Dry fruits are packed with healthy nutrition, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help lower your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes and improve your overall health. Dry fruits are also an excellent source of fiber, which can help with digestive health, cholesterol levels, and even weight management. As such, they have been used as a food staple since ancient times—and with good reason! In this article, you’ll learn more about dry fruit benefits and how and when to eat them for maximum benefits.
What is a dry fruit?
Dry fruit is any fruit whose natural water content has been removed either naturally through sun drying or the use of dehydrators or driers.
Fruit drying has traditionally been used as a form of preservation. Dried fruits are valued for their nutrient content and sweet taste.
The commonly known dry fruits are dates and raisins, but today most fruits can be dried, including figs, pineapple, cherries, blueberries, apricots, apples, peaches, prunes, and pears.
What’s good about dried fruit is that it retains most of the nutritional values as in fresh fruit. However, some dried fruits may contain added sugar, making them unsuitable for good health. These kinds are usually infused with sugar which acts as a preservative before drying. They include blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, mango, and cherries.
The Amazing Health Benefits of Dry Fruits
1. They boost immunity and fight diseases
Dry fruit may seem like an unusual choice for boosting your immunity, but it’s actually packed with vitamins and nutrients that can help you fight off colds and infections throughout the winter months.
Here are ways dry fruit can boost your immunity:
Dry fruits contain anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is the body’s reaction when it is injured or threatened. It helps the body heal itself, but too much inflammation can lead to health problems like heart disease and cancer. Many dry fruits contain natural anti-inflammatories like vitamin C and E,
They are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants play an important role in protecting cells from damage by free radicals, which can lead to cancer and other diseases. For instance, they are rich in polyphenol, an antioxidant associated with better gut health, improved blood flow, and reduced oxidative stress. Read More. Many dry fruits, including raisins, dried apricots, and figs, are high in polyphenols, among other antioxidants.
Stimulates white blood cell production. One of the most important ways that dry fruit helps to boost immunity is by increasing the production of white blood cells. White blood cells are responsible for fighting off infection and disease, so the more you have, the better your chances are of staying healthy.
In addition, dry fruit increases your intake of essential minerals like iron, potassium, calcium, folate, and magnesium, which help improve body function and prevent disease.
2. Maintain healthy skin
Dry fruits are one of the healthiest snacks on earth and are especially good for your skin. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help boost skin health in various ways, including:
A diet rich in dry fruits can help improve your skin’s collagen production. Collagen is a protein that helps keep your skin looking youthful and plump. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, which can lead to wrinkles and sagging skin. Adding dry fruits to your diet is an easy way to boost collagen production and promote healthy skin.
Combats the effects of aging
Antioxidants in dry fruits help fight the effects of aging by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that damage cells and cause inflammation, which can lead to wrinkles and other signs of aging. Eating dry fruits regularly can help keep your skin looking young and radiant.
Improves blood circulation
One of the main reasons why dry fruits are good for your skin is because they improve blood circulation. When your blood circulation is improved, more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your skin cells, which helps keep your skin looking healthy and radiant. Additionally, better blood circulation can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Increases elastin content in your body
Elastin is a protein that helps keep your skin looking youthful and plump. When you don’t have enough elastin, your skin can start to sag and wrinkle. Dry fruits are a great source of this protein, so eating them can help keep your skin looking its best.
3. Enhance weight loss
Chewy, delicious, and nutrient-rich, dry fruits are often ignored when you’re trying to lose weight. While it may seem counterintuitive to add more calories to your diet in the name of weight loss, dry fruits can actually help you shed pounds – as long as you stick to serving sizes and consume them in moderation.
Dry fruit help with weight loss by boosting your metabolism. When you have a higher metabolism, your body is able to burn more calories throughout the day, even when you’re at rest. The best dry fruits to consume for increased metabolism include raisins, apricots, and dates.
Dry fruits also help prevent overeating, which is the main reason people struggle with weight. When you overeat, your body stores the excess calories as fat. Dry fruits are a great way to stop overeating because they’re packed with fiber and nutrients that help you feel full longer.
4. Fights anemia
Anemia is a condition in which your red blood cells are not enough to carry oxygen to your tissues. It can be caused by a number of conditions, including iron deficiency and infection. While there are many different treatments for anemia, some people find relief from eating dried fruits.
Dried fruits have a high concentration of iron that can help boost your red blood cell count. In fact, one cup of dried apricots has about 2.5 grams of iron, which is more than what you would get from a cup of fresh apricots.
