With the growing awareness of the need to improve diet and to carefully monitor the foods we eat and those we give to our families, it is beneficial to educate ourselves about dried fruit nutrition. Dried fruits can be stored for long periods of time, they are easy to store, they are convenient to carry as a snack and can be quite economical.
What is a dried fruit exactly? Fruit from which a large part of the water content has been eliminated. The fruit retains a high nutritional value. The drying process can be done either naturally in the sun or artificially using hot dryers or food dehydrators. In addition to outfitting a kitchen with quality cookware, many also invest in a quality stainless steel food dehydrator and process their own fruits and nuts.
In this article, we will look at five of the most common and popular dried fruits. Learn about these five and see how you can benefit from the nutritional value by incorporating them into your weekly diet for you and your family.
Dried apricots actually contain more nutritional value than fresh simply because the nutrient content is much higher. Dried apricots contain a high level of carotenes, good for reducing the risk of certain cancers. This dried fruit is also a good source of vitamin C, silicon, iron, phosphorus, calcium and potassium.
Dried apricots are rich in iron and therefore useful in the fight against anemia. They can also act as a mild laxative and help prevent constipation. They even help with digestion.
Dried dates are loaded with nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A, calcium and potassium. They promote the existence of healthy bacteria in the intestines and can help relieve the problem of constipation, acting as a mild laxative.
Dates are an excellent source of energy and can provide a quick energy boost, being full of natural sugars. Dried dates contain fewer calories than fresh dates and can therefore be included in a healthy snack for those wishing to maintain a healthy weight.
Dried figs are rich in potassium and hence help in controlling blood pressure. They are also an excellent source of fiber and can be incorporated into a weight management diet.
Other minerals present in dried figs are: manganese, iron, copper, potassium, calcium, zinc and selenium. Both copper and iron and important in the production of red blood cells in the body.
Dried plums – Prunes
Prunes contain vitamins A and C, chromium, potassium and iron, lutein and fiber. Concretely, they contribute to the health of the stools, contribute to the health of the hair and the skin, help to maintain an adequate blood sugar level, provide energy and lutein even helps to prevent eyesight problems.
And here’s something that interests anyone trying to lose weight: prunes are an appetite suppressant! Why? Prunes can help slow the rate at which food leaves the stomach, making you feel fuller. This can help fight overeating.
Raisins – Raisins
Raisins contain high levels of natural sugars, up to 72% by weight. They are rich in antioxidants – a key factor in the fight against cancer and heart disease. Why they can even support healthy teeth and gums, fighting cavities and gum disease.
Raisins also help prevent constipation and, as they are rich in iron, help with anemia.
Motivation – Why should I care?
If a family has a habit of snacking on chips, candies, etc., it will take considerable effort and mental change to get rid of bad eating habits. However, thinking about the end result can be a powerful motivator. Dried fruits have a high nutritional content and when combined with dried nuts can be a very healthy snack.
As with everything, it can take time to make an adjustment. If a person used to put sugar in tea or coffee and then decides to do without it, these drinks will taste unpleasant at first. If the person persists over the course of a few weeks, however, the senses of taste actually change and become accustomed to sugar-free drinks. After a while, when that same person is mistakenly given a cup of tea or coffee with sugar, they almost spit it out by reflex because it’s so sweet!
So give yourself or your family some time for the senses of taste to adjust to your new healthy eating habits. This will pay rich dividends in an increased level of health, energy and sense of well-being. Learn about dried fruit nutrition and start improving your diet today!