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Apricot vs. Nectarine — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan by Ani Harutyunyan | Last updated on May 21, 2024
Medically reviewed by Astghik Baghinyan Article author photo Astghik Baghinyan
Apricot
vs
Nectarine

Summary

Both apricots and nectarines are healthy fruits packed with various minerals and vitamins

Apricots contain almost 6 times more vitamin A and 2 times more vitamin C. When it comes to minerals, nectarines have slightly higher amounts of copper and phosphorus, while apricots have slightly higher amounts of potassium and iron. 

Both of these fruits have a wide range of health benefits.

Introduction

Both being members of the Rosaceae family, apricots and nectarines have a lot of similarities. These juicy summertime fruits are high in vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals. 

On the other hand, apricots and nectarines differ in nutrient content. This article will discuss the general and nutritional differences as well as the health impacts of these highly nutritious fruits.

Appearance, Taste, and Smell

The two fruits come from the same family (Rosaceae), so they have a lot in common. They differ, however, in terms of scent, color, and appearance.

Apricots (Prunus armeniaca) are known for their silky skin and sweet, soft scent. They usually are orange or yellow, with a red tint on occasion.

The flash on nectarines (Prunus persica var. nucipersica) is red, yellow, or white. They are larger than apricots, but their skin is not fuzzy. This is because the recessive allele is expressed in nectarine, which is responsible for its soft skin (1). The smell of nectarine is sweet, juicy, and peachy.

Nutrition

The nutritional values of Apricots, raw and Nectarines, raw will be compared here. We will also discuss some variations of these fruits in the following sections.

The usual serving of nectarines and apples is about one cup, sliced, which is equivalent to around 140 grams of nectarines and 165 grams of apricots.  

To make the comparison easier, we will be comparing 100-gram servings of each. 

Macronutrients and Calories

As can be seen from the macronutrient composition charts below, apricots and nectarines have similar macronutrient compositions. Just like most fruits and vegetables, both apricots and nectarines consist mostly of water

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +32.1%
Contains more Fats +21.9%
Contains more Other +54.2%
Equal in Carbs - 10.55
Equal in Water - 87.59
11% 86%
Protein: 1.4 g
Fats: 0.39 g
Carbs: 11.12 g
Water: 86.35 g
Other: 0.74 g
11% 88%
Protein: 1.06 g
Fats: 0.32 g
Carbs: 10.55 g
Water: 87.59 g
Other: 0.48 g
Contains more Protein +32.1%
Contains more Fats +21.9%
Contains more Other +54.2%
Equal in Carbs - 10.55
Equal in Water - 87.59

Calories

Apricots and nectarines are both low-calorie foods with similar amounts of calories. 

Per 100-gram serving, there are 48 calories in apricots and 44 calories in nectarines. 

Proteins

Fruits are generally not considered protein sources, but they contain some. Nectarines provide slightly less protein than apricots. They contain 1.1g of it per 100g of fruit, compared to 1.4g in apricots.

Carbohydrates

Apricots have slightly more carbs than nectarines. Apricots have 11.1g of carbohydrates per 100g, while nectarines have 10.5g. 

Furthermore, nectarines have fewer sugars than apricots. They contain less sucrose and glucose but more fructose.

The dried alternative of apricot has nearly 6 times more carbs than the fresh fruit.

Fiber

Apricots are high in both forms of fiber, but especially soluble fibers, which help maintain healthy blood glucose and cholesterol levels

The fiber level of apricots is slightly higher than that of nectarines. They have 2 grams of fiber per 100 grams of fruit, compared with 1.7 grams in nectarines.

Net Carbs

Net carbs are the carbohydrates in food used to make energy. Subtract the amount of fiber from the total carbs in the dish to get at this amount.

