Apricots: Tiny Protectors

Apricots are tiny, tart, sunshine-colored fruits packed with both of vitamin A that is abundant in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables.

Potential Healing Power:

  • Combat constipation
  • Prevent cholesterol from damaging your arteries
  • Protect against certain cancers

Although fiber is important in preventing constipation and lowering cholesterol, it’s the beta-carotene that’s knocking the socks off scientists. In a review of beta-carotene research scientists at the National Cancer Institute and University of California, Los Angelis, have concluded that consuming more beta-carotene-rich foods like apricots may cut your risk of lung cancer-in half.

And in a joint study over a none-year period by the University of Oxford in England and the University of Tampere in Finland, researchers compared 766 people who had cancer with 1419 people who did not. Relying on new technology that uses a simple blood test to determine the amount of beta-carotene people have eaten, the researchers estimated that those who did not have cancer consumed 5 to 14 percent more beta-carotene from fruits and vegetables than those who had the disease-a key difference.

The protective effect was particularly strong against lung and bladder cancers, two forms of the disease most related to smoking.

Fortunately, the sunny flavor of apricots makes it easy to add them around the edges of almost any meal or snack. Add dried apricot bits to a fresh green salad or slice a few fresh fruits over an icy sorbet. Try stewed apricots with cereal in the morning, apricot nectar with a cookie at night or dried apricots and almonds as an afternoon snack. The result will be a burst of fresh, sunny flavor-and a body armed against disease.

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