Apricot Benefits the Liver, Eyes & Digestive System

Ron Hines DVM PhD

Dog's Digestive System
Angling is a method of fishing, specifically the practice of catching fish by means of an "angle" hook. Gastrointestinal Inflammation The term inflammatory bowel disease IBD describes a group of disorders in which the intestines become inflamed. Rat Killer Poisoning vs Liver Damage: You should have a nice round pile of…. Generally dogs digest this recipe well. You must be logged in to post a comment. Darcy, Can you tell me what you are feeding your dog?

Free Shipping & Returns

Let’s Take A Trip Through The Digestive System!

It is a member of the Prunus , or stone fruit, genus of trees, which also includes plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines and almonds.

Believed to be native to either Armenia, China or Japan, apricots are now widely cultivated worldwide. They have also been credited with a wide range of health benefits, from reducing inflammation to treating dry eyes and more.

Besides being the largest internal organ in the human body, the liver is also one of the most important. It has a long list of functions, from producing proteins that help blood clotting to breaking down fats to produce energy. Some research suggests that the apricot fruit benefits the health of your liver and may even protect against liver disease. In one animal study published in the British Journal of Nutrition , apricot was able to protect against liver damage as well as fatty liver, a condition characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver.

Consuming an anti-inflammatory diet, reducing your stress levels and getting in more physical activity can also help give your liver function a boost. In addition to supplying a wide array of important micronutrients, apricots are also loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that protect against free radicals and prevent damage to cells. They may also reduce the risk of certain chronic conditions like heart disease and cancer.

Apricots are loaded with carotenoids , a type of pigment with antioxidant properties. Besides apricots, other fruits and vegetables, as well as herbs and spices like turmeric and cilantro, are also high antioxidant foods that you can easily incorporate into your diet.

Inflammation is not necessarily a bad thing. Chronic inflammation , on the other hand, can wreak havoc on your body and contribute to diseases like heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Some studies have found that apricots could possess potent anti-inflammatory properties to help protect against disease. The apricot seeds, in particular, are believed to be effective in relieving inflammation. In one animal study, giving rats apricot kernel oil extract helped protect against ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease.

Other anti-inflammatory foods include leafy green vegetables, beets, broccoli, blueberries and pineapple. Apricots are loaded with fiber, providing about 3. Fiber moves through the body undigested, helping add bulk to stool and prevent constipation. One analysis composed of five studies showed that increasing fiber intake helped increase stool frequency in patients with constipation.

Sweet apricot seeds, which are commonly sold as snack foods, can supply even more fiber. Apricots are an excellent source of vitamin A. Just one cup of raw apricots can knock out 60 percent of the vitamin A you need for the entire day while a cup of dried apricot can nearly fulfill your daily vitamin A requirements all on its own.

Vitamin A plays a central role when it comes to eye health. In fact, vitamin A deficiency can result in symptoms like night blindness, dry eyes and vision loss. Besides being rich in vision-boosting vitamin A, apricots may benefit eye health in other ways. A animal study, for example, showed that applying apricot kernel extract topically helped reduce dry eyes by promoting tear fluid production in mice. Other top vitamin A foods include beef liver, sweet potato, carrots, kale and spinach.

Raw apricots are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium as well as several other important micronutrients. They also contain a good amount of carbohydrates, with most of the apricot calories coming from carbs rather than fat or protein. One cup of raw apricot halves contains approximately: In addition to the nutrients above, apricot also contains some riboflavin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, magnesium and phosphorus.

The dried apricots nutrition profile varies a bit. Dried apricots contain over four times as many calories and carbohydrates but also provide a more concentrated amount of fiber, vitamin A, potassium, vitamin E and other micronutrients.

One cup of apricot dry fruit contains approximately: Additionally, dried apricots contain some pantothenic acid, calcium, selenium, vitamin K and riboflavin. Not only do they belong to the same family of fruits, but they share quite a few similarities in both their appearance and the nutrients that they provide.

Apricots are smaller than peaches and have yellowish-orange flesh covered with fuzz. Peaches, on the other hand, are slightly larger, can range in color from white to bright yellow or red, and like apricots are covered in fine hairs. Apricots tend to have a bit more of a tart taste that makes a great addition to baked goods and desserts. Nutritionally speaking, the two fruits are very similar with a few minute differences.

