Sweet n’ Savvy: The Benefits of Eating Dried Fruit Daily
In the quest for living and eating healthier, the inclusion of dried fruit in our daily diet has gained significant attention in recent years. These naturally sweet, chewy treats offer more than just a burst of flavour – they bring a plethora of health benefits which can help to maintain your overall physical and mental well-being! Dried fruits including apricots, raisins, dates, figs and goji berries are not only a convenient snacking option but also pack a powerful nutritional punch which will enhance your diet in a number of ways.
What are dried fruits?
Dried fruit has a rich history dating back thousands of years, traditionally being used as a method of preservation beyond harvest and of course as a convenient and nutritious snack.
These treats are not only mess-free and long-lasting but also very versatile, being used in baking, cooking or simply enjoyed on their own. They serve as a quick, natural energy source and can add sweetness and texture to both savoury and sweet dishes.
Lets explore the compelling reasons why incorporating dried fruits into your meals can be a game-changer when it comes to your health.
They are rich in essential nutrients:
One example of an essential nutrient found within dried fruit is Vitamin A, also known as retinol. Retinol is essential in helping your body build its natural immunity, defending you against illness and infection.
It also plays an important role in maintaining eye health and promotes the production of certain pigments which are used in your retina to view the full spectrum of light. Vitamin A deficiency inhibits the production of these pigments, leading to decreased eyesight in the dark.
Vitamin A also promotes the production of collagen in your skin, helping to speed up healing, prevent skin breakouts and even helping to reduce fine lines.
Dried fruits can also be a great source of calcium in your diet. You may know that calcium helps to promote bone and teeth health, reducing the risk of Osteoporosis. It is also used in the regulation of muscle contractions (including your heartbeat), helping to prevent hypertension of the blood vessels, which can lead to cardiac arrest.
Calcium is also an important factor in the functioning of your central nervous system, aiding your brain in efficiently transmitting signals to the rest of your body and vice versa.
A great source of fibre:
Fibre is crucial for a healthy digestive system and based on their weight, dried fruits contain roughly two to three times as much fibre as their fresh counterpart. Our recommended daily fibre intake is 30g and most of us don’t reach this. Fibre helps to support bowel movements, reduces inflammation of the gut and improves the diversity of your microbiota, which in turn enhances your immune system.
Dried fruits are rich in natural antioxidants , including phenols. These substances help your cells to fight against free radicals which can contribute to a variety of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Many dried fruits are also abundant in potassium which is extremely important for muscle function, including the heart. Potassium helps to relax the walls of the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure, protecting against muscle cramping and reducing the risk of strokes or heart attacks.
So why not try and factor some of these fruits in your daily routine? You may notice a massive difference!