Is Dried Fruit Good For You?
If fruit is nature’s candy, dried fruit is a real treat! Smaller but loaded with supersized sweetness, it's known to pack a punch – not just in flavor, but in nutritional value, too.
If you’ve been meaning to up your daily fruit intake, and you’re curious about how the benefits of dried fruit compare to those of fresh fruit and other snacks, we’ve assembled this go-to guide to answer all the common questions and see how they really stack up.
Here, you can find all the details on how good dried fruit really is for your overall health.
What is Dried Fruit?
When fruit is dried, moisture is removed through heat exposure, and its flavors and contents become condensed. Additionally, its calories and many nutrients are then concentrated. At the same time, some other nutrients, like vitamin C, may be lost in the drying process.
Fruit is undeniably nutritious, dehydrated or not. Filled with fiber plus a host of other essential vitamins and minerals, sufficient fruit intake is advised by nutritionists.
What are the Health Benefits of Dried Fruit?
The many micronutrients found in dried fruit are known to produce an array of health benefits. Eating enough of these foods is linked to improved heart health and the prevention of cancer and diabetes. Essential nutrients and antioxidants in fruit facilitate normal healthy functioning, like cholesterol and blood pressure regulation, and more.
Dried fruit is a great source of many vitamins and minerals, such as:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin K
- And more!
Fiber alone is associated with a lowered risk of obesity, digestive disease, and heart disease. Calcium is vital for the maintenance of healthy bones and osteoporosis prevention.
Considering the known benefits of fruit consumption along with the concentrated nutritional value of dried fruit, just one serving can be sufficient for meeting some daily recommended vitamin and mineral intakes.
Plant-based nutrients that are well-preserved can be essential to have on hand. Fresh fruit bruises easily and can be more difficult to transport. Often, the convenience and longevity of dried fruit make it the superior option.
When fruit has been properly dehydrated, it can withstand a wide range of temperatures and be stored for extended lengths of time. It’s also usually cheaper and costs less to transport and store.
Which is the Healthiest Dried Fruit?
Comparing dried fruits is, well, like apples and oranges. Not one dried fruit can be proclaimed as the absolute healthiest, as the greatest health advantages vary, and the ideal dietary additions will be dependent on each individual’s desired outcomes.
Generally speaking though, there are some fruits that stand out among the rest. Dates, for instance, have a reputation for being especially nutrient rich, with high levels of fiber, iron, potassium, and antioxidants.
Always look closely at ingredients when purchasing packaged dried fruit to ensure no unnecessary additives, sugars, or sulfites are present. Mavuno Harvest sells only 100% natural, organic dried fruits - we never add sugars, additives or sulfites.
How Much Dried Fruit Should I Eat a Day?
The good news is, typically half as much dried fruit is needed to meet the same nutritional value as fresh fruit. It’s important to remember though, that too much of anything is too much. These sweet treats are beneficial (at times, doubly so than their fresher counterparts!), but they do retain their natural sugar content, so there’s no need to overdo it.
Some dried fruits in excess can combat constipation, and are used as a healthy stool softener. This effect, however, can potentially become dangerous if extreme, causing dehydration. Different fruits contain different kinds of sugars, each of which is metabolized by the body in different ways, and should be consumed in mindful moderation.
What Happens if We Eat Dry Fruits Daily?
The core benefits of daily dried fruit intake are not unlike those of fresh fruit, but with added efficiency and convenience. Studies show dried fruit eaters tend to have lower body weight and consume more nutrients overall.
Pineapples alone are linked to lower blood pressure, decreased inflammation, and lowered cholesterol. Mangos are a popular source of antioxidants, preventing cancer and reducing risk of diabetes. They’re also rich in Vitamins A and C for strong immunity, healthy vision and boost the immune system.
Is Dried Fruit Better for You than Fresh?
Dried fruits are often a better source of multiple nutrients than their fresh counterparts. They tend to be more energy dense, meaning they’re smaller but contain more calories. Keep this in mind when considering portion sizes and how filling a snack will be (perhaps consider pairing with a protein!).
Essentially, for many nutrients, you only need to eat half as much volume of dried fruit to reap the same benefits. Some are more suited for drying than others, with berries, pitted fruits, bananas, and mangos all dehydrating famously well with extremely flavorful results.
For centuries, cultures have enjoyed the health-boosting benefits of dried fruits. It offers a tasty, effective way to make sure you and your family are eating enough fruit on a daily basis.
Our snacking habits are influenced by many factors, and staying educated on the benefits of dried fruit is a good way to influence healthy habits. Knowing the many ways dried fruit supports your overall wellness is one more easy way to make them more easily and enjoyably incorporated into a well-balanced, nurturing diet.
So next time you’re meal prepping for you and your loved ones, why not consider tossing some dried fruit into – well, anything! Whether they’re baked in a hearty bread or being used to add a touch of tart sweetness to a salad, dried fruits can always be counted on to bring that extra, nutrient-rich flavor that will round out any dish.