Dried fruits, which offer a concentrated form of fresh fruit, are known around the world as healthy and important snacks. They are nutritionally equivalent to fresh fruits in smaller sizes, depending on the fruit from 30 to 43 grams, in current dietary recommendations in different countries.
Dried fruits are mainly recommended for daily consumption due to their essential nutrients, health-promoting phytochemicals and antioxidants. On the other hand, having the desired taste and aroma, they are suitable for different tastes. Today, extensive research has been done on dried fruits in vitro and in vivo due to their various properties, which has led to the identification and quantification of different phytochemical groups.
What is the importance of fruits in our diet?
Nutrition is important in both the primary and secondary prevention of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Fruit and vegetable consumption is one of the most important dietary recommendations for preventing noncommunicable illnesses. Numerous studies have indicated that consuming 3 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day helps to prevent noncommunicable illnesses. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should prepare half a plate of fruits and vegetables (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2010). Fruits constitute the majority of the human diet. Furthermore, fruits are ingested as part of religious rites and nutritional cures in many human civilizations across the world.
According to studies, fruits and their nutrients have a larger influence in avoiding noncommunicable diseases than vegetables. This is due to the fact that fruits contain important vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, all of which have substantial health advantages in addition to basic care.
Because most common fruits are grown seasonally, they may not be accessible in fresh form all year. To increase shelf life of fresh fruits, numerous processes are used to turn them into dried fruits.
Because much of the moisture is removed by sun-drying or other contemporary drying procedures, such as mechanical equipment, dried fruits are a concentrated form of fresh fruit, but with less moisture than their fresh counterparts.
Types of fruits
Fruits can be dried whole, halved, or sliced (like grapes, berries, apricots, and plums) (such as mango, papaya and kiwi). Around the world, dried fruits are a popular healthy snack.
Around the world, dried fruits are a popular nutritious snack. They also have the advantages of being easy to store and distribute, being available all year, and being healthier alternatives to salty or sugary snacks.
“Conventional” or “traditional” dried fruits include apples, apricots, dates, figs, peaches, pears, prunes, and raisins. Blueberries, cranberries, cherries, strawberries, and mangoes are typically brewed with sugar solutions or fruit juice before drying.
According to 2014 data, raisins and currants are the most produced economically important dried fruits in the world, followed by dates, prunes, blueberries, figs, and apricots.
Other dried fruits, such as berries, citrus fruits, and cherries, have fewer statistics available. The most frequent dried fruits on the market are raisins, figs, dates, plums, and apricots, but grocery shops and local markets also provide dried apples, pineapples, berries, mangoes, and papayas.
They are high in critical nutrients and health-promoting bioactive substances. There is a link between dried fruit intake and nutritional quality, according to epidemiological studies.
Beneficial health effects of dried fruits
Phytochemicals such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, phytoestrogens, and carotenoids are abundant in dried fruits. With respect to cultivars, climate and agricultural techniques, the reported phytochemicals in dried fruits and their corresponding antioxidant activity vary significantly.
Because essential phytochemicals can be found in dried fruits even after they’ve been processed, eating them regularly can have a variety of health advantages. Dried fruits (0.32-0.93 g / 100 g) are an important source of low-fat potassium and fiber.
Blood pressure can be decreased by taking a lot of potassium. Diets high in fiber are recommended to lower the risk of noncommunicable diseases such type 2 diabetes, obesity, diverticulitis, colorectal cancer, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Carbohydrates and sugars like glucose and fructose are abundant in dried fruits.
Due to their sweetness, dried fruits appear to have an insulin response and a high glycemic index (GI) (70 and above). Dried fruits have been demonstrated in numerous studies to have a low glycemic index and insulin (55 and below) to moderate (56-69), implying that they have a favorable insulin and glycemic response equivalent to fresh fruits.
This low reaction might be attributed to the presence of fiber, phenolic chemicals, and tannins, all of which can influence the response. As a result, dried fruits with a low GI could help lower the incidence of diabetes and be effective for treating medical nutrition hyperglycemic disorders. Various scientific evidence indicates that people who consume dried fruits regularly are at lower risk for CVD, obesity, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and osteoporosis, as well as others. There are non-communicable diseases.
The health benefits of dried fruits are mainly due to their additives and the synergy of essential nutrients and their phytochemicals (anthocyanins, carotenoids, phytoestrogens, flavonoids, flavanols and phenolic acids) and their phenolic acids.
A number of properties of dried fruits
- Improving diet quality and overall health
- Anti-glaucoma effect
- Anticancer effect
- Lipid-lowering effect
- Lipid-lowering effect
- Antioxidative and anti-inflammation effects
- Antibiotic/anti-pathogenic effect
- Cardioprotection effect
- Anti-diabetic/hypoglycemic effect
Dried fruits are nutritionally equivalent to smaller fruits in smaller sizes. They have a unique combination of flavor/aroma, essential nutrients, fiber and phytochemicals. Dried fruits are very important for human health in providing nutrients and health benefits. Further research is needed to determine the complete characteristics of phytochemicals, such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, phytoestrogens, and carotenoids of other dried fruits concerning their antioxidant or other biological activities.