Let us see how many net carbohydrates each of these fruits have. Apricots provide 11.1 grams of carbs with 2 grams of fiber. On the other hand, nectarines provide 10.5 grams of carbohydrates and 1.7 grams of fiber per serving. Apricots have 9.1 grams of net carbs, whereas peaches have 8.8 grams. Thus, they have similar amounts of net carbs, but nectarines have slightly lower net carb content.

Fats

Lipids are not found in apricots or nectarines in considerable quantities. Apricots have 0.39 grams of fat per 100 grams of fruit, whereas nectarines have 0.32 grams. The two fruits are equal in cholesterol content: they do not contain a significant amount of it.

If we explore the small amounts of fats in these foods, we can see that most of the fats found in apricots are monounsaturated fats, while most fats found in nectarines are polyunsaturated fats

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +93.2%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +46.8%
Equal in Saturated Fat - 0.025
10% 62% 28%
Saturated Fat: 0.027 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.17 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.077 g
11% 39% 50%
Saturated Fat: 0.025 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.088 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.113 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +93.2%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +46.8%
Equal in Saturated Fat - 0.025

Vitamins

Vitamins are nutrients that the human body cannot synthesize, but their intake is essential. Vitamins are abundant in apricots and nectarines.

Although both fruits have various amounts of many vitamins, apricots seem to be the winner in this category. They contain almost 6 times more vitamin A and 2 times more vitamin C

Per 100 grams of apricots, there are 10mg of vitamin C. Dried apricots' vitamin C content is significantly lower: it provides 1mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of the fruit.

Apricots are also richer in vitamins E, K, B2, B5, and B6, while nectarines have more vitamins B1 and B3, although the amount of all these vitamins is relatively low when put in the context of daily needs. 

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
Contains more Vitamin A +285.2%
Contains more Vitamin E +15.6%
Contains more Vitamin C +85.2%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +48.1%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +29.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +116%
Contains more Folate +80%
Contains more Vitamin K +50%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +13.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +87.5%
Contains more Choline +121.4%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 77% 18% 0% 34% 8% 10% 12% 15% 13% 7% 0% 2% 9%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 20% 16% 0% 19% 9% 7% 22% 12% 6% 4% 0% 4% 6%
Contains more Vitamin A +285.2%
Contains more Vitamin E +15.6%
Contains more Vitamin C +85.2%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +48.1%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +29.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +116%
Contains more Folate +80%
Contains more Vitamin K +50%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +13.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +87.5%
Contains more Choline +121.4%

Minerals

Both apricots and nectarines also have some amounts of various minerals; the predominant minerals found in both are copper and potassium

Nectarines have slightly higher amounts of copper and phosphorus, while apricots have slightly higher amounts of potassium and iron. 

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Calcium +116.7%
Contains more Iron +39.3%
Contains more Magnesium +11.1%
Contains more Potassium +28.9%
Contains more Zinc +17.6%
Contains more Manganese +42.6%
Contains more Selenium +∞%
Contains more Phosphorus +13%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Copper +10.3%
Equal in Magnesium - 9
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 4% 15% 8% 10% 23% 1% 6% 27% 11% 1%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 2% 11% 7% 12% 18% 0% 5% 29% 8% 0%
Contains more Calcium +116.7%
Contains more Iron +39.3%
Contains more Magnesium +11.1%
Contains more Potassium +28.9%
Contains more Zinc +17.6%
Contains more Manganese +42.6%
Contains more Selenium +∞%
Contains more Phosphorus +13%
Contains less Sodium -100%
Contains more Copper +10.3%
Equal in Magnesium - 9

Glycemic index

The glycemic index is a rating system used for foods containing carbohydrates. 

The glycemic index of apricots is 34, while for nectarines, it is 43, both of which are considered low values. 

Acidity

One way to understand the acidity of foods is through their potential renal acid load (PRAL) value, which shows how much acid or base the given food produces inside the organism. 

Based on our calculations, the PRAL values of nectarines and apricots are -3.1 and -4.3, respectively, which means that both are alkaline.

