Are Dried Fruits Good or Bad? Does eating dried fruit also provide the body with minerals and vitamins from fresh fruit? The information available about dried fruits is very contradictory. Some say it is a healthy and nutritious snack while others acknowledge that it is no better than candy. In this article from Dr. Salam’s nutrition section, we will pay close attention to dried fruits and the effect they can have on our health.
What are dried fruits?
Dried fruits are fruits in which almost all the water in them has been removed by drying methods. In this process, the fruits become smaller and as a result, a small dried fruit with dense energy remains. Raisins are the most common type, followed by dates, Bukhara plums, dried figs and apricot leaves. Other dried fruits are also available, sometimes in the form of sweeteners (coated with sugar), which include mango, pineapple, cranberries, bananas and apples.
Dried fruits can be stored longer than fresh fruits and can be used as a snack, especially on long trips when the refrigerator is not available.
Dried fruits are rich in nutrients, fiber and antioxidants:
Dried fruits have a lot of nutrients. One slice contains about the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit, which is squeezed into smaller packages. In terms of weight, dried fruit contains 3.5 times more fiber, vitamins and minerals than fresh fruit. Therefore, a single use can provide a large percentage of the recommended daily intake of many vitamins and minerals such as folate.
However, there are exceptions. For example, the content of vitamin C decreases significantly when it dries. Dried fruits are generally high in fiber and an excellent source of antioxidants, especially polyphenols. Polyphenol antioxidants come with a variety of health benefits, including improved blood circulation, better digestion, reduced oxidative damage, and reduced risk of many diseases.
Health effects of dried fruits:
Numerous studies have shown that people who eat dried fruit tend to lose weight and get more nutrients into their body than people who do not eat dried fruit. However, these studies have been observed in nature, so it cannot be proven that dried fruits improve your health.
Dried fruit is also a good source of many plant compounds, including powerful antioxidants.
Raisins may reduce the risk of certain diseases:
Dried raisins contain fiber, potassium and various health-promoting plant compounds. Raisins are low in glycemic index and insulin, which means that they should not cause a sharp rise in blood sugar and insulin levels after consumption.
Studies have shown that eating raisins is possible:
- Lower blood pressure,
- Improve blood sugar control,
- Reduce inflammatory markers and blood cholesterol,
- Lead to an increase in satiety.
All of these factors contribute to a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Prunes are a natural sedative and laxative and may help fight diseases:
Prunes are rich in nutrients, rich in fiber, potassium, beta-carotene (vitamin A) and vitamin K, and are known for their natural laxative effects, due to their high fiber and sugar alcohol content. It is called sorbitol and is found naturally in some fruits.
Eating prunes has been shown to help improve intermittent bowel movements and has been shown to be even more effective in relieving constipation than psyllium, another common treatment.
Prunes as an excellent source of antioxidants can inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and help prevent heart disease and cancer. This dried fruit is also rich in minerals called boron and can help fight osteoporosis. In addition, Bukhara plums are very filling and should not lead to rapid changes in blood sugar levels.
Dates may be helpful during pregnancy and help prevent many diseases:
Dates are incredibly sweet and an excellent source of fiber, potassium, iron and many plant compounds. Among all dried fruits, dates are one of the richest sources of antioxidants and help reduce damage to the body through oxidation.
Dates have also been studied in pregnant women and it has been found that eating dates regularly during the last weeks of pregnancy may help facilitate cervical function and also reduce the need for labor inducers.