When most people enjoy the fresh juice of apricot, it’s typically standard practice to toss the pit that contains the seeds. These seeds, however, are a little-known gold mine of health benefits. Read on to find about some of the benefits that these seeds can offer, and you will be hoarding them like a secret stash of cash.
Health Benefits of Apricot Seeds
1. Cancer Prevention
Inside of the seeds is a component called laetrile (also known as amygdalin), which gets some attention because it is toxic in high quantities. However, in small doses, laetrile is a potent form of B17 and is believed to help the body fight off free radicals and protect itself against cancer.
2. Glowing Skin
Making a scrub using apricot seeds will give you luminous, beautiful skin. Extract the oil from the seeds and mix with just enough sugar to create a scrub; apply to your face and rinse with warm water.
3. Relieves Arthritis Pain
The seeds of apricots have anti-inflammatory properties, which makes them a great aid for those suffering from arthritis. By reducing inflammation in the body, these seeds can help reduce pain in the joints and prevent further deterioration.
4. Healthy Hair
Using the oil of the seeds and applying it to the hair will provide your locks with an extra-potent dose of moisture. Apply it to the ends to fix that dry, frayed look, or apply it to the scalp to treat dry, flaky irritation.
5. Lowers Blood Pressure
The same B-vitamin that can help protect against cancer also helps to lower blood pressure in the body, thus promoting cardiovascular health. Incorporating apricot seeds, or the oil obtained from them, into your diet can help get you back to a healthy blood pressure level if you regularly run high.
6. Strengthens Immunity
If you want to give your immune system an extra boost, especially during cold and flu season, try utilizing apricot seeds. Consuming a small amount of apricot seeds on a consistent basis will help your immune systems work its best.
7. Pain Relief
For natural pain relief, apricot seeds can be ingested or applied directly to the problem area. Apricot seeds work as a mild analgesic, which will provide relief for arthritis and inflammation in the body, as well as muscle aches. You can also take apricot kernel in pill or powder form for the relief of pain caused by inflammation.
8. Support Respiratory Health
Apricot seeds have long been used in Chinese medicine to treat emphysema, asthma, and other respiratory issues. It also works well as a cough soother and expectorant, making it useful for those suffering from bronchitis and other respiratory infections.
9. Helps the Heart
Because apricot seeds are an excellent source of healthy fats, much like fish oil, they may also be effective in lowering bad cholesterol levels in the body.
10. Maintain Healthy pH
As you may know, a healthy and balanced pH level in the body is important for keeping everything running smoothly. The rich levels of B17 in apricot seeds help them promote alkalinity in the body, creating a balanced pH level.
How to Use Apricot Seeds
If you can find apricot seeds in your health food store, there will likely be two types–sweet, and bitter. The sweet seeds are, obviously, sweeter and better tasting, but tend to have fewer health benefits. The bitter ones get all the credit for helping fight cancer, but also a strong warning against overdosing.
Since the bitter ones are more common, you will probably use those. To use them efficiently, soak the seeds in water overnight to help reduce the bitterness. You can then snack on them or include them in smoothies and meals (again, watch your portions because of the risk of too much amygdalin).
While apricot seeds offer some incredible health benefits, the concern about excess consumption cannot be stressed enough here: if the body consumes too much amygdalin, it is the equivalent of being poisoned with cyanide. So, be sure to enjoy the many benefits of apricot seeds in a smart and safe fashion.