Dried fruit is often touted as a healthy snack alternative to sugary sweets or unhealthy junk food. But is dried fruit really better for you? Let’s take a closer look at the health effects and added benefits of dried fruit to find out.
When fruits are dehydrated, they lose some of their water content. This means that the nutrient concentration in dried fruit is higher than in fresh fruit. For example, a cup of raisins contains more calories and carbohydrates, gram for gram, than a cup of grapes.
However, the nutritional value of dried fruit isn’t just about calories and carbs. Dehydration also provides more concentrated enzymes, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than fresh fruit. Since they do not need to be refrigerated, dried fruits also maintain their nutrients for longer than their fresh counterparts.
Some of the health benefits of dried fruit come from the fact that they contain fiber. Fiber is an important nutrient that helps keep you regular and can also help lower cholesterol levels. Even better if the dried fruit has an added probiotic.
Dried fruit can also be a good source of antioxidants. These substances help protect your cells from damage and may have various health benefits. For instance, some research suggests that antioxidants found in dried plums may help improve bone density.
Overall, dried fruit is a healthy snack option and there are many options to choose from - including raisins, apricots, cherries, plums, figs, and dates. However, because of their concentrated amount of calories, sugar and fiber - more gram for gram - it’s important to eat dried fruits in moderation.
So, next time you’re looking for a healthy snack, reach for some dried fruit instead of unhealthy junk food. Your body will thank you!