Health Impact

Cardiovascular Health

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

Both fruits are rich in dietary fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, all of which contribute to cardiovascular health. 

Antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress, a major factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. Apricots contain beta-carotene and flavonoids, while nectarines have anthocyanins and other polyphenols. Both types of antioxidants are beneficial for heart health, but nectarines may have an edge due to the presence of anthocyanins, which are particularly effective at protecting blood vessels (2).

Both fruits are high in dietary fiber, which is known to help lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels, a major risk factor for heart disease. Fiber also aids in maintaining healthy blood pressure and body weight (3).

It should be noted that weight loss can significantly reduce arterial blood pressure. Research indicates that for each 10 kg of weight lost, arterial blood pressure can be reduced by about 5 to 10 mm Hg. 

Chronic inflammation is linked to atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular conditions. The flavonoids in apricots and the anthocyanins in nectarines both have anti-inflammatory properties.

Apricots tend to have slightly higher levels of vitamin E, which is an essential antioxidant for preventing atherosclerosis, the main cause of coronary artery disease (4).

Antioxidants

Toxic free radicals can cause oxidative stress and harm to all cells. Thus, antioxidants help to neutralize them (5). As a result, oxidative stress may contribute to cardiovascular disease (6), obesity (7), and Alzheimer's disease. Apricots and nectarines are both high in antioxidants. These two fruits play a similar role in the body's antioxidant defense.

A high flavonoid intake can assist in the reduction of oxidative stress. Vitamin A can also eliminate thiyl radicals and stabilize peroxyl radicals, which are detrimental to the organism when present in excessive amounts (8). The chemicals described above are synthesized in apricots.

Flavonoids and anthocyanins are compounds in nectarines that contribute to the fruit's flavor, scent, and appearance (9). Flavonoids help prevent age-related brain damage, whereas anthocyanins help reduce the risk of inflammation and heart disease (10).

Cancer

Both nectarines and apricots play a role in cancer prevention. On the other hand, more research is required to claim the effects described here.

The apricot kernel contains a chemical called amygdalin. It is an anticancer agent that induces apoptosis and blocks the cell cycle in cancer cells (11). However, no controlled clinical trials have been conducted to prove this theory, and amygdalin is not an approved cancer treatment (12). Amygdalin should not be used with extra vitamin C. This combination causes cyanide intoxication and reduces cysteine levels, which usually detoxifies cyanide (13).

Nectarines are engaged in cancer treatment due to their antioxidant action, though further research is needed to confirm this. According to several studies, nectarines' polyphenols are involved in cancer prevention (14). Men who eat these fruits have a lower risk of lung cancer (15).

Diabetes

These two fruits are good choices for people with diabetes. Apricots help to regulate sugar levels by having a low glycemic index. Nectarines are involved in maintaining blood glucose levels with the antioxidants they provide.

Apricots have a low glycemic index, which is beneficial for blood sugar regulation. Dried apricots also have a low GI, equal to 30, which is  lower than the GI calculated for fresh apricots. This suggests that both types of fruit are suitable for people with diabetes. Apricots can assist patients with type 2 diabetes by lowering their blood sugar levels (16). Some studies indicate that apricot fiber can slow digestion, limiting glucose release into the bloodstream and improving insulin sensitivity.

Catechins, anthocyanins, chlorogenic acids, and quercetins are the four major phenolic groups found in nectarines. These phenolic compounds have anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity properties (17).

Skin Health

Apricots and peaches both include nutrients that aid in maintaining skin health. However, they perform this role with the help of different substances that they synthesize.

Apricots are high in vitamin C, which aids in the synthesis of collagen, the protein that gives the skin its elasticity and strength (18). We can avoid sunburn by absorbing beta-carotene from apricots (19). Apricots include vitamins and carotenoids that can help prevent wrinkles. Wrinkles are caused by the sun, cigarette smoke, and pollution (20).

