You may have heard a lot of conflicting information about dried fruit. Dried fruit has a bad rap, but is it warranted?
We’ll be honest: not all dried fruit is created equal. But just because you should avoid the dried fruit of some manufacturers, doesn’t mean you should avoid it altogether.
In fact, if you do, you’ll be missing out on a whole bunch of health benefits.
So is dried fruit healthy or not? Let’s dive into the details.
Is dried fruit as healthy as fresh fruit?
Dried fruit contains about the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit, just condensed in a much smaller package.
You may be surprised to hear that some dried fruits actually contain higher proportions of fiber and antioxidants than fresh fruit per ounce. The experts at Harvard Medical School have concluded these nutrients help fight heart disease and cancer among many other benefits.
Where the bad reputation comes in is SUGAR. Some companies who make dried fruit products add a bunch of unnecessary sugar to the already tasty fruit.
At that point, you may as well be eating candy.
If you check the label to make sure there is no added sugar in your dried fruit, you really don’t have to worry about it being bad for you. It’s just fruit afterall!
Is dried fruit healthy to consume on a regular basis?
So we’ve established that as long as it’s not loaded with added sugar, dried fruit is not unhealthy… but is dried fruit good for you?
Let’s set things straight.
You can eat too much of anything – even healthy foods.
Because dried fruit is small and easy to consume, it can be easy to overdo it on the calories. But calories aren’t the only thing dried fruit is jam-packed with. It is also FULL of vitamins and nutrients just waiting to help your body out.
As long as you pay attention to portion control, here are just some of the dried fruit benefits you can look forward to.
7 health benefits of dried fruit
1. It may improve brain function
There is a reason you’re told to eat your fruits and vegetables. They are full of essential vitamins and minerals, and if you’re eating enough of them, they have been shown to lower the chance of mental disorders, depression, stress, and memory loss.
2. It can aid healthy pregnancies
Want to know if dried fruit is healthy? Look no further than dates.
Dates have the highest antioxidants of any dried fruit. They are also full of fiber, potassium, and iron.
As studies by the Jordan University of Science and Technology have shown, these magical fruits also happen to benefit pregnancies and labor.
It was found that only 4% of pregnant women who ate dates required induced labor, compared to 21% of those who did not eat dates. In addition, women who ate at least 70 -76 grams of dates were in labor for 4 fewer hours on average.
3. It can improve heart health
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away – but really you should be eating bananas.
Dried bananas are high in potassium, which has been linked to a reduction in stroke and cardiovascular disease risk.
4. It can reduce cancer risk
A high-fiber diet is associated with lower risk of some cancers. Luckily for you, dried fruit is full of fiber!
One study by the American Society for Nutrition even determined that eating 3-5 servings of dried fruit per week could reduce risk of certain cancers by up to 65%.
5. It can boost your immune system
Many of us have reached for Emergen-C or Zicam when we feel the first tingling of a cold. But did you know these products work because of their high Vitamin C and Zinc levels?
It’s much better to get those vitamins from natural sources – enter dried fruit.
6. It can improve your skin health
Mango has the highest levels of vitamin A in the fruit world.
When dried, it’s easy to consume almost all your required daily intake of vitamins A and C, which help with sebum and collagen production in your body. This, in turn, helps promote healthy skin and hair.
7. It can help with weight loss
The high fiber content of dried fruit helps you feel full longer. This means that with just a small amount of dried fruit, you can curb off cravings and last longer between meals. Talk about an easy weight loss program!
As long as it doesn’t contain excess sugar, eating dried fruit is healthy for people of all ages.
Whether you need an energy boost before exercising, or a healthy treat to tide you over until lunch, you can’t go wrong with an all-natural dried fruit bar.
All-natural, sugar-free fruit bars like Ekoa Dried Fruit Bars are a simple and portion-controlled way to enjoy all the health benefits of dried fruit.