Can you eat dried fruit instead of fresh ones
Eating more fruits and vegetables is recommended by many people, as they’re a great source of vitamins, antioxidants and many other nutrients.
Fresh fruit is both nutritious and delicious, while dried fruit can be as good. Dried fruit is made by drying out the fruit in the sun, in an oven, or in a food dehydrator. Sometimes it’s even tastier than fresh fruit as the natural sugar in it gets more concentrated. In the past, people like to take dried fruit for long-distance journeys because it was durable and hard to decay. In the modern world, dried fruit is still an undeniably popular food.
So is dried fruit healthy? Is it a good substitute of fresh fruit? Let’s find out.
Benefits of dried fruit
Due to dehydration, dried fruit contains more fiber and antioxidants than fresh fruit, especially polyphenols. Other nutrients depend on what fruit you eat. For example, prunes contain rich vitamin A, vitamin K, and boron. While you’ll get plenty of iron, potassium, and calcium from raisins.
Here’re the common dried fruits together with their health benefits and things to watch out for:
- Prunes: Research shows that prunes or dried plums contain antioxidants and nutrients that can help constipation and strengthen bones.
- Mango: Dried mango provides a large amount of vitamin A and potassium. Remember to check the label before you buy and make sure that there are no added sugar and sulfite preservatives, as some people may be sensitive to them.
- Apricots: Dried apricots contain a high level of beta-carotene, the antioxidants that can protect cells, and vitamin E.
- Figs: Besides basic nutrients, dried figs also provide you with calcium, the substance for bone-building—just 5 dried figs contain up to 68mg of this nutrient.
Potential risks of dried fruit
Dried fruit is healthful, however, you’d better control the amount you consume it. Because dried fruits come in a concentrated small size, you’re more likely to take increased sugar and calories, which may eventually lead to weight gain. The solution is to take one serving of dried fruit only and eat fresh fruits the other days. Mixing dried fruit with nuts, salad, baked goods and the like is also a good choice to balance your diet.