Benefits of Dried Apricots for Digestive Health
Dietary fiber is part of dietetic intake that encompasses the indigestible parts of plants, which the body needs to stay healthy. There are two kinds of dietary fiber; soluble (can be dissolved in water) and, insoluble (does not dissolve in water and therefore passes unchanged through the digestive tract). Dietary fiber benefits include helping the body to maintain regularity and preventing constipation, as well as possibly helping to stave off chronic illness such as heart disease and diabetes. Obesity prevention is another of the many dietary fiber benefits, and various factors contribute to its role in the achievement of healthier body weight.
Most people simply do not get enough dietary fiber as recommended by daily nutritional guidelines. For those looking to incorporate more high fiber snacks and foods into their diets, one excellent choice is dried fruits. Apricots in particular are nutrient packed snacks with a whole lot to offer. And, the benefits of dried apricots include of course a healthy dose of fiber, amongst other valuables. Apricots are a beneficial addition to any fiber lacking diet not only for their nutritional impact, but also for their portability. Those who are unable to commit to three fiber filled meals per day can take comfort in knowing that a handful of these high fiber snacks (7 halves or so, as demonstrated by Harvard University Health Services)can provide 2 grams of fiber, making eating healthy on the go much easier and sweeter. The benefits of dried apricots, however, go far beyond their place as a staple amongst convenience and portability.
The fiber content of dried apricots can be a beneficial resource for those suffering from digestive problems. Chronic constipation, for instance, is an issue that many people who have less than fiber rich diets may encounter. Chronic constipation is characterized by recurrent bouts of difficulty defecating; whether that means that stools are simply difficult to pass, will not pass, or do not pass regularly, often with three or more days lapsing between bowel movements. Because the benefits of dried apricots include both soluble and insoluble fiber, they work in two ways to combat recurring constipation. The insoluble fiber portion of the apricot helps to move bowels along by increasing the bulk of the stool, thus contributing to regularity per Mayo Clinic research. At the same time, additional water is introduced to the digestive tract, which can also help with stool movement by preventing its hardening and drying; which can lead to discomfort, straining and constipation. The health benefits of dried apricots also include another constipation combater in the form of soluble fiber. While less effective for staving off clogged colons as the un-absorbent form, the soluble fiber derived as a part of the benefits of dried apricots are still essential for promoting good digestive health and therefore, contributing to regularity.
Dried fruits like apricots also have another interesting way in which they help to maintain the normal function of the digestive system, and that is due to their high potassium levels. According to Wikipedia dried fruits such as the apricot are in the top 5 list of food sources for potassium. This mineral is required for many biological processes and functions within the body and, it also plays an important role in digestive health. Dr. Weil notes that potassium is responsible to help maintain the delicate balance of fluids within the body. And, since a lack of fluid can certainly contribute to poor digestive health in terms of stool stability, it is easy to see why proper potassium levels, those which can be obtained from the health benefits of dried apricots, are important. This fluid balancing act can also have a bearing on abdominal discomfort from water retention as well, making dried fruits like apricots potentially anti bloating foods in their own way by balancing the amount of fluid in the body.
There are many fruits high in fiber to choose from, and all of them are great selections in terms of providing nutrients like vitamins and minerals that the body needs to stay healthy. Dried apricots contain both fiber and potassium, which can lead to better digestive health. Add in the other amazing health benefits of dried apricots like a huge dose of Vitamin A, an abundance of Vitamin C, and elements like manganese and copper not always afforded through regular, daily dietary choices and it is easy to see why apricots make a great addition to any diet.