Health Benefits Of Dried Fruits
We all adore fresh fruits – their amazing crunch, taste and sweetness. But there are instances when we can not have our favorite fruit either because it’s not on the market or because it is a seasonal fruit. This is where the convenience of dried fruit comes. On the other hand, those who have had a taste of dried fruits will argue that there’s more than just convenience to these handy and healthy treats.
To begin with, these are some of the best snacks you can have. Healthy, loaded with fiber and satisfying to snack on – dried fruits offer some astounding benefits. Fruits like apricots, raisins, peaches, prunes and figs are many of the most popular dried fruits that are available on the market these days. But a look at some health stores may even bring you intriguing dried fruits such as pineapples, apples, papayas and even.
Dried fruits are filled to bursting with health and they have become a popular snack for the health conscious and weight watchers.
Here is a more detailed look at some of the benefits of dried fruits.
* Dried fruits are loaded with vitamins and minerals. They’re also rich in calcium and phosphorus, which are very important for healthy teeth and bones. Vitamins such as folic acid and Vitaminhelp in the formation of RBC and these are vitamins are abundantly found in peaches, apricots and raisins.
* Fill up on dried fruits such as berries, figs and prunes. These are loaded with iron, which is essential for the formation of hemoglobin. Habitually consuming these dried fruits can help in preventing anemia, which is a problem that besets numerous people, especially girls.
* You’re on a weight loss program and yet you have the utmost craving for something sweet. Do not reach for that chocolate bar and rather grab a couple of dried fruits such as raisins or figs. Weight watchers are finding dried fruits to be an excellent way to reduce weight. Since they contain condensed amounts of fructose, dried fruits are sweeter than fresh fruits and can therefore, be used as substitutes when you have a craving for something sweet. Consuming dried fruits is a good way to move away from calorific chocolates, cream filled pastries and ice creams.
* Many people suffer from a bit of constipation and this is directly related to their diet. People tend to miss out on consuming fiber rich foods that provide the essential roughage, which, in turn, prevents constipation. Opt for eating dried fruits as they’re rich in fiber, help in digestion and in general lead to a healthy colon.
* Many dried fruits are also known to reduce the appearance of cancer. Dried fruits such as apricots contain lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant that prevents cancer of the prostate, lungs, esophagus and larynx. Dried cherries are known to contain pectin and antocyanins which are again helpful in preventing cancer.
* Some more good news about cherries. Did you know that they can boost your dental health as well? These little critters contain powerful antibacterial agents that can halt tooth decay and formation of plaque as well. In case you’ve ignored cherries so far, you’ll be interested to learn that in case you eat dried cherries regularly, you’ll be able to sleep better and even recover from jetlag much easily.
* Some dried fruits have adopted the status of super food simply by virtue of their astounding properties which can even help in preventing cancer. These dried fruits are rich in antioxidants. For example, dried blueberries are known to contain anthocyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps in preventing free radical damage in the body; therefore enabling it to fight away many health issues, such as varicose veins, hemorrhoids, glaucoma, peptic ulcers, cataracts, heart disease also as cancer. Dried dates and berries are also used in traditional Chinese medicines. In India, dried gooseberries are powdered and used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine, which is a well known branch of traditional medicine.
* Scientific studies have shown that dried black raspberries prevent development of cancer, dried cranberries can fight infections and combat the aging process; dried prunes are rich in antioxidants that enhance blood flow and dried plums slow down the development of atherosclerosis.
* Apples have pectin and they work wonders with asthmatic children. Studies have shown that they reduce the occurrence of cancer as well.
But to the common man why are dried fruits so popular today?
The answer is simple. They have a high concentration of carbohydrates, which is responsible for the energy boost that they provide. They’re also easy to carry around, which is why sports persons, hikers and other athletes adore to carry dried fruits with them. Dried fruits are also made into health bars which are a tasty snack in itself, although you might want to look out for one that doesn’t have added sugar etc.
Dried fruits can be consumed directly or you can sprinkle them on top of your cereal or whip it up with some chilled yoghurt. Toss some with your cornflakes to add a zing to your breakfast or simply shake some with your granola before you eat it.
You can also freeze dried foods to conserve the essential nutrients contained in them. Frozen dried berries particularly are an ideal option to add to breakfast cereal because they can turn your ordinary meal into a power breakfast. Brightly hued berries such as blueberries and raspberries when freeze dried are excellent in helping you fight chronic conditions as well.
You can purchase dried fruits directly from stores, preferably stores that stock organic foods or make your own at home by using a dehydrator. Choose your favourite fresh fruit and dry them in the dehydrator so you can enjoy the goodness of fresh fruits even when they’re not available. Store dried fruits in air tight glass containers, preferably in the refrigerator.
Some dried fruits contain preservatives and are also bleached or colored. To avoid consuming such fruits, try and buy from stores that sell organic dried fruit. Most often organic dried fruits are dried in the sun naturally, so that all the nutrients and enzymes are intact.
On the other hand, one thing to remember is that dried fruits should be eaten in moderation because they contain concentrated amounts of sugar and carbohydrates that can boost your calorie intake if you’re not careful and lead to weight gain instead of weight loss.