Swap to dried fruits for a healthier life
It’s not often that we can make a simple swap in life that makes a big difference to our health. But that’s exactly what you can do if you swap out sugar, biscuits, cakes and chocolates. Instead swap to dried fruits for a healthier life.
Every day we are warned about sugar and the Government have even introduced a sugar tax, but why is that? Too much sugar contributes to having too many calories which leads to weight gain, increased cholesterol, inflammation and heart disease.
But letting go of sugar goes not mean that you have to let go of sweet foods. Instead make a simple change to dried fruits and reap all the benefits that they offer.
What is dried fruit?
Dry fruits are basically fruits that have had nearly all their water removed. This process is either done in the sun or in dehydrators which shrink the fruit, leaving behind an energy-dense and nutritiously packed fruit.
Dried fruits are a sweet alternative in many cultures. Many snack on them, add them to foods and make healthy sweet treats out of them. Many cultures naturally swap to dried fruits for a healthier life.
However, in recent years, the dried fruit market has seen a decline, with many misconceptions. This has driven many of us towards unhealthy and sugary bakes and biscuits for our sweet treats.
Top three benefits of dried fruits
- More Fibre – Dried fruits have more fibre than their fresh relatives. According to the NHS, eating plenty of fibre is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. It also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and bowl cancer. Additionally fibre makes you feel fuller for longer and helps digestion.
- Antioxidants – Dried fruits are packed with Antioxidants. Antioxidants are natural molecules that help neutralise harmful free radicals in our bodies. They are found most abundant in colourful fruits and vegetables especially those with purple, red, blue, orange and yellow foods. Antioxidants contribute to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and help us to heal more quickly.
- Vitamins and minerals – Dried fruits are a more concentrated version of the fresh, they therefore have higher levels of essential micronutrients.
Is dried fruit bad for me?
We get asked many times if adding dried fruits and berries to our diet bad for you? The simple answer is no. However as with most things in life, we have to exercise some restraint as dried fruits are high in calories and natural sugars. For this reason dried fruits should be eaten in small amounts and as part of a balanced diet.
Choose organic and naturally dried fruits. Crystalised fruits have a very high level of sugar so they should be eaten for special occasions and in moderation.
The best dried fruits to add to your diet
Dates are one of the best dried fruits to add to your diet. They are high in iron, fibre, potassium and antioxidants. They also have a low glycemic index so they don’t typically contribute to a spike in blood sugar.
Apricots lead the way when it comes to beta-carotene and vitamin A which bolster bone and immune health. They are also packed with fibre, potassium, vitamin E and copper.
Dried Figs are the stars of the Mediterranean and are full of calcium and fibre. A recent study has found that figs can positively alter our gut microbiome which in turn improves mental health and depression.
Dried Sour Cherries may not be to everyone’s taste, however they contain potent polyphenol antioxidants which helps us against osteoporosis. They are also high in vitamin C and beta carotene.
Prunes may lead to more bathroom visits but this shouldn’t be laughed at as constipation is considered the leading gastrointestinal complaint in the UK. They are also a great source of vitamin B6 which helps metabolism.
Medfood – the best place to buy dried fruits
We are proud of the quality of our dried fruits and berries. We strive to bring to you the best and most natural berries, whether you need organic, natural or crystallised fruits. View our range of dried fruits and berries online.
BBC Good Food
Food Guys online
Image by KamranAydinov on Freepik
Image by stockking on Freepik