Health benefits of dried fruits
What are dried fruits? Dried fruit is a dry form of fresh fruit that has had most of its water removed by natural sun drying or by using special dryers. They provide health benefits due to their bioactive antioxidant components, flavonoids and carotenoids.
Dried fruits are rich in antioxidant vitamins like E and C. Healthy dried fruits are an excellent source of nutrients. They are rich in carbohydrates, containing 68–80 g of carbohydrates per 100 g of fruit, and poor in fat: 0.3–1 g of fat per 100 g of fruit. They are an excellent source of fiber, sources of copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium, potassium.
Note! It is an excellent source of natural sugars (38-63%), of which fructose and glucose are the main ones. The sugar content varies depending on the drying method, variety and place of origin of these fruits.
Another characteristic of dried fruits is the high content of phytochemical compounds that plants produce or contain. Phytochemicals have antioxidant effects and protect human cells from various diseases.
Eating dried fruits helps maintain a healthy weight . This is due to increased feelings of satiety. They have a low glycemic index, so they do not raise blood sugar levels, thus prolonging the feeling of satiety. Nutritionists recommend them as an intermediate snack between meals.
Instead of sweet
hanks to their antioxidant composition, they protect the cardiovascular system and prevent the increase in bad cholesterol levels. Dried fruits are rich in potassium and fiber. Increasing the intake of potassium and fiber can lower blood pressure levels, valuable for the intestines.
Additional Information! The mild laxative effect of dried fruits, especially prunes, is due to their high fiber content. 10-12 prunes provide 7 g of fiber, which corresponds to 30% of the recommended daily intake. From this point of view, dried fruits are superior to fresh fruits. In addition, the use of dried fruits does not cause gastrointestinal discomfort in the form of bloating.
Calorie content of dried fruits
They should be consumed in moderation as they contain more calories than the corresponding fresh fruit. Due to their reduced water content, dried fruits are characterized as “calorie dense” i.e. they contain an increased number of calories in a small amount of the product. For this reason, their consumption should be moderate.
In addition, the consumption of dried fruits should be combined with an increase in water intake. When fruits are dried, their water content is significantly reduced, while the amount of plant fibers is increased. Vegetable fibers without an appropriate amount of water can have the opposite effect on the gastrointestinal tract, for example, cause constipation.
Dried Fruit Benefits
They are a true nutritional treasure, and in some cases even superior to fresh ones.
- Easy to transport.
- The most ideal and nutritious snack between meals.
- They contribute to the feeling of satiety for a longer period of time than any other snack.
- In addition to their nutritional effect, they can be eaten as a dessert.
- Unlike fresh fruits, they can be enjoyed regardless of the season.
Dried fruits can be stored much longer than their fresh counterparts and can be a very convenient snack.
Instead of sweet
Thanks to their sweet taste, they satisfy the sweet tooth, helping to reduce the consumption of fatty sweets. Instead of processed snacks rich in sugar and trans fats, opt for dried fruit, which is tastier and healthier. At the same time, they have a low glycemic index, so their use does not cause a sharp increase in blood sugar levels. Therefore, they prolong the feeling of satiety.
Popular dried fruits
Types of dried fruits. The most common dried fruits are raisins, dates, plums, figs and apricots. Other dried fruits are also available: mango, apple, papaya, strawberries, gooseberries, cherries, pineapples, blueberries, bananas and berries.
Raisins are dried grapes rich in antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, potassium, iron and selenium. Benefits include lowering bad cholesterol levels and therefore reducing cardiovascular disease.
In addition, raisins are rich in the trace element boron, which reduces bone loss and combats osteoporosis problems in women.
Dried plums , like fresh ones, are very beneficial for the body. They are very nutritious, rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin K. Prunes are known for their effective treatment of constipation due to their high content of fiber and sorbitol. They are an excellent source of antioxidants and help prevent heart disease and cancer. Rich in potassium, prunes can regulate blood pressure levels and reduce the risk of hypertension.
Dates have a particularly sweet taste and are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, iron, and have a low glycemic index, making them suitable for diabetics.
Dried figs are one of the most popular dried fruits. It contains a high percentage of iron, as well as potassium and folic acid, magnesium, and calcium.
- maintain alkalinity in the body, and reduce acidity, which is responsible for inflammation;
- helps to normalize the hormonal function of organs;
- cleanse the body of harmful elements due to the content of fiber;
- contribute to the proper functioning of the intestines.
Dried figs belong to the category of dried fruits with the lowest calorie content. At the same time, it saturates the body with plant fibers, thus satisfying the feeling of hunger.
Dried apricots help maintain normal blood pressure levels and provide additional protection against heart disease due to their high potassium content, which is three times more than any other fruit.
Dry fruit storage
Keep dried fruits away from heat and moisture. Ideally, they should be stored in a cool and dark place in a closet, away from sunlight and heat. Storage of dried fruits
The expiration date varies depending on how fresh they were at the time of purchase.
Note! Storing dried fruits in an airtight container will help keep them fresh longer. This will prevent air and other odors from entering.
To store dried fruits for a longer period of time, airtight containers are not enough. They need to be stored in the refrigerator, especially during the warm summer months. Dried fruits keep well in the freezer when properly stored and can stay fresh for up to 12 months.