Dry fruits also contain high levels of vitamin C, which helps the body produce more red blood cells by enhancing iron absorption. Dried fruits also contain other nutrients, such as copper and zinc, that are important for fighting anemia.
Additionally, dried fruits are low in calories and carbs, making them an excellent choice if you are trying to lose weight or keep your blood sugar under control.
5. Improves brain health
One of the many benefits of eating fruits is that they are packed with antioxidants, which are believed to protect the brain from damage. In a study published in Neuroscience Letters, researchers found that people who ate more dried fruit had better scores on tests measuring cognitive function and memory.
These antioxidants prevent brain damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells, leading to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
In addition, fruits like prunes, raisins, dates, and apricots are high in potassium, copper, and fiber. According to research, these nutrients may help heal damaged brain cells and promote better function.
So what can you do to increase your intake of dried fruits? Include them as part of a healthy diet.
6. Improves digestive health
Dry fruit is rich in prebiotic fiber, which helps feed the good gut bacteria. This helps with their growth and diversity as well as function.
The fiber in dry fruit is also considered a laxative and can relieve or prevent constipation and increase bowel consistency and frequency.
Dried plums and prunes are two of the best sources of prebiotic fiber. They are also rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.
7. Reduce anxiety and depression
Dry fruits like goji berries contain polysaccharides, natural compounds that increase serotonin, a chemical in the brain that has been shown to relieve anxiety and ease depression.
8. Improves heart health
Dry fruits like raisin contain fiber that controls cholesterol levels and improves blood flow throughout the body. They are also high in antioxidants and potassium. Potassium regulates blood pressure and prevents heart disease and stroke.
9. Instant energy booster
Did you know that dry fruits are an instant energy booster? That’s because they are packed with natural sugars and nutrients that can help you feel more alert and energized quickly. Plus, they’re a great source of fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied. So next time you need a quick pick-me-up, reach for some dry fruits instead of sugary snacks.
When and how should you eat dry fruits?
Here is how to consume different dry fruits for maximum benefits
Raisins are simply dried grapes. They are commonly used in baking and in sweet and savory dishes.
One can also use them in salad dressing, oatmeal, cereal, or granola bars.
Raisins are rich in beneficial antioxidants, high in fiber, and free of cholesterol and fats.
To experience their nutritional profile, raisins should be soaked overnight and be eaten in the morning on an empty stomach. Benefits Of Raisins.
According to research, regular consumption of dates may help improve bone health, lower cholesterol, promote digestion, prevent anemia, maintain a healthy weight, and improve skin health.
Dates are used as a natural sweetener in smoothies and in different dishes but can also be eaten as a snack throughout the day.
However, to reap most of their benefits, dates should be soaked overnight and eaten in the morning on an empty stomach. See Medjool Dates.
Whether in savory dishes or as a snack, dried figs are an excellent source of antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamin C and K, complex carbohydrates, and essential minerals such as iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium.
When consumed in the evening, their high fiber content helps improve digestion and prevent constipation the following morning.
They can also be soaked overnight and eaten the following day on an empty stomach.
Chopped figs can be added to salads, yogurt, or oatmeal. Brown Turkey Figs.
Just like fresh ones, dried apricots are incredibly beneficial.
They are energy-dense and high in nutrients, including iron, potassium, fiber, and vitamins A, C, and E.
You can eat dry apricots as they are for an evening snack, as a salad topping, in bagels, or in smoothies in the morning.
They can also be soaked in warm water for about 15 minutes and then be used to make desserts, sauces, or purees.12 Health Benefits Of Apricots.
Prunes are dried plums. They are known for improving vision, relieving constipation, improving bone health, reducing cholesterol levels, and lowering blood pressure.
They are best eaten first thing in the morning
Dry fruits are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that boost good health. They can help lose weight, boost energy levels, fight depression, maintain healthy skin, boost immunity, and fight anemia. They are also the richest natural source of antioxidants that can help prevent heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Dry fruits are also easy to carry around since they don’t need refrigeration, making them convenient snacks you can enjoy anytime.
Besides the health benefits, dry fruits come with different tastes and use. And while some may require an overnight soak, some do not, but one thing is for sure: eating dry fruit first thing in the morning provides dietary fiber that will help control the absorption of simple sugars from the other meals you’re likely to consume throughout the day.
Consuming dry fruits first thing in the morning also provides for a larger surface area for the absorption of nutrients.
That being said, dry fruits are high in calories, so stick to less than an ounce a day to avoid extra calorie intake.
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