Gram for gram, apricots are slightly higher in calories, protein, carbohydrates and fiber. Apricots also contain more vitamin A and vitamin C, although the two contain comparable amounts of other micronutrients, like vitamin E and vitamin K.

That being said, both are jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and including a few servings of each can be a healthy and nutritious way to give your diet a boost. Apricots are easy to enjoy and full of flavor. If eating it raw, simply wash it and feel free to consume the entire fruit, skin and all.

You can use a spoon to help gently pull out the large stone, or apricot kernels, found in the middle of the fruit. For a simple, healthy treat, try adding apricot to a bowl of Greek yogurt or even use it to top off your next bowl of oatmeal or cold cereal. Alternatively, try using either fresh or dried apricots in your cooking and baking recipes to boost both the flavor and nutrient profile of your dishes.

It separates usable and unusable fluids that we consume daily. The spleen has the power to transform food and liquids into energy , which is then transported to our organs and enables the proper function of our entire body — this is why the spleen is seen as playing a central role in nourishing our bodies and promoting development. When you swallow, your food pushes into the esophagus, the muscular tube that carries food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach.

Once swallowing begins, it becomes involuntary and proceeds under the control of the esophagus and brain. Spleen — The spleen is a brown, flat, oval-shaped lymphatic organ that filters and stores blood to protect the body from infections and blood loss. It helps fight infection and keep body fluids in balance. The spleen is in charge of cleaning impurities from the blood, destroying old red blood cells and storing blood in case of emergency, such as an injury.

Stomach — The stomach acts as a storage tank for food so that the body has time to digest large meals properly. This central organ not only holds the food, it also works as a mixer and grinder. The stomach contains hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes that continue the digestion of food that began in the mouth.

Enzymes and acids mix with the food that has already begun to break down in the mouth and esophagus, and it turns into a liquid called chyme. Hydrochloric acid is a clear, colorless and highly pungent solution of hydrogen chloride in water. Liver — The liver is the second largest organ in the body, and it has many different functions. But the main function of the liver in digestion is the production of bile and its release into the small intestine. The liver makes and secretes bile, which helps enzymes in the body to break down fats into fatty acids.

After we absorb nutrients through our small intestines, it then enters the bloodstream. This blood is sent to the liver for filtering and detoxification.

The liver has the amazing ability to break down and store amino acids, synthesize and metabolize fats and cholesterol, store glucose, detoxify the blood and regulate our internal functions. The gallbladder sits just under the liver and stores bile that is made in the liver, which then travels to the gallbladder through a channel called the cystic duct. The gallbladder stores bile between meals, and when we eat, the gallbladder squeezes bile through the bile ducts, which connect the gallbladder and liver to the small intestine.

Pancreas — The pancreas is a spongy, tube-shaped organ that is about six inches long. It secretes digestive enzymes into the small intestine, and this completes the chemical digestion of foods.

Pancreatic juice is capable of digesting lipids, carbohydrates creating energy , proteins creating amino acids for building and nucleic acids.

Both enzymes and hormones are needed to keep the body and digestive system working properly. The pancreas connects to the liver and the gallbladder with the common bile duct. As pancreatic juices are made, they flow into the main pancreatic duct, and then join the common duct — which allows the bile which helps to digest fat break down food before it reaches the small intestine.

When the chyme our juices that are being digested leaves the stomach, it enters the small intestine through the pyloric sphincter — a muscle that serves as a valve and prevents the regurgitation of food from the intestine back into the stomach.

It transforms from an acidic environment to an alkaline one, which means that the acids are neutralized. The small intestine is lined with very small protrusions that increase the surface area of the intestinal wall, which creates a larger absorption area.

Each protrusion, called villi, is covered in smaller hair-like structures, which are called microvilli. Enzymes exist on the villi, helping further break down nutrients into a readily absorbable form. It is the job of the villi that help prevent leaky gut.

Leaky gut is when the bowel lining is damaged. The folds in the small intestine are used to maximize the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients. By the time food leaves the small intestine, around 90 percent of all nutrients have been extracted from the food that entered it.

Once the nutrients have been absorbed, the liquid that is left over passes through the small intestine and goes to the large intestine, or colon. Once the juices that used to be your food leave your small intestine, they enter your large intestine.

At this point, most of the nutrient absorption has happened, but water, fat soluble vitamins and minerals can be absorbed in the colon as well.

Explore Everyday Health