itself against harmful micro-organisms and can improve the tissue health of the intestinal wall which can help when there is an overgrowth of the Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the intestines. Apricots are also a rich source of fibre, which has a wealth of benefits including preventing constipation and digestive conditions such as diverticulitis.

Apricots can also be useful for expelling worms and as a general tonic.

NOTE: Pregnant women and individuals allergic to sulphite compounds should avoid apricots. Due to the high sugar content of apricots, especially dried,  they should also be avoided by diabetics.


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Cancer protective

Apricots have powerful anti-cancer properties and contain high levels of vitamin B17 (Nitriloside, amygdaline) in their stones which are one of the main sources of food in cultures such as Navajo Indians, Hunzas, Abkhasians and many more. Within these tribes there has never been a reported case of cancer. Some people with cancer have stayed with some of these tribes and their cancer has disappeared after just a few months of eating the same diet as them.

Seven apricots stones contain 100 mg of vitamin B17 and may be consumed daily to protect against and eliminate cancer. High concentrations of B17 are obtained by eating the natural foods in their raw or sprouting stage. This does not mean that moderate cooking will destroy the B17 content.

Note: Over consumption of some fruit seeds and stones can result in very unpleasant side effects caused by a natural toxin produced from them. It is therefore unadvisable to consume more than 100 grams in one day.

Warning: Apple, apricot, cherry and peach pips, seeds and stones and raw cassava (tapioca) contain cyanogenic glycosides causing cyanide poisoning. Seeds from one apple are unlikely to cause any ill effect but people have eaten enough to die from it. Cyanide is lethal because it impedes blood from carrying oxygen, which is of course a critical function of blood and is possibly why it can stop cancer cells developing as they require oxygen to multiply. A fatal dose of cyanide can be as little as 1.5 mg/kg of body weight. Since an apricot kernel contains approximately 0.5 mg of cyanide, consuming 150 stones in a short period of time could be lethal to a 50 kg (110 lb) person.

Learn more about the nutrients found in apricots

Other nutrients found in apricots

Alanine, arginine, ash, aspartic acid, cystine, fructose, glucose, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, insoluble fibre, isoleucine, leucine, lutein, lysine, methionine, pectin, phenylalanine, phloridzin, phytosterols, proline, rutin, serine, soluble fibre, starch, sucrose, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine and zeaxanthin.

External use

Apricots are useful in the healing of wounds. It can be applied externally with beneficial results for eczema, scabies and sun-burn and any kind of itching of the skin. Apricot stones can be ground and used as a skin scrub to remove dead skin from the face and body.

Associated subjects

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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