When thinking about how we can eat fruits, an endless number of ways and recipes to enjoy them come to mind. A special way to do it is by extracting the water they contain to the point of turning them into dehydrated fruits 

This drying process contributes to certain fruits that tolerate this process, acquiring a more intense flavor and preserving almost all of their nutrients for your benefit.

In this article, we provide you with all the information you need to know about this way of consuming fruit and what benefits it can represent for health.

What are dried fruits?

Dehydrated or dried fruits , also called dried fruits , are fresh fruits that go through a dehydration process in which they are placed in a dry environment at a temperature between 40 to 50 degrees Celsius.

The duration of this process depends on the type of fruit that is being dehydrated, since the water content is variable between them; however, this process culminates when part of the water evaporates and a final humidity between 10% and 25%

After this, it is achieved that dehydrated or dried fruits reach a longer shelf life in hermetic containers than fresh fruits, their flavor is more intensified and their nutritional properties are kept almost intact . Dried fruits should not be confused with nuts .

You should know: Dried fruits were widely used in ancient times as food for troops in times of war, due to their high conservation power.

Among the fruits that can traditionally be dehydrated are: dates, blueberries , grapes (raisins), peaches, plums , figs, among others.

Nutritional properties of dehydrated fruits

The benefits of dehydrated or dried fruits for human nutrition and health come from their chemical and nutritional components that we mention below:

1. Vitamins

The content of the type of vitamins and concentration in dehydrated or dried fruits will vary according to the species, however, the common denominator is the following: group B vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and folates or folic acid. They also contain ascorbic acid, vitamin A , and tocopherol.

2. Minerals

Regarding minerals, taking into account the previous premise, calcium, iron, magnesium , zinc, sodium, potassium and phosphorus are present .

3. Other compounds

Dried fruits are rich in soluble and insoluble dietary fiber carbohydrates, and antioxidant compounds. Their fat and sugar content is very minimal and they are low-calorie foods.

What are the benefits of dried fruits?

Due to its chemical and nutritional components and after the dehydration process, dehydrated or dried fruit provides some important benefits for your well -being, which we mention below:

1. They boost the immune system

Fruits, after being dehydrated, have the characteristic of keeping their nutritional components intact. To carry out its function of protecting the body from infections caused by microorganisms, viruses and bacteria, the immune system needs certain nutrients such as ascorbic acid, zinc, selenium and riboflavin.

You should know: Studies indicate that nutrition is a determining component in the development and maintenance of the immune response. (1)

2. They fight the action of free radicals

Another characteristic of dehydrated fruits is that, in addition to the vitamins and minerals with antioxidant properties present in them, they contain flavonoid compounds with antioxidant activity.

In this sense, antioxidants contribute to the prevention of oxidative damage produced by free radicals to healthy cells, avoiding their premature degeneration and with it the appearance of chronic diseases such as arteriosclerosis .

Note: Dried fruits such as blueberries contain three types of flavonoids: anthocyanins, flavonols and proanthocyanidins , helping to reduce cell damage. (two)

3. Regulate blood pressure and improve blood circulation

Firstly, dried fruit does not contain any type of fat, therefore its cholesterol content is zero and its caloric content does not exceed 100 kcal per 100 grams of edible portion. 

Then, the contribution of antioxidants prevents the degradation of lipids that cause atheroma s and also contains sodium, potassium and magnesium, minerals that are involved in blood circulation.

To highlight: This means that there are few possibilities during the intake of this type of food, of suffering from cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, a pathology that is based on the accumulation of fats in the walls of veins, arteries and the heart. (3)

The aforementioned, translates into the improvement of blood circulation and the regulation of abnormal levels of blood pressure.

4. They improve digestive functions

These dried fruits contain a lot of dietary fiber, with the ability to improve digestive functions.

On the one hand, they are a source of soluble fiber , responsible for facilitating the transit of food through the small intestine, and insoluble fiber favors the volume of fecal matter in the colon, improving its expulsion.

Note: Raisins, for example, are a great source of vegetable fibers since for every 100 grams they contain 6.8 grams, contributing to intestinal health and preventing constipation. (4)

5. They prevent anemia

Most of these fruits contain folates, iron, vitamin B6 and riboflavin , which are essential nutrients for the normal formation and maintenance of red blood cells and hemoglobin.

These micronutrients prevent the appearance of anemic states, especially in children and pregnant women. 

You should know : Studies recommend the consumption of iron and vitamin C for the prevention of iron deficiency anemia. (5)

6. They strengthen bones and muscles

The elements necessary to build strong and resistant bones are calcium, collagen, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc . Any dehydrated or dried fruit provides, for example, vitamin C, an essential micronutrient for the synthesis of collagen. 

All dried fruits supply calcium , an essential mineral for strong bone mass , as well as magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc.

Important: The intake of calcium and other essential vitamins prevents chronic diseases such as osteoporosis. (6)

7. They increase physical energy

On average, dried fruits can provide up to 359 kcal per 100-gram serving. For an average adult, it provides up to 18% of daily caloric expenditure.

Another important aspect is that they provide healthy carbohydrates , which provide energy that is quickly available and consumed by the body.

Note: The sugars contained in dried fruits come in the form of fructose , a type of sugar naturally present in fruits.

8. They help control weight

A healthy way to maintain your body weight is through the consumption of foods that provide the least possible amount of carbohydrates and saturated fats.

In this sense, the consumption of dehydrated fruits offers this possibility, since as we have mentioned before, eating this type of food without saturated fats, cholesterol and with healthy carbohydrates, guarantees the control of body weight.

To highlight: In addition to the consumption of dehydrated fruits, it is advisable to adjust to a healthy lifestyle by incorporating the practice of any sporting activity on a regular basis.

9. They promote skin health

We have already demonstrated in the development of the article the antioxidant power of dehydrated fruits, and it is that this property also favors the first protective barrier of our body, which is the skin.

You should know: The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds in dehydrated or dried fruits protect the skin from the appearance of premature wrinkles caused by oxidative damage as a result of exposure to sunlight.

How do you eat dehydrated fruits?

In this there are no secrets or complications, since if you like fruits you will surely like dehydrated fruits. They are a food that is easy to consume and easy to digest , perhaps with a texture on the palate that we are not used to but just as delicious and perhaps more attractive due to the intense color they acquire. 

Dried fruits are mainly used as a topping for salads, ice creams or sweets, although their use has been extended to consume them as snacks and in small portions during sports activities or simply as a companion to drinks.

Note: They can also form part of ingredients for many recipes and dishes in good traditional cooking.

Key Findings

  • Dehydrated or dried fruits are characterized by containing only between 10% and 15% of the water content of fresh fruit. 
  • These fruits preserve almost intact the nutritional values ​​of fresh fruit. 
  • Dehydrated fruits have a longer shelf life 
  • These fruits are widely available in the market and are easy to digest.
  • The consumption of dehydrated fruits has important benefits for human health.

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