Which Dried Fruit Is The Healthiest?
Dried fruits are a delight to have – not only are they portable and convenient, but they are also nutrient dense since what remains after it has been dehydrated are all the nutrients and vitamins packed inside the fruit. Hence, if you are choosing a dried fruit, this article about the healthiest dried fruit is for you! Read on to find out more.
Health benefits of dried fruits
Dried fruits are fruits which have been dried using a dehydrator, sun-dried or dried at home using an oven. Dried fruits are healthy and nutrient dense since moisture has been absorbed during the drying process and all that remains are the vitamins and minerals of the fruit. By weight, dried fruit contains up to 3.5 times the fiber, vitamins, and minerals of fresh fruit. In a large study of 13000 participants, those who ate dried fruit have more nutrients and weight loss compared with those who did not eat dried fruit. Let us take a look at what are the healthiest dried fruit to consume.
Dried figs have one of the highest amounts of fiber, both soluble and insoluble fiber. Just two dried figs contain 7 grams of fiber, which is beneficial for constipation. In a study consisting of 150 people with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C), those who consumed four fried figs twice daily had a significant reduction in pain, bloating and constipation, compared with the control group. Fiber may also help with lower body weight and fat percentages, hence helping with weight loss.
Dried figs also contain a considerable amount of calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, which are beneficial for bone health. A cup of dried figs provides around a quarter of the daily recommended intake of calcium. A review published in Sains Malaysiana in 2018 suggested a strong relationship between dried fig consumption and bone health. This is because the calcium and potassium content in fig may help to slow down bone loss and reduce urinary calcium loss. Hence, dried figs are one of the healthiest fruits as they contain a lot of fiber and minerals, which helps with the digestive system and promotes bone health.
Dried apricots have low calories and fats. 1.4 ounces of dried apricots contain only six percent of one’s daily calorie allowance and hence, they will not contribute to weight gain. Dried apricots are also a good source of iron, calcium, protein, fiber, potassium, and magnesium. Potassium helps in muscle growth and aids in the functioning of organs, nerves, and cells. Magnesium on the other hand has calming properties and helps with insomnia. Dried apricots also have high amounts of vitamin A that is essential for cell growth and the immune system.
Dried apricots are also rich in iron, which may help in remediating anemia, which is the shortage of red blood cells. Consuming dried apricots are therefore beneficial for pregnant women, as they would need to increase their blood volume by 50%. The iron present helps to produce hemoglobin and oxygen transportation. Lastly, dried apricots may promote bone health due to a mineral present called boron, which reduces the chances of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis from occurring. Thus, dried apricots are one of the most beneficial dried fruits for health, as they contain a multitude of minerals mentioned above.
Raisins are one of the healthiest dried fruits as they are full of fiber, potassium and other plant-derived compounds that are beneficial for health. They also have a low to medium glycemic index, and a low insulin index. This suggests that consuming raisins should not cause a spike in blood sugar levels or insulin levels. Raisins may also help to lower blood pressure, control blood sugar levels, decrease inflammation and cholesterol levels and help to increase feeling of fullness. These benefits may lead to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart illness. Hence, raisins are one of the healthiest dried fruits.
Cranberries have been associated with the prevention of recurrent UTI in women, due to the high amounts of an antioxidant called proanthocyanins (PACs) present, which keeps bacteria from sticking onto the urinary track walls, hence preventing infections. Cranberries improves blood sugar levels, raises “good” cholesterol levels, reduces body mass index, and reduces the risk of developing heart illness. They may also slow the growth of cancer cells and contain a compound called proanthocyanins, which prevents gum diseases. To be cautious, those with a history of kidney stones should seek advice from a healthcare professional regarding the intake of dried cranberries.
Dried plums (which are also prunes) are one of the healthiest dried fruits as they help to promote bone formation and increase bone density, according to a study published in the journal “Nutrients”, in 2017. Dried plums also have high amounts of fiber and sorbitol, which acts as laxatives and prevents constipation. Dried plums are also rich in vitamin K, potassium, and phenolic acids.
Vitamin K helps to produce prothrombin, a clotting factor that is involved with blood clotting. Vitamin K is also needed to build strong bones, increase bone density, and prevent osteoporosis. Potassium is also beneficial in preventing osteoporosis, and in reducing kidney stones. It may also help to lower blood pressure and reduce water retention. Lastly, phenolic acids have antioxidant properties that help to reduce inflammation in your body and prevent cell damage due to oxidative stress. Hence, dried plums are one of the healthiest dried fruits.
In conclusion, dried fruits are a good snack option, since they are portable, delicious and healthy. However, be mindful not to consume too much as you can easily overload the calories. Nonetheless, they are a condensed form of fresh fruits, which contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals needed for health. Thus, get your dried fruits today!