Facts & Information
The benefits of Dried Fruit
Dried fruits retain most of the nutritional value of fresh fruits, and so are included with fresh fruit in dietary recommendations by U.S. and world health agencies. The combination of nutritional value and enjoyable taste is the reason dried fruits have been popularly considered a healthy food for millennia.
Dried fruits also provide essential nutrients that are otherwise low in today’s diets, such as vitamin A (apricots and peaches), calcium, vitamin K, iron, and copper. Boron, a putative trace element is important for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones and joints.
Dried fruit is a good source of energy, because it contains natural sugars and healthy carbohydrates, as well as other nutrients that fuel your body.
Dried fruits promote digestive health. There is considerable research supporting the role of dried fruit in regulating bowel function and maintaining a healthy digestive system. More recent research indicates that they also provide prebiotic compounds such as fructans, which help to maintain intestinal balance and colonic health.
Dried fruits are a particularly significant source of dietary fiber and low in fat. On a per serving basis (1/4 cup) dried fruits are among the top 50 contributors of these nutrients among all foods in the human diet.
Good for Health
By virtue of their high polyphenol content, dried fruits are an important source of antioxidants in the diet. Dried fruits contain organic acids. These organic acids and fiber appear to work synergistically to maintain a healthy digestive system.
Traditional dried fruit have a low to moderate Glycemic Index (GI) – a measure of how a food affects blood sugar levels. GI measures an individual’s response to eating a carbohydrate-containing food (usually 50 grams of available carbohydrates) compared to the individual’s response to the same amount of carbohydrates from either white bread or glucose.
Dried fruits may contribute to healthy body weights. Emerging data suggests that dried fruit intake is not associated with higher body weight. Analysis of NHANES (1999–2004) data indicates that diets high in dried fruits are associated with lower Body Mass Index (BMI), reduced overweight & obesity & improved diet quality.