Is Dried Fruit nutritious or Just a Snack? This is the answer!

Dried fruit is a fruit in which its water content has been dried out. Because of the drying process, the fruit shrinks, becoming smaller and denser. Because without the water content, dried fruit can be stored longer, even without preservatives.
Examples of dried fruit that are commonly known in world are dates and raisins. Then there are dried plums, dried tomatoes, until the coconut is dry. From natural to sugar coated to make it sweeter. Some call dried fruit as a nutritious healthy snack, some say dried fruit is just another version of candy. Then which is correct? Here is a complete explanation of dried fruit:

Health Benefits of Dried Fruit
Research has shown that eating dried fruit can help in the absorption of nutrients from other foods. Dried fruit is also a good source of anti-oxidants, as is fresh fruit.
  • Dried Fruits High in Nutrition
Dried fruit has the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit, the difference is only dried fruit does not have water content. Based on its weight, 100 grams of dried fruit contains fiber, vitamins and minerals up to 3 times more than 100 grams of fresh fruit. But there are exceptions, such as the vitamin C content which is significantly reduced due to the drying process.

In general, dried fruit contains a lot of fiber, and anti-oxidants such as polyphenols, polyphenol antioxidants are useful to increase blood flow, maintain digestive health, reduce oxidative damage, and reduce the risk of various types of diseases.
  • Date fruits is Helpful for Pregnancy and Prevent Various Diseases
Date fruits are preferred because they taste sweet, delicious, and are easily available in Indonesia. Date fruits has fiber, potassium, iron, and other important minerals. Of all the types of dried fruit, date fruits have the most antioxidants, so they are effective in helping the body overcome the damage caused by oxidation.

Date fruits have a low glycemic index value, so eating lots of them will not cause an increase in excessive blood sugar levels. Dates are also believed to be very beneficial for pregnant women and fetuses in the womb. Apart from high nutritional value, eating dates regularly during pregnancy can also help simplify the birth process.
  • Raisins Can Reduce the Risk of Certain Diseases
Raisins are dried grapes. Raisins contain fiber, potassium, and various other nutrients. However raisins have a low glycemic index value, and a low insulin index. Therefore, although the taste of raisins is sweet like candy, raisins will not cause blood sugar or insulin levels to increase.

Research shows that raisins can lower blood pressure, control blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and reduce cholesterol in the blood. With all these benefits, raisins can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and the risk of heart disease.
  • Prunes are a natural laxative and can help overcome some diseases
Prunes are dried plums. Prunes are rich in nutrients, fiber, potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamin K. Prunes have a natural laxative effect because they are high in fiber and sorbitol. In addition, prunes are considered more effective in relieving constipation than psyllium.

Because it contains high antioxidants, prunes can block the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and prevent heart disease and cancer. Prunes are also rich in boron mineral, which can fight osteoporosis.

Bad Effects of Dried Fruit
The drying process removes the water content in the fruit, reduces the value of vitamin C significantly, and makes the fruit concentrated in sugar and calories. Therefore, dried fruit can cause adverse effects on health.
  • High in Natural Sugar and Calories
After the water content is removed, dried fruit is concentrated in natural calories and sugars, including glucose and fructose. Dates contain 64-66% sugar, raisins contain 59% sugar, prunes contain 38% sugar, and other dried fruit generally have 38-66% natural sugar. Of all the sugar it has, 22-51% of the sugar content is fructose. Because dried fruit is smaller than fresh fruit, people tend to eat more dried fruit than fresh fruit. And with high sugar content, eating lots of dried fruit has a risk of gaining weight, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Dried fruit already has a high natural sugar content, so the taste is sweet even though no sugar or syrup added. Even so, there are still many dried fruit sold on the market coated with sugar or syrup during the drying process. Dried fruit like this is also known as fruit candy. Sugar and syrup is clearly dangerous to health, increasing the risk of obesity, heart disease, and even cancer. Therefore, you should buy the pure dried fruit without added sweeteners.
  • Dried fruit may contain sulfites and be contaminated
Some dried fruit makers might add preservatives such as sulfites during the drying process of the fruit they produce, especially for brightly colored fruits such as raisins. These sulfites can make the fruit last longer, and the color is more attractive. Sulfites are harmful to health, especially to those who are sensitive. Sulfites can cause stomach cramps, rashes on the skin, and asthma attacks. To avoid sulfites, choose dried fruit that is brownish or darker, and not dried fruit with a brighter color. And make sure to always read the composition on the packaging when buying dried fruit.

Dried fruit that is not stored properly can be contaminated with fungi, aflatoxins, or various poisons from dust and other pollution. Therefore, choose dried fruit made by trusted manufacturers and packaged well.

Conclusion:
Dried fruit has health benefits, also bad effects for health. Dried fruit is rich in fiber, anti-oxidants, and other nutrients. But high in calories and sugar. Therefore, eat dried fruit in reasonable portions to get health benefits, and do not overeat so as not to damage health. Dried fruit is not perfect and not as good as fresh fruit, but has a longer shelf life, and is more nutritious than snacks such as biscuits or chips.

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