Dried fruits offer many more health benefits than multivitamins or even fresh fruits. Although they are very nutritious, consume them in moderation if you are watching your weight, as they contain more calories. Choose dried fruits that are free from additives and then enjoy the numerous health benefits they offer.
High in Fiber
Dried fruits contain a lot more fiber than their fresh counterparts. Fiber is known to maintain normal digestive health. Dried raisins, for example, contain 5.4 grams of fiber, while fresh grapes contain 1.4 grams. A cup of dried apricots contains 6.5 grams of fiber, while fresh apricots offer only 3.1 grams. Fiber helps fight obesity, heart disease, and the risk of certain forms of cancer.
Rich in Antioxidants
According to a study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, one type of antioxidant, called phenols, are more abundant in dried fruits like figs and dates when compared to their fresh counterparts. The study led health nutritionists and specialists to recommend inclusion of dried fruits as part of a healthy diet. Antioxidants have been found to prevent heart ailments, cancer, bone problems, diabetes, certain cancers, and degenerative diseases of the brain.
When fruits are dried, water is extracted. In return, the nutrients are condensed in the shrunken fruits. According to the European Food Information Council, certain dried fruits such as apricots, prunes, peaches, apples, figs, and raisins contain high quantities of beta-carotene, d-alpha tocopherol, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
Dried fruits contain less fat than their fresh equivalents, or even no fat. They are also packed with calories, to provide the extra energy you need throughout the day. This is very beneficial for athletes and active individuals. The calories found in dried fruits are also helpful for those seeking to gain weight in a healthy way. For those who are watching their weight, limit your intake of dried fruits due to their high calorie content.