People have been eating dry fruits since 5000 BC. Drying/ dehydrating are the earliest form of preservation of food as it increases the shelf life. Raisins, figs, dates, apricots have been a part of traditional diets for millennia.
Nowadays, dry fruits are popular in many dishes from desserts (ice cream, brownies, barfis etc.) to spicy gravies.
Dry fruit is a fruit, which is dehydrated by sun drying or using dryers and dehydrators. They are a rich source of minerals, vitamins, enzymes, protein, fiber, and antioxidants, which improves blood flow, maintain the digestive system, reduce the risk of many diseases etc.
Although they are a little expensive, it’s better to spend on dry fruits instead of medicines. Plus all dry fruits are an important source of essential nutrients for vegans.
It is said that eating something foolishly is never appreciated thus one should know the facts about them.
This article is based on the health benefits of these shrunken, energy-rich fruits in daily life.
- rich source of vitamin E, flavonoids and antioxidants; preventive for cancer cell growth
- Eating almonds as snack reduce hunger and maintain weight
- Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Eating at least 10 almonds can cure headaches and eating almonds regularly prevents migraine attract and menstrual pain
- Regular consumption decreases LDL cholesterol and maintains blood pressure
- Good for skin as it moisturizes and improves complexion. The powdered form is used in face packs
- Almond oil promotes hair growth, prevents frizzy hair
- Almond milk is a vegan substitute for dairy milk and is more nutritious than that.
Cashew nuts (Kaju)
- Contains copper; promotes skin rejuvenation by combating free radicals
- Improves texture and adds flavor to dishes
- Fights pigmentation and dermatitis
- Eliminates dryness of skin, gives youthful and radiance glow
- Vitamin B6, Magnesium
- Reduces chances of getting diabetes and heart diseases
- Rich in antioxidants; slows aging
- High iron content fights anemia by improving hemoglobin
- Rich in vitamin A, K with no cholesterol and high fiber
- Rich source of omega 6, prevent from diseased heart conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease, cancer
- Acts as a laxative improve sleep
- High protein, energy, folate, zinc; improves memory
- Good during pregnancy (see more the best diet during pregnancy).
Dried fig (Anjeer)
- Used in various cosmetics from scrubs to face packs, as it de tans, provides glow and improves pigmentation of the skin
- It’s a rich source of energy, proteins, vitamin K, calcium, zinc and omega 3
Dates (khaarik, chhuhara, khajur)
- Rich source of vitamin C, enhance the elasticity of skin, improves complexion, smoothens skin, decrease fine lines and wrinkles; thus its must for a healthy glowing skin
- It’s rich in antioxidants, with no fats and high calories
- Prevents atherosclerosis (which is the cause of stroke and myocardial infarction)
Sesame seeds (Til)
- Used in many Indian dishes, til is a rich source of vitamin A, B, E
- Rich source of fiber
- Oil of black sesame seeds is used in curing premature graying of hair.
Flax seeds (Alsi)
- High fiber, protein, vitamin B1 and vitamin B6 (see more vitamin B12)
- Source of Calcium, zinc, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, and omega
Dried apricot (Khubani)
- Rich source of vitamin A and carotenoids; thus good for eyes
- Due to high fiber content, they relieve constipation
- Also, the low glycemic index, thus best for people with diabetes.
- High protein, fat, energy, vitamin E and vitamin B3, Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium.
- Should not be consumed in liver disorders.
- Groundnut oil is used for cooking
Dried plum (Prunes, Sukha Aalubukhara)
- Rich in dietary fiber thus acts as a laxative.
- Rich source of protein, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K and phytochemicals and thus is good for skin
*table from- “the encyclopedia of fruits and nuts, edited by Janick Jules and Robert E. Paull.”
Some of the numerous benefits of eating dry fruits:
More calories with low fats and low cholesterol; Vegan-friendly; Weight loss and diabetes management; Preventive for many disorders; Prevents hair loss; Improves blood flow and control blood pressure; Glowing skin.
Too much of anything is always harmful; there are also some side effects of having too much dry fruits.
- For commercial use, many dried fruits are coated with sugar syrup before drying to make them sweeter. It is always better to avoid such fruits to prevent obesity and other harmful effects. Excessive sugar consumption may result in tooth decay. Also, sugar coating increases the glycemic index and lead to hyperglycemia.
- Since dry fruits are the rich source of fiber, too much intake of fiber may result in abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, constipation and even diarrhea.
- Sometimes preservatives are added to prevent discoloration and improve storage, which may cause allergic reactions to some people.
Like every other food, dry fruits have both healthy and harmful effects. However, their benefits to body outweigh their risks to the body. Thus, they are always advised to be included in the diet.
They are little costly but their health benefits make them worth their price.