Thousands of years ago Egyptians and Phoenicians ate on traditional dried fruits as healthy alternatives to fresh fruits. Dried fruit has had almost all of the water content removed through the drying process.
During this method, the fruit shrinks. Raisins are the most known type, followed by dates, prunes, figs and apricots. Some say it is a nutritious, healthy food, while others say it is no healthier than candy.
Dry fruits are the rich source of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Eating dry fruits enhances the overall bioavailability of nutrients. Try almonds, apricots, dates, raisins (dried grapes), figs, tamarind…, which are indeed very rich in iron, calcium, zinc, selenium and manganese. It is a good to mix some dry fruits with fresh ones so you get vitamin C which helps your body absorb iron.
There is no question that dried fruits are powerful sources of nutrients. In fact, because of their reduced size, you get even more nutrients out of a portion of dried fruits than you can from the same size portion of fresh fruits. In fact, researchers estimate that dried fruit has more than 4 times the amount of nutrients as fresh fruit. Many studies have shown that people who eat more fruit usually have higher nutrient levels in the body on a daily basis.
According to a study published in Nutrition Research, people who consumed more dried fruit every day, they had more nutrients and better general health. The same study has found that people who consumed dried fruit were less likely to gain weight than those who consumed small amounts or didn’t consume dried fruit at all. Each participant who ate 1/4 of a cup or more of dried fruit every day had a smaller waist and healthier body weight.
Dried fruit is more than 60 % higher in antioxidants than fresh fruit. So if you eat more dried fruit, the less oxidation will remain in your body. Scientists say that antioxidants can help prevent the spread of cancer cells and have protective effects against other health problems.
Drying is one of the most ancient and traditional methods of preserving fruits and it helps remove any extra water to prevent any spoilage or decay. The fruits can be dehydrated with a dehydrator and this method makes for a great way of enjoying them when they are out of season. This is a great alternative to freezing or canning foods.
The disadvantages of dried fruit
Dried fruit is really high in sugar. And even more, much of the dried fruit sold today contains sugar. Half of the sugar content in dried fruit is fructose that can cause many health problems, including obesity and heart disease. Dried fruits contain a lot of nutrients, but they also have a lot of calories. If you are trying to lose some pounds, dried fruit isn’t the best choice. Dried fruit can be unhealthy for people who have type 2 diabetes because it can cause blood sugar spikes.