Dried Fruit Nutrition

Priya Johnson Feb 10, 2019
We all know dried fruits are loaded with all kinds of necessary vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. However, do we actually know what is present in a particular dried fruit? Let's find out ...
Drying has been one of the oldest methods of preserving fruits. While drying, the water in the fruit is removed by circulating air around fully ripened fresh fruit, either under natural sunshine & wind, or with the hot air drying. This cuts the moisture by 20-25%.
The method of drying the fruit will depend on the type of fruit being dried. Some fruits need to be treated with sulfur oxide while drying them, so as to prevent discoloration. Drying fruits does not lead to loss of nutritional value. Although dried fruits contain small amounts of vitamin C, they lack vitamin D and vitamin B1 (destroyed by sulfur).

Nutritional Value of Dried Fruits

The drying process causes nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber to concentrate. Moreover, they contain 60-70% natural sugars that can be easily digested and absorbed in the bloodstream.
Dried fruits are also rich in vitamins like A, B1, B2, B3, B6, and Pantothenic acid, and also furnish the body with high levels of iron, calcium, copper, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium.

Apricots and Plums

Dried apricots are rich in antioxidant beta-carotene, which is vital for the growth of healthy bones, skin, hair, teeth, eyes, etc. Antioxidants work well to prevent cataracts, heart diseases, cancer, and many other diseases related to aging.
They also contain a substantial amount of calcium and magnesium, and are rich in dietary fiber. Dried plums on the other hand, are nicknamed 'antioxidant superstars' since they contain the highest level of antioxidant activity as compared to any other dried fruit.

Cherries, Strawberries, and Cranberries

Cherries are very low in sodium, and high in vitamin A and dietary fiber content. They are believed to help conditions affecting joints like arthritis, rheumatism, and gout.
However, dried cherries have one disadvantage; they are very high in sugar content. Dried strawberries are low in saturated fat, which is a wonderful factor. Like cherries, they are also low in sodium and high in dietary fiber.
They also contain potassium, manganese, iron, and some vitamin C. Their ellagitannin content helps prevent cancer. Cranberries have anti-bacterial qualities that help maintain the health of the urinary tract.

Blackberries and Blueberries

Dried blackberries are low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat. They furnish the body with substantial amounts of magnesium, potassium, copper, folate, manganese, and dietary fiber. Similarly blueberries are also low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol (zero cholesterol).
Dried blueberries are high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, zinc, and manganese. Compared to other dark-skinned berries like blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc., blueberries contain high levels of bioflavonoids that counter the damage caused by overindulgence in processed alcohol and food.

Apples, Mangoes, and Pineapples

Apple furnishes the body with 20% of dietary fiber required by the body. It is a good source of antioxidant vitamin C, and helps maintain a healthy immune system, by damaging the deleterious free radicals.
Apples also contain flavonoids that are believed to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Dried mango is a good source of riboflavin, thiamin, and manganese, while pineapple contains potassium, folate, vitamin C, A, and dietary fiber.

Currants, Dates, and Figs

Dried currants are rich in biotin, pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Dates are wonderful energy boosters, and are also high in dietary fiber and potassium. Figs are great sources of calcium.

Prunes, Raisins, and Ginger

Prunes have antioxidant qualities and can get rid of harmful free radicals. They make excellent natural laxatives and are high in fiber content.
Raisins are high in potassium and iron content, whereas, dried ginger helps prevent nausea and also soothes the lining of mucus membranes (in smokers).
The list can go on and on. Dried peaches, pears, papayas, tomatoes, sultanas, raspberries, and scores of other dried fruits are loaded with nutrients that are essential to the body. However, dried fruits are high in calories, thus, the daily intake must be limited if you are interested in weight loss.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert advice.
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