Dried fruits have been an essential part of the Mediterranean diet for centuries – and for good reason! By definition, dried fruit is any type of fruit whose water content has been removed by drying methods. Delicious and satisfying, they offer a myriad of benefits for the human body, from supporting digestive health to the cardiovascular system, and their frequent consumption has been associated with the prevention and management of metabolic conditions.
With that said, let’s dive into the top 5 reasons of why it’s recommended to add dried fruits to your everyday diet:
1. Shelf-stable & portable
Fruits provide the vitamins and nutrients required to maintain a healthy body, however, only eating one kind of fruit isn’t enough. According to studies, a variety of fruits need to be consumed to get all the nutrients we need – with that said, not all types of fruits are available all year round. With a relatively long shelf-life when properly stored, dried fruits are the perfect go-to snack, and lets us consume any fruit, anytime, anywhere!
2. Fiber, fiber, and more fiber!
Dried fruit contains around two or three times the amount of fiber of fresh fruit, as well as prebiotic fiber compounds which serve as fuel for healthy bacteria to maintain digestive health. Higher dietary fiber also helps to slow down the rate of digestion and absorption, with greater fruit fiber intake associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease – not to mention their much appreciated bowel regulating and natural laxative effects!
3. Source of nutrients & antioxidants
A rich source of micro-nutrients, dried fruits also contain plant compounds with protective anti-inflammatory & antioxidant properties that range from phenols to anthocyanins. These compounds may be associated with health benefits such as improved blood flow, better immunity, and a lower risk of certain diseases, including heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. In studies, dried fruits have also been shown to reduce levels of an inflammatory marker called cytokines, when combined with other healthy lifestyle habits like exercise.
4. Fights the blues
Besides nourishing the body and tasting great, food influences appetite and mood. Research demonstrates that certain foods affect powerful mood-modifying brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. A study published in The European Journal of Nutrition shows that a high intake of vegetables and fruit can decrease the risk of developing depression and indicate that consuming fruits seems to have a positive influence on mental health.
5. Supports bone health
Studies show that dried plums or prunes, especially, may support bone health and slow down bone mass loss associated with aging and menopause. This is no surprise considering that dried fruits are rich in bone strengthening nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, vitamin K and boron, making them an unmatched natural source for improving bone health!
From physical to mental health, organic dried fruits make for nutritious snacking, and are an endlessly sweet source of culinary inspiration! All of our dried fruits pair beautifully with hearty cheeses, crusty breads and cured meats – so it’s never been easier to add flavor and health enhancing nutrients to your meals.
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