The dry-fruit advantage

  • Shikha Sharma, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Nov 29, 2014 17:14 IST

In the days before refrigeration, people of all civilisations developed ingenious techniques to store surplus seasonal foods for future use. These techniques included salting, candying, making jams and drying, and are in use today.

Fruits in particular were dried in the sun and stored for use later. We all know they’re tasty. Here is why dry fruits are healthy.

Apricots and prunes
Both contain antioxidants. They are also rich in carotenes, which are good for the skin and hair. Apricots and prunes contain non-heme iron (iron found in plants) which, if taken with vitamin C (citrus fruits), increases the oxygen carrying capacity of blood.

Tomatoes are actually a fruit, not a vegetable. Dried, they taste great in salads. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, good for skin elasticity.

Figs have a high concentration of minerals that makes them alkaline. This alkaline property helps the body fight disorders connected to the blood and acid-base balance. Figs are recommended for those with skin disorders and also inflammatory arthritis. It is high in fibre, so good for digestive disorders too.

Dried apples
Apples contain minerals and antioxidants. fruits

Candied papaya, banana, amla and mango make for good substitutes for the sweets that growing children love. However, they are not advisable if you have diabetes.

Black currants and raisins
Both are rich in potassium, manganese, non-heme iron and vitamin C. These qualities make them good for people with blood pressure problems and asthma.

How to add dry fruits to your diet

* Add them to your breakfast cereal in place of sugar.* Make a trail mix, which is a healthy snack for mid-mornings and afternoons, especially when you’re travelling. A trail mix contains dry fruits with roasted peanuts, and almonds. It is a powerhouse of nutrition, and very satiating.

* Eat it with your morning vegetable juice. A handful of mixed dry fruits with your veggie juice is a complete breakfast in itself.

From HT Brunch, November 30

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