One healthy alternative to refined sugar is eating dried fruits as a snack. With the new craze of being health conscious and aware of what you are eating, fruit has become a hot topic among nutritionist and many doctors. Eating fruit in moderation is a great way to get needed nutrients and vitamins. Dried fruit is a quick and tasty way to get those same benefits during a busy, fast-paced day. Not all dried fruit is equal. Fruits naturally contain high levels of sugar, however many fruits that are dried fruits have additional sugar added to them for extra flavor – making them more like candy than an actual healthy snack.
Such dried fruits are: Pineapple, which is usually coated in refined sugar; banana chips, generally deep-fried and sweetened; cranberries, since they almost always require additional sweeteners in result to their tartness; and watermelon, due to it’s low level of nutrients and high level of sugar it is a poor combination.
Although it is believed that some of the nutritional value is lost when fruits are dried, it is clear that at some of that value does still remain. Below is list of dried fruits that are a good, healthy source. The majority of which can generally be found in bulk at most health food stores or pre-packaged at most regular grocery stores. It is important, however, to always check the food’s ingredient label to make sure extra sugar or additives have not been added.
Apple – Not only are they are great source of fiber, but apples also contain many phytonutrients which act as antioxidants, ridding the body of cancer causing free radicals.
Apricot – Vitamins A, C and iron are all contained within apricots, plus they are also a great source of fiber. However, did you know that the most nutritious way to eat apricot is dried?
Mango – Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are essential for immune health