Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Recipe for happiness - a prune and an apricot walked into…

When most of us think of apricots and prunes we think of laxatives and high fiber. Now it’s true that both have high fiber but as to the laxative attribute it’s debatable. Seems there is no conclusive evidence to support either one being a laxative. However they both are nutritious and can lift our mood making us happier and therefore perhaps a little more relaxed and well you know…things happen when you’re relaxed!

Prunes are dried plums and apricots are apricots. Prunes are high in fiber and vitamin A. They are also a good source of potassium and an antioxidant. Apricots are also a good source of fiber and high in vitamin A. Both fruits can be eaten fresh or dried however when you dry fruit you remove the water and increase the sugar content. Prunes are an excellent antioxidant rating high on the ORAC scale which measures the antioxidant in foods. Antioxidants help the body to fend off free radicals which cause the body to age. Stress, smoking, pollution, airplanes, poor diet and a general overall unhealthy lifestyle attribute to the body-minds production of free radicals. Even if we are living a healthy lifestyle we cannot help but be bombarded by free radicals. None of us can escape pollution and stress; even if we could control everything else.

Apricots are also a good source for antioxidants. Although not as high on the OTAC scale as prunes, apricots are a good source for the antioxidant vitamin A; which has been shown to have a positive effect on eyesight. Apricots are also a good source of tryptophan and potassium. Both of which attribute to an improved state of mind.

The Apricot originated in China and now the majority of apricots consumed in our country come from California. And guess what? The process of drying plums into prunes took hold in California which happens to be the leading producer of prunes worldwide.

Apricots arrive as one of the first signs of summer and plums likewise make their first appearance in late spring and early summer. Is there anyone who doesn’t smile at the thought of fresh fruit ripening on a tree?

Prunes and apricots work hard to keep us young. They provide us with energy, nutrients and essential vitamins and minerals. They’re sweet and versatile. You’ll find them in recipes, brandies, jams, pies and more. Does hard working, energetic, essential, vital and sweet make you smile?

Say hello to the - let’s get happy- prune and apricot!

Doctor Lynn

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