Dried fruit is gaining popularity as a health food because of its endless health benefits. From helping to lose weight to boosting energy levels and improving heart health, dried fruit is a versatile food that can be enjoyed in many ways.
In this article, we explore the benefits of dried fruit and discuss some of the best ways to enjoy it. We also provide tips for choosing the right dried fruit for your needs, as well as some ideas for using it in your everyday diet.
Superb portability and longer shelf-life are just some of the benefits dried fruit has over fresh fruits.
But, for those on a calorie-controlled diet, eating dried fruit in moderation benefits because the calorie content is higher per serving compared to fresh. Certain dried fruits contain additives that up the calories – although the fruits with non-additive like sugars can provide some valuable health benefits.
Here Are 6 of the Health Benefits Associated with Dried Fruit
1. High Fiber
A serving of dried fruits usually has more fiber than an equal portion of fresh fruit. Fiber is appreciated for its ability to maintain an efficient digestive system. For instance, a 1 cup serving of dried apricots has about 6.2 grams of fiber, which compares to 3.2 grams of fresh.
The added benefits of getting more fiber in the diet include fighting off certain cancers, lowering the risk of heart disease, and preventing obesity. The fiber in dried fruit can help lose weight by slowing down digestion. People trying to lose weight should ensure that they also include plenty of fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables in their diet.
2 – Antioxidants
Specific servings of dried fruit can make great choices to up the intake of antioxidants. A common type of antioxidant is phenols found in fruits such as figs and dates.
The concentration of phenols is higher in these dried fruits than in the fresh alternatives. For this reason, they are adding more dried fruits to the diet benefits. Specific servings of dried fruit can make great choices to up the intake of antioxidants.
Health benefits of the plant polyphenols include the ability to fight off:
- Degenerative diseases.
- Heart disease.
3 – Nutrient Dense
Dried fruit has water extracted which leaves the fruit in a much smaller volume while retaining plenty of nutrients. Dried fruits with high nutrient density include figs, prunes, raisins, apricots, erythritol, xylitol, and other natural sweeteners. Following Nutrients/Vitamins are found in dry fruits:
Beta carotene is a pigment found in many fruits and vegetables. It is a natural antioxidant that helps protect the body from harmful chemicals. Beta carotene is also believed to help prevent cancer, heart disease, and other diseases.
Calcium is an essential mineral that helps to maintain strong bones and teeth. It also helps regulate blood pressure, nerve function, and muscle contractions.
Iron is a metal that is essential for human health. It helps to make hemoglobin in the red blood cells and transports oxygen to the body’s tissues. The mineral is also essential for cell growth and regulation and the production of testosterone, estrogen, and other hormones. In addition to its vital physiological roles, iron deficiency anemia is a leading global health problem, particularly in developing countries.
Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for health. It helps to maintain nerve and muscle function, regulate blood sugar levels, assist in producing energy, support a healthy immune system, and keep bones strong.
Niacin is a vitamin in many foods, including poultry, fish, and eggs. It is also available as a supplement. Niacin helps the body convert food into energy and helps to keep the heart and other organs healthy.
Potassium is a mineral found in many foods and supplements. It helps regulate blood pressure, maintains healthy nerve function, and helps the body maintain muscle mass. Potassium can also help control heart rate and prevent seizures in small doses.
Vitamin E is a nutrient that is essential for human health. It helps to maintain cell membrane integrity and helps the body process fats and proteins. Vitamin E also helps to protect the heart, liver, muscles, and other organs from damage. Most vitamin E supplements are available as mixed tocopherols, including alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherols.
4 – Calories and Fat
Dried fruits are low in calories per single portion and contain minimal fat. Low-fat, low-calorie food choices make great options for athletes needing more energy.
This type of fruit can help gain weight using a healthy food choice. For those on a calorie-controlled diet, it benefits to eat dried fruit wisely to help maintain the preferred weight.
5 – Immune System
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is beneficial for its ability to strengthen the immune system. This relates to the rich concentration of vitamin C. But, the dried fruit processing usually results in vitamin C being oxidized and destroyed.
However, for dried fruit like apricots, pineapples, and papaya, there is a rich concentration of beta carotene and vitamin A, which is excellent for the skin and hair and the immune system.
6 – Strengthen Bones
Eating almonds, walnuts, and figs can provide a great source of calcium, but a regular eater will find them high in calories. A 100-gram serving of almonds has about 585 calories and 248 mg of calcium. Alternatively, low-fat yogurt has closer to 62 calories and 216 mg of calcium.
So, it makes sense to be cautious when eating almonds or similar nuts because of the high-calorie count. But, nuts also contain the added goodness of magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids.
Dried fruit is a healthy snack option that can provide many health benefits. Dried fruit is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It can also help to relieve stress and improve moods.
Dried fruit is a healthy snack that provides many health benefits. It is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote weight loss.
Dried fruit is also a natural source of antioxidants, which can protect the body from disease. So next time you look for a healthy snack, reach for some dried fruit instead of processed junk food.
FAQs | Dried Fruit
Is it healthy to eat dried fruit?
Yes, it is healthy to eat dried fruit. Dried fruit is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It can also be a good source of antioxidants.
Which dry fruit is best for health?
Dry fruits are a great way to get nutrients and fiber into your diet. Some of the best dry fruits for health include almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and dried apricots. These fruits are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and can help improve your overall health.
How much-dried fruit should you eat a day?
It’s recommended that you eat two servings of fruit daily, including dried fruit. A serving is about one cup or the equivalent of a small piece of fruit.
Do dried fruits lose nutrients over time?
Dried fruits lose nutrients, but they also have a longer shelf life. Drying fruits concentrates their natural sugars and flavors, making them a delicious and convenient snack.