Dry fruits are not only healthy, but they also allow you to enjoy different fruits all year round, whether in season or out of season. Learn when and how should you eat dry fruits.

But are you eating them right? While you can enjoy dry fruit at any time of the day, there are different ways and specific times of consumption that will ensure your body absorbs all the nutrients that come with any dry fruit.

This article focuses on how and when to consume dry fruits.

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.

What are the benefits of dry fruit?

1.   They boost immunity and fight diseases

Dry fruit increases your intake of essential minerals like iron, potassium, calcium, folate, and magnesium, which help improve body function and prevent disease.

Dry fruit is also rich in polyphenol, an antioxidant associated with better gut health, improved blood flow, and reduced oxidative stress. Read More.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Enhance weight loss

Consuming dry fruits such as raisins, apricots, and dates will increase your metabolism, which will increase your energy levels and aiding weight loss.

5. 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.

6. Maintain healthy skin

A couple of dry fruits a day can help rejuvenate your skin, keeping it youthful and radiant. Raisins, for instance, contain resveratrol, an antioxidant that acts as a natural anti-aging compound. This helps prevent the visible signs of aging, including wrinkles and fine lines.

7. Boosts energy

Dry fruits are generally concentrated with sugar, but since they are also high in fiber, it helps regulate the release of the sugar, keeping your energy levels steady over a long period.

8.   Improves brain health

Dry 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.

When and how should you eat dry fruits?

Here is how to consume different dry fruits for maximum benefits

Dried raisins

dried raisins in a white bowl

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.

Dates

dried dates on a platter on a white background

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 be eaten in the morning on an empty stomach.

Figs

dried figs in bowl

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 be eaten the following day on an empty stomach.

Chopped figs can be added to salads, yogurt, or oatmeal.

Apricots

dried apricots in a bowl

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 smoothies in the morning.

They can also be soaked in warm water for about 15 minutes then be used to make desserts, sauces, or puree.

Prunes

Prunes in a white bowl on a white wooden background

Prunes are dried plums. They are known for their ability to improve vision, relieve constipation, improve bone health, reduce cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure.

They are best eaten first thing in the morning

In conclusion

Dry fruits come with different tastes, uses, and health benefits. 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.

And since dry fruits are high in calories, stick to less than an ounce a day to avoid extra calorie intake.

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