Most health experts recommend daily consumption of fresh fruits to stay healthy. But when fresh fruits are hard to come by, you can always snack on dried fruits instead. Dried fruits are just as healthy as its fresh counterpart. They also offer longer shelf life. Dried fruits make a great snack for people on the go. You can pack them in little baggies and munch away when you get hungry!
In today’s post, we are listing down five reasons why you should eat more dried fruits today:
Are you constipated? Then you need to eat foods with more roughage. Fiber is an important nutrient that bulks up the stool for easy elimination. It also binds with fat so it’s not absorbed by the body! Fiber also helps prevent cardiovascular diseases, obesity and some forms of cancer. It’s often found in most fruits and vegetables. It’s also found in dried fruits. In fact, dried fruits contain more fiber than fresh fruits per same-size serving. Dried apricots are loaded with fiber. Just a cup of dried apricots contains 6.5 grams of fiber. Compare that to fresh apricots that yield just 3.1 grams of fiber per cup!
It’s Full of Antioxidants
According to a 2005 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, dried fruits are high in antioxidants. Fruits like figs and dates contain phenols, a class of antioxidants. Plant polyphenols help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes and degenerative diseases of the brain. Antioxidants protect from free radical damage. Free radicals are molecules drawn to healthy cells. It destroys healthy cells and trigger cell mutation. This process leads to chronic diseases, organ damage and premature aging!
Packed with Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Because the water is removed from dried fruits, their nutritional value intensifies. This makes dried fruit extremely nutrient-dense. Dried raisins, prunes, and apricots are rich sources of beta-carotene, vitamin E, and iron. They are also high in potassium, calcium, and niacin. You can add dried fruits to your favorite morning cereal to boost its nutritional value. You can also add them to your favorite dishes to add texture. Put them in baked goods or salads too!
Iron is an essential nutrient that boosts the generation of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body. If you suffer from anemia, then your doctor will recommend that you boost your consumption of iron-rich foods. Dried fruits are packed with iron. Just a hundred grams of prunes yield the same amount of iron as hundred grams of chicken.
If you’re boosting your iron consumption, you have to incorporate vitamin C so the body absorbs the mineral better. Dried fruits happen to contain both iron and vitamin C. You don’t have to take separate supplements!
Boosts the Immune System
Dried fruits contain a long list of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and beneficial bioactive. All these nutrients keep the body healthy by strengthening the immune system. The vitamin C in most dried fruits protects from common colds and flu. It also prevents oxidative damage. Yellow and orange dried fruits are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene. These nutrients also boost the immune system while also keeping the hair and skin healthy.
Although dried fruits are no doubt nutritious, eat them in moderation. Some types of dried fruits contain a high level of sugars. If you are diabetic or you’re watching what you eat, mind your portions.