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  • ApricotPosted 3 years ago under Health

    Low in calories and high in nutritional value, apricots make a very good addition to your diet. Because it provides an excellent source of important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, the apricot is useful in fighting inflammation, damage from free radicals, as well as eyesight deterioration linked to aging.

    Taxonomy

    The apricot comes from the Prunus armeniaca tree.

    Description

    The apricot tree grows to a range of 25 to 40 ft tall with a large canopy. The fruit is similar in size to a small peach with a diameter of 0.6 to 1 inch. Apricots range in color from yellow to orange and their skin can either be smooth or have small hairs. Inside the apricot is a large pit, or stone, which is rough in texture and contains the apricot seed. The apricot can be sweet or tart. i

    Distribution

    Apricots are found all around the world in places with a continental climate or Mediterranean climate. The key is for there to be a significant enough decrease in temperature during the winter to allow the tree to go into a dormant state. Though apricot trees can stand temperatures as low as -30▫ C, they are susceptible to early spring frosts because they tend to bloom early. They thrive in soil that is well-drained and slightly acidic. ii

    Nutritional Information

    Apricots are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, copper, and fiber. iii They are also rich in folate, a mineral essential in the DNA replication process within the body. iv Apricots are also known for having antioxidants such as flavonoids and carotenoids. v

    Besides the fruit itself, the apricot seed is known to have nutritional benefit as well. The seed contains amygdaline which can be modified into laetrile, commonly called B17. This has been shown to kill cancerous cells in the human body. vi

    Commercial Cultivation

    Most apricots grown in the US are cultivated in California with some coming from Utah and Washington. Worldwide, Turkey and Iran are the leading cultivators of apricots. vii

    When dried with sulfur, apricots remain a bright orange and tend to stay juicier. Organic dried apricots are not dried with sulfur and so are browner in color and tougher in texture. Turkey is the world’s largest producer of dried apricots. viii

    Diseases, Pests, Predators

    The apricot tree is susceptible to a variety of different pests including earwigs, aphids, different moths, and California scales. Common diseases that may infect them can be bacterial, such as canker and blast, or fungal, such as blight or brown and black rot. ix

    Sources:

    i “Cultivation of apricot tree.” http://www.botanical-online.com/english/apricotflora.htm.
    ii “Cultivation of apricot tree,” http://www.botanical-online.com/english/apricotflora.htm.
    ii “Apricots,” http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=3
    iv “Foods that kill cancer,” http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/foods-that-kill-cancer/
    v “Apricots,” http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=3
    vi “How laetrile or B17 from apricot seeds kills only cancer cells,” http://www.naturalnews.com/031336_laetrile_cancer_cells.html
    vii “Top production- apricots- 2012,” http://faostat.fao.org/site/339/default.aspx
    viii Andrew F. Smith, editor, The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 22.
    ix “Cultivation of apricot tree,” http://www.botanical-online.com/english/apricotflora.htm

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