Everything you should know when consuming dried fruit
We had a chat with an international health expert, Maria Ascencao about dried fruit if it meets our daily needs, and how does it compare with fruit when it comes to nutritional value?
Ascencao said dried fruit can be preserved for longer than fresh fruit and is a handy and healthy snack because it's filled with nutrients, including vitamin A, B, iron, potassium, magnesium, folate, fibre, antioxidants and polyphenols.
“These nutrients may help improve blood sugar levels, blood flow, digestion, decrease oxidative damage and reduce the risk of disease.
"The most common types of dried fruit are raisins, dates, prunes, figs, and apricots. Sugar-coated varieties are less healthy as too much sugar may be linked to poor health such as the increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and even cancer. Be aware that a half-cup serving of dried fruit equates to at least one cup serving of normal fruit," she said.
Asked about the drawbacks of having dried fruit, Ascencao said too much-dried fruit may cause cramps, bloating, diarrhea or headaches from the high fibre and preservative content. “Due to the drying process, some nutrient levels may drop such as vitamin C but it is still a nutritious snack.
"One piece of dried fruit contains about the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit but condensed in a much smaller package so it contains more than three times the fibre, vitamins, and minerals of fresh fruit. Aim for dried fruit which contains no sugar and additives, drink more water to keep hydrated and regular, eat smaller portions of dried fruit or mix this with a protein source such as nuts or Greek yogurt to help avoid overeating,” she said.
Ascencao also added that you can boost your health by supplementing with SA innovation green tea extract, Origine 8, which is packed with polyphenols and fibre and which is the most powerful and bioavailable green tea extract available.