Dried fruits are fast gaining popularity not only because of its delicious taste, but also because they are the most practical to-go treats in this fast paced and hectic daily life. In this All Kurma blog we will be looking into dried fruits and the benefits of some of the more popular dried fruits such as raisins, dates and prunes, and to address the ever conflicting question of are dried fruits real food.
Dried fruit is as real as any real fruit; it is just fruit that has almost all the water content removed through various drying methods. The fruit shrinks during this process, leaving a small, energy-dense dried fruit.
Raisins are the most common type, followed by dates, prunes, figs and apricots. Other varieties of dried fruit are also available, sometimes in candied form with added sugar. These include mangoes, pineapples, cranberries, bananas and apples.
Dried fruit can be preserved for much longer than fresh fruit and can be a handy snack, particularly on long trips where refrigeration is not available.
Laura Hartung, a registered dietician nutritionist and corporate wellness educator, agrees that dried fruit is highly nutritious, in its most natural form dried fruit is fresh fruit with all the water sucked out.
The dehydration process results in a somewhat unappealing, wrinkly-looking fruit with a high concentration of nutrients. "Dried fruit is chock full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. Plus, it's non-perishable, palatable, and great for eating on the run,"
One piece of dried fruit contains about the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit, but condensed in a much smaller package.
By weight, dried fruit contains up to 3.5 times the fiber, vitamins and minerals of fresh fruit.
Therefore, one serving can provide a large percentage of the daily recommended intake of many vitamins and minerals, such as folate
A study published in the Journal of Food Science claims that eating raisins may lower cholesterol and reduce blood sugar. The result: a reduced risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Not bad for a wrinkly little grape.
Dates are also low on the glycemic index, which can help with glycemic and lipid control for diabetics, a discovery made by scientists from the UAE.
The best thing about dried fruits is we can have it as is and during almost any occasion. Apart from the ultimate treats on-the-go there are many ways to enjoy dried fruits.
Because it is such a nutrient-dense fruit, many fitness enthusiasts and athletes have been including dried fruits as their pre and post work-out meal companion. It can also be found in many energy bars and fitness smoothies.
Dried fruits work well mixed into many types of food, from your breakfast cereal, yoghurt mix, salad, and oats to juicing, smoothies and even including it in baking and cooking recipes like rice pilaf, lasagne to cakes, cookies and desserts.
And best of all, dried fruits are suitable for all ages.
Dried fruit is certainly delicious, but in terms of its healthfulness, it depends on the kind you choose. Dried fruit has a reputation for being fattening or loaded with sugar, but it can be a healthy nutrient-dense food addition to your diet and more so because it is so convenient and practical.
So at the end of the day the one thing we can agree on is, when consuming dried fruits, ensure they are the purest most natural, watch out for the added sugar types and ultimately, moderation is ALWAYS the key.
Now that you've gotten your dose of upDates! Till our next date, Eat Fresh and Stay Well, only from All Kurma.