Apricots belong to the family Rosaceae, which also includes almonds, cherries, peaches, and plums. These are consumed as drupe fruits; the kernels and flesh are both edible. However, precaution is needed in the consumption of apricot kernels because these contain prussic acid. About 1 to 2 kernels are safe enough to eat per day.
Apart from being a delicacy in all cuisines, apricots are prized for the vitamin and mineral content. Apricots contain Vitamin A, C, E, carotene, phosphorus, silicon, calcium, iron and potassium. The latter has been studied to decrease the risk for certain cancers, including that of the lungs, esophagus, and larynx.
Apricot Benefits During Pregnancy
- A pregnant mother must increase the daily intake by 300 calories more to meet the needs of a developing fetus. These calories must be distributed equitably to meet the recommended daily nutrient intake.
- A pregnant mother should choose foods which have high fiber and starch content, including fruits and vegetables.
- The choices must also be excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A. Apricots, along with other fruits and vegetables such as cantaloupe and sweet potatoes are rich in retinol.
- Apricots are also rich in iron. Pregnant women should have at least 30 mg of iron per day to prevent anemia.
- An expectant mother must consume at least 2 to 4 servings of fruit.
Eating Dried Apricots In Pregnancy
The use of apricot as an herbal medicine has long been associated with pregnancy. The bark has been indicated for problems of infertility, hemorrhage, and spasm. The paste derived from ground kernel has been indicated for certain vaginal infections.
- The flesh of the Apricot fruit is known to be safe enough for consumption of pregnant and lactating mothers.
- The use of other parts has not been studied. The consumption of kernel has not been studied, and thus, there exists no evidence on whether these are safe enough to consume. As a precaution, kernels should be avoided during pregnancy to avoid possible birth defects.
- Apricots are also popularly converted into dried fruits. These are rich in dietary fiber, iron, folic acid, and calcium. During pregnancy, dried apricot fruits become the excellent snacks to assuage momentary cravings, instead of consuming sweets and other snacks.
- Diet and Food