Nature's Garden Dried Fruit Collection
5 min read

Tastiest Way to Boost Your Immune System with Vitamin C: Dried Fruits!

We love dried fruits here at Nature’s Garden. Not only because of their wonderful flavors that bring the subtle, tasty sweetness into the wholesome nut blends in our trail mixes, but because of their numerous health benefits. When you reach for a snack, make sure you are choosing products that boost your immune system and support your overall health goals. While it might be tempting to keep chocolate in the cupboard, you will be better off enjoying a sweet kick from dried fruits!

As crafters of better-for-you snacks, we understand the delicate balance between wellness and taste. We aim to create blends and products that first, taste amazing, and second, provide customers benefits that they can truly feel.

Let’s uncover the wondrous benefits of dried fruits, from their vitamin C content to fiber-filled richness, and see how they compare to fresh fruit.

How are Dried Fruits Made?

Dried fruits are gathered through a process called dehydration. Dehydrating food for longer storage and sustainability has been a method used throughout time. By dehydrating fresh fruit, the process removes the water content- eliminating the growth of bacteria and enzymes, making dried fruit suitable for longer and  safer storage without compromising on the nutritional value.

Are Dried Fruit as Healthy as Fresh Fruit?

Although the nutritional content is essentially left unchanged during the dehydration process, fresh and dried fruit have a few differences of note. High in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals- both fresh and dried fruit count towards your daily vitamin and mineral recommendations from fruit.

  • Because of the drying process, dried fruits are much more condensed with fiber, vitamins and minerals compared to the same amount of fresh fruit. Meaning, a small amount of dried fruit goes a long way with helping you hit your daily recommended intake for multiple vitamins and minerals!
  • Dried fruit contain higher amounts of antioxidants, called polyphenols, mainly due to their concentrated nature.
  • Dried fruits are higher on the glycemic index compared to fresh fruit. Weight per weight, dried fruits contain higher sugar compared to the same serving size in fresh fruit.
  • Dried fruit is more calorie-dense since the water content has been removed.

What is Vitamin C and Why is it So Important for Your Immune Health?

Vitamin C (aka Ascorbic Acid) is an antioxidant crucial for the body’s functions from blood vessels to collagen production in bones. Because Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, it protects our cells from the damage caused by free-radicals- produced when food is broken down, smoke is inhaled or radiation. Free-radicals have been shown to be linked to cancer and heart disease. Vitamin C also helps iron be absorbed into our bodies.

Because Vitamin C is not produced by our bodies, it has to come from diet and nutrition. Foods high in Vitamin C are colorful fruits, such as berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes- and vegetables like cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli and spinach.

Most notably, Vitamin C deficiency leads to lower immunity and higher susceptibility to infections. Interestingly, although abundantly available as a supplement- research indicates that Vitamin C supplements aren’t as effective as that of fruit and vegetable sources. Therefore, it’s crucial for us to make sure our diets contain many of the fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C. When it comes to snacking, choosing a dried fruit- either by itself, or in a mix with other nutrient powerhouses like nuts and seeds- will ensure you’re getting all the vitamins and micronutrients your body needs, while providing a tasty snacking experience that’s both wholesome and filling. Not only is dried fruit high in Vitamin C, but it also contains many of the vitamins essential for our body’s daily functions, and those that have to be harnessed through nutrition.

Probiotics = Your Secret Helper for Better Immune Health

Probiotics, aka, the healthy bacteria that ensure your gut microbiome is in tip top shape. Researchers are now invested in understanding the role of probiotics in immune health, however, we know that the positive effects of “good” bacteria in our gut helps fight pathogens and ensures that the functions of our immune cells and intestinal epithelial cells are regulated.

Nature’s Garden’s probiotic Tart Cherries and probiotic Apricots combine all the nutrient dense & fibrous goodness of dried fruits, and the powerful patented microencapsulation technology that ensures 10 billion live probiotic cultures safely make their way to your gut. At Nature’s Garden, we’re all about snacking with purpose!

Dried Fruit High in Vitamins

Not only is dried fruit high in vitamin C, but other dried fruit vitamins and minerals include potassium, vitamin E, vitamin K, iron, folate, magnesium, zinc, and more. The specific nutrients you will receive depend on the type of dried fruit you are eating. If you are looking to boost your intake of vitamin C and other health-supporting nutrients, then add these dried fruits in your snacking lineup:

  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Bananas
  • Apricots
  • Longans                
  • Litchis
  • Cranberries
  • Cherries

Snack Ideas for On the Go

Bringing snacks with you to the office or when you are running errands is a smart choice to avoid eating fast food or junk food on the go. Look online to find dried fruit recipes so you can boost your vitamin C intake and curb hunger at the same time. For example, dried fruit energy balls can be made using nuts and seeds in a food processor. Then, you can grab these energy balls as you are heading out the door.

At Nature’s Garden, our goal is to help you enjoy healthy snacking. Choose from a variety of delicious dried fruit products such as our Probiotic Apricots or our Probiotic Tart Cherries. Not only are these snacks healthy, but they are convenient for your busy lifestyle. The inclusion of probiotics aid with digestive wellbeing, and have been attributed to boosting immune health! Functional snacking done right!

How are dried fruits made, and what benefits do they offer compared to fresh fruits?

Dried fruits are made through dehydration, which removes water content from fresh fruits. They are more condensed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals than fresh fruits weight by weight, making them a nutrient-dense snack that supports daily nutrient intake efficiently.

Why is Vitamin C important for immune health, and how does it contribute to overall well-being?

Vitamin C is crucial for immune health as an antioxidant that protects cells from free-radical damage, boosts collagen production, and aids in iron absorption. It's essential in preventing Vitamin C deficiency, which can lead to lower immunity and higher infection risks, emphasizing the importance of incorporating Vitamin C-rich foods like dried fruits into our diets.

What role do probiotics play in immune health, and how do Nature's Garden's probiotic dried fruits help with probiotic intake?

Probiotics, beneficial bacteria for gut health, support immune function by regulating immune and intestinal cells. Nature's Garden's probiotic dried fruits, like Tart Cherries and Apricots, combine nutrient-dense goodness with live probiotic cultures, offering a convenient and purposeful snack that contributes to digestive and immune well-being.
Naz Akdilek
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