Because of their copper concentration, nectarines can help with skin health. This mineral promotes the growth of the dermis, the second layer of skin. Collagen synthesis is also aided by it (21). Vitamin B3 is also found in nectarines, which helps to protect skin cells from the sun's rays (22).

Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: May 21, 2024
Medically reviewed by Astghik Baghinyan

Infographic

Apricot vs Nectarine infographic
Infographic link

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Sucrose +20.5%
Contains more Glucose +51%
Contains more Maltose +∞%
Contains more Starch +∞%
Contains more Fructose +45.7%
64% 26% 10%
Starch: 0 g
Sucrose: 5.87 g
Glucose: 2.37 g
Fructose: 0.94 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0.06 g
Galactose: 0 g
62% 20% 17%
Starch: 0.07 g
Sucrose: 4.87 g
Glucose: 1.57 g
Fructose: 1.37 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g
Contains more Sucrose +20.5%
Contains more Glucose +51%
Contains more Maltose +∞%
Contains more Starch +∞%
Contains more Fructose +45.7%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Apricot Nectarine
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in price Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Apricot Nectarine Opinion
Net carbs 9.12g 8.85g Apricot
Protein 1.4g 1.06g Apricot
Fats 0.39g 0.32g Apricot
Carbs 11.12g 10.55g Apricot
Calories 48kcal 44kcal Apricot
Starch 0.07g Nectarine
Fructose 0.94g 1.37g Nectarine
Sugar 9.24g 7.89g Nectarine
Fiber 2g 1.7g Apricot
Calcium 13mg 6mg Apricot
Iron 0.39mg 0.28mg Apricot
Magnesium 10mg 9mg Apricot
Phosphorus 23mg 26mg Nectarine
Potassium 259mg 201mg Apricot
Sodium 1mg 0mg Nectarine
Zinc 0.2mg 0.17mg Apricot
Copper 0.078mg 0.086mg Nectarine
Manganese 0.077mg 0.054mg Apricot
Selenium 0.1µg 0µg Apricot
Vitamin A 1279IU 332IU Apricot
Vitamin A RAE 96µg 17µg Apricot
Vitamin E 0.89mg 0.77mg Apricot
Vitamin C 10mg 5.4mg Apricot
Vitamin B1 0.03mg 0.034mg Nectarine
Vitamin B2 0.04mg 0.027mg Apricot
Vitamin B3 0.6mg 1.125mg Nectarine
Vitamin B5 0.24mg 0.185mg Apricot
Vitamin B6 0.054mg 0.025mg Apricot
Folate 9µg 5µg Apricot
Choline 2.8mg 6.2mg Nectarine
Vitamin K 3.3µg 2.2µg Apricot
Tryptophan 0.015mg 0.005mg Apricot
Threonine 0.047mg 0.009mg Apricot
Isoleucine 0.041mg 0.009mg Apricot
Leucine 0.077mg 0.014mg Apricot
Lysine 0.097mg 0.016mg Apricot
Methionine 0.006mg 0.006mg
Phenylalanine 0.052mg 0.021mg Apricot
Valine 0.047mg 0.013mg Apricot
Histidine 0.027mg 0.008mg Apricot
Saturated Fat 0.027g 0.025g Nectarine
Monounsaturated Fat 0.17g 0.088g Apricot
Polyunsaturated fat 0.077g 0.113g Nectarine

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Apricot Nectarine
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
15%
Apricot
9%
Nectarine
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
10%
Apricot
9%
Nectarine

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Nectarine
Nectarine is lower in Sugar (difference - 1.35g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Nectarine
Nectarine contains less Sodium (difference - 1mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Nectarine
Nectarine is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.002g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Apricot
Apricot is lower in glycemic index (difference - 9)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Apricot
Apricot is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Apricot
Apricot is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($0.5)

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Apricot - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171697/nutrients
  2. Nectarine - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169914/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.