Dried apricots nutrition stands out for many reasons, one being the excellent potassium levels in the fruit. Dried apricots are actually one of the best food sources of potassium, and provide the benefits to match. Because they are high in potassium, the dry fruit provide several wonderful health benefits, most notably benefits for muscles such as better coordination and quicker reflexes, and combat muscle cramps and spasms, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness. The potassium in dried apricots is further good for hypertension and the heart and cardiovascular system, as well as digestion, blood pressure and bone density.
What is potassium good for?
Potassium is an essential nutrient that must be obtained from the diet every single day in relatively large amounts. The average adult requires up to 4700 mg of potassium a day to be healthy. The dietary mineral is vital for maintaining the electrolyte balance in the human body and holds important benefits for health. Potassium is especially good for hypertension and heart health: it relieves pressure in the blood vessels, helping lower blood pressure numbers, as well as contributes to lower risks of heart attack and stroke. Getting enough potassium in your diet, and magnesium, is good for preventing and reducing muscle cramps, spasms and twitching such as painful leg cramps, calf cramps, foot cramps and thigh spasms. Indirectly, potassium helps you sleep better and keeps your reflexes quick and even provides benefits for blood sugar management in diabetes and bone density for osteoporosis prevention.
Symptoms of potassium deficiency
When you aren’t getting enough potassium in your diet for some time, you stop feeling good. Symptoms of potassium deficiency include high blood pressure and arrhythmias such as extrasystoles and palpitations, and increased risks of heart attack and stroke. Potassium deficiency can result in muscle weakness and feeling tired all the time. In addition to fatigue, there may be more frequent muscle spasms and painful cramps such as leg cramps, thigh spasms, calf and foot cramps, eyelid twitching, and tingling and numbness. Breathing may feel difficult, especially when performing physical tasks, and shortness of breath may occur. A potassium deficiency impacts the muscles of the digestive system as well and can cause problems with food digestion with symptoms such as a longer transit time, constipation and bloating.
Dried apricots potassium content
On average dried apricots have about 4.4 times more potassium compared to fresh apricots. A serving of 100 g of dried apricots contains 1162 mg of potassium vs 100 g of fresh apricots which provides 259 mg of potassium. The average adult requires up to 4700 mg of potassium a day which makes dried apricots a good source of the mineral to consider if you are looking to meet your daily requirements.
How high in potassium are dried apricots?
Do dried apricots have a lot of potassium? 100 g of dried apricots has 1162 mg of potassium. The average person requires up to 4700 mg of potassium a day. That means that a serving of 100 g of dried apricots will provide about 25% of the daily requirements of potassium. By comparison, the same amount of fresh apricots provides only about 6% of the daily requirements of the mineral, which means that dried apricots are quite high in potassium.
But of course, we’re not meant to eat 100 g of dried apricots a day every single day to get our potassium. Most dried fruits and nuts have serving sizes of 25 – 30 g which ultimately provides almost the same amount of potassium as the fresh fruit (6 – 8% of daily requirements per 25 – 30 g servings of dried apricots).
How many dried apricots should you eat a day?
The average serving size for dried fruits and nuts, including dried apricots, is 25 g or 30 g. Most people eat 1-2 servings a day which is considered a safe amount, enough to get important amounts of potassium in your diet, as well as several other essential micronutrients, but not too much to cause side effects. Overeating dried apricots is problematic because they are high-carb and high-sugar and promote weight gain which is bad for diabetes, blood pressure, blood cholesterol and the cardiovascular system, and health in general. You can also consult the label to see how many dried apricots you should eat per day, considering the nutritional information and recommendations on the label are in accordance with nutritional guidelines set up by health authorities in your country.
What are the benefits?
The amount of potassium in dried apricots contributes to the following health benefits:
- Benefits for hypertension. Potassium in dried apricots helps relieve pressure in blood vessels, contributing to better blood pressure numbers.
- Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. Getting enough potassium, and magnesium, from healthy dietary sources such as dried apricots is good for heart health and contributes to reduced risks of cardiovascular events.
- Benefits for arrhythmia. Eating dried apricots is good for palpitations, extrasystoles and arrhythmia in general thanks to the good level of potassium in the fruit, but also magnesium and calcium. The electrolytes are responsible for the correct transmission of electrical impulses from the brain to the heart signaling it to contract rhythmically.
- Good for water retention. Potassium in dried apricots regulates the amount of fluid in the body by balancing electrolytes and helps combat water retention.
- Combat swelling and puffiness. Eating dried apricots ups potassium intake which holds benefits for swollen legs, ankles and feet, swelling in the arms and hands, abdomen and face.
- Benefits for muscles. Potassium in dried apricots functions as an electrolyte, carrying electrical impulses from the brain to muscles, coordinating muscle contraction and relaxation.
- Benefits for muscle cramps and spasms. Eating dried apricots provides potassium and magnesium which help combat painful muscle cramps and spasms, twitching, numbness, aches and pain, but also muscle weakness by coordinating muscle contraction and relaxation.
- Great reflexes. Potassium, and magnesium, in dried apricots carry electrical impulses from the brain to the muscles, contributing to quick reflexes and better coordination.
- Benefits for digestion. Thanks to its electrolyte properties, the potassium in dried apricots supports peristalsis and contributes to the movement of food along the digestive tract.
- Benefits for bones and teeth. One of the functions of potassium is to regulate blood pH. The blood is naturally slightly alkaline, but if it becomes too acidic, the body draws calcium from bones, compromising bone density. Potassium helps maintain blood pH and prevent loss of bone density.
- Benefits for blood sugar. Potassium deficiency causes high blood sugar levels. Dried apricots provide good levels of potassium which is important for blood sugar management.
- Benefits for diabetes. Some diabetes medication cause low blood potassium levels which, in turn, contributes to a raise in blood sugar levels. Eating dried apricots help reverse potassium deficiency which holds benefits such as better insulin sensitivity.