Here is my five favorite dried fruits. What are yours?
We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, especially fresh ones, and when they are in season. However, dried fruits have theirs own indisputable health benefits, too. There are many delicious dried fruits out there, and you can find five of my favorites below.
Raisins are one of nature’s sweet treats. They provide 70% pure fructose, fat free, cholesterol free, low in sodium, and supply a good source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, iron, potassium, and calcium.
Raisins are said to help with bone density, healthy gums and teeth. The key ingredient in raisins is phytonutrients, mainly olenolic acid, protect from gum disease, and cavities. They are also beneficial for your eye sight just as carrots. Use raisins in your oatmeal, or sprinkle on your salad, or in your cooking and baking.
Apricots are full of dietary fiber and beta-carotene, as well as supply a great source of vitamin A, C, magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, silicon, and potassium. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in apricots.
According to the American Cancer Society, apricots and other foods that are rich in carotenes may lower the risk of cancers in the larynx, esophagus, and lungs. Just five dried apricots give you 36 percent of the daily value for vitamin A.
If you are sensitive to sulfites, which are used to preserve bright orange color of apricots, buy dried organic apricots instead, since federal law prohibits the use of preservative in organic foods.
Although dried dates are higher in calories than fresh ones, dates are loaded with iron, fiber, iron, niacin, potassium, vitamin A, B, calcium, phosphorous, and copper.
They are used to help with constipation, anemia, fatigue, and also a preventive to abdominal cancer.
Cranberries contain powerful antioxidants, which can cut bad cholesterol, and help fight infection. Cranberry juice helps clean the urinary tract, and may prevent tumors from growing quickly. Dried cranberries can be served in oatmeal, cereal, and salad, as well as baking.
Just one-half cup of dried cranberries provides about 13 milligrams of vitamin C, and 4 grams of fiber.
Prunes are a good source of fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and copper. They can also help with weight loss and normal blood sugar levels. Just a quarter-cup of prunes give you 16.9 percent of daily value for vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene has been shown in studies to shut down free radicals, and prevent a variety of diseases such as atherosclerosis, colon cancer, and reduced inflammatory in asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
For those that like to know more or resources, please check out MSNBC health section, The World’s Healthiest Foods, WebMD, CanadianLiving, and many other websites.