No ordinary fruit, the apricot is related to the peach and plum and is in the rose family. The apricot originates from China but in ancient times made its way to Armenia which is why its scientific name is Prunus Armenaica. The apricot tree first appeared in the U.S. around 1720 and by 1792 it came to the Spanish Missions in California- which has the perfect climate for growing the apricot tree.
This golden orange fruit may be petite but it holds within its velvety skin, beta-carotene, antioxidants, Vitamins A, C, and E as well as fiber and a handful of other healthy benefits. But did you know that this beautiful delight is healthy for your eyes?
For someone who has worn glasses since third grade this is big news. I had to wait until I was 14 years old to wear contact lenses and still remember it like it was yesterday. I know that apricots can not cure my terrible eyesight, but knowing the power they wield for overall eye health, was reason enough to add the delectable apricot to my fruit regiment.
Vitamin E and the beta-carotene work together as a team of two assisting in better eye health. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that enters the eye directly to protect them from free-radical damage. Beta-carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A, meaning your body converts the beta-carotene into Vitamin A, and along with lutein and zeaxanthin that are found in the retinas and lenses of the eyes helps with oxidative stress. My eyes feel stronger and more relaxed already.
At BOL we serve sun dried apricots as an add-on on our acai bowls, but there are many other ways to enjoy this fancy fruit. Apricot brandy anyone? Apricots can be baked into pastries, made into jams, and a slew of recipes sure to make your mouth water. Martha Stewart and her team of chefs have some amazing apricot recipes to try out. So if you're in the mood for a fruit you may not eat that often, try the sun dried apricots on your acai bowl. Your eyes will thank you.