Health Benefits Of Dried Fruit
As someone who nearly always eats made-from- scratch meals using fresh ingredients, it was only natural that I’d want our Fruitive restaurants’ menu to focus on fresh produce.
With the exception of vanilla syrup or cacao powder, Fruitive smoothies contain only frozen fruit. Even our turmeric and ginger are freshly picked, never powdered!
Now I’m back to researching dried plant-based foods on my favorite science-based website, NutritionFacts.org. Reviewing 16 videos to get Dr. Michael Greger’s take on has given me a much better idea of which dried plant-based foods pack the greatest health punch.
Today, the focus is on fruits.
Powerhouse Dried Fruits
Dried Apples with Peels
This video reviews the findings of six studies on apples’ cancer-fighting effects, Dr. Greger’s conclusion?
“We know the more apples we eat, the lower our apparent risk of several cancers. The peels are the really good part, yet are often discarded.”
He also explains here that a 2012 study found menopausal women who ate a dozen dried apple rings (about 3 ounces’ worth) daily for a year “… saw their bad cholesterol drop 23% — that’s huge!”
Dried Dragon Fruit
Whether red or white, dried dragon fruit is packed with “… prebiotic goodies to keep our good gut bacteria happy.”
In this video, Dr. Greger points to a study showing that pregnant women eating “…like one of those 1-ounce snack boxes of raisins a month” during pregnancy reduce their “… risk of both preterm delivery and … [their] water breaking prematurely, before 37 weeks.”
When it comes to ORAC units — or their capacity to soak up disease-causing free radicals — a snack box of dehydrated golden raisins outscores one of sun-dried brown raisins 2985 to 973, or nearly 3 to 1!
Amazing Amla Berries
Dr. Greger saves his most rave reviews for tart, white dried Indian gooseberries (aka amla berries). He praises them as “… way off the charts, in a class of its own, top dog for healthiest snack on the planet Earth.”
With an ORAC unit score more than 25 times that of golden raisins, it’s easy to understand why!
If that’s not enough, he also says that just ¼ teaspoon of powdered alma berries taken daily for three weeks has been shown to control blood sugar in diabetics “… even better than the leading prescription drug” glybruide. At the same time, it significant raised their good and reduced their bad reduction cholesterol levels!
Dried Fruit and Weight Gain
Concerned that swapping dried fruit for fresh will add too many extra calories to your diet? This video offers these encouraging words:
“Men and women assigned to consume a cup of raisins a day for six weeks evidently successfully offset the consumption of other foods in their diets such that they experienced no significant change in weight or waist circumference.”
But it gets even better:
“In general, the 5-10% of Americans that average a tablespoon or more of dried fruit a day tend to be less overweight, less obese, have a slimmer waist, and less abdominal obesity.”
Fruits Better Eaten Fresh or Frozen
Dr. Greger makes it simple: “To get the same amount of anthocyanin phytonutrients in a cup of fresh or frozen cranberries, you’d have to… eat 7 cups of dried cranberries.”
Cherries, if consumed as an insomnia remedy:
“Sweet cherries have fifty times less melatonin than tart, and dried cherries appear to have none.”
Finally, what was the most exciting thing I learned from researching dried fruits?
Undoubtedly, it was dried alma berries’ mind-blowing health benefits. I’ll be ordering some today!