Dried Apricots – A Healthy Snack Option

In an effort to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diet, sometimes we eat dried fruit.  Sometimes we eat it plain, sometimes we eat it mixed in with nuts, and sometimes as a dessert, like the chocolate walnut covered apricots I made the other day.  (See Post under Desserts/Other).

Today I wanted to tell you about dried apricots.   Besides the fact that they taste so good and my family loves them, they are really good for you.  They are an excellent source of Vitamin A, which is great for eye health.  They also are a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and dietary fiber.  In fact, the amount of fiber in dried apricots makes them act as a gentle laxative.  And, because of their high content of iron, they are good for anemia.  The fact that they are low in sodium and high in potassium makes them a good choice for helping to maintain normal blood pressure.  They have so many good nutrients and antioxidants that they also help prevent heart disease and can help lower your risk of cancer.

One important thing to note is that many dried apricots (and many other dried fruits) are treated with sulfur dioxide to help preserve their light orange color.  While this additive has been regarded as harmless and convenient to most, some people who are sensitive to this, especially those with asthma, can have an adverse reaction.  Food manufacturers are required to disclose on their packaging whether sulfite agents are used.  So, the best advice is to choose organic whenever you can.  The organic apricots, those not treated with sulfur dioxide, have more of a brown color.

So try adding some dried fruit to your diet, especially apricots.  You’ll reap some great health benefits and enjoy great taste.  What a great snacking option for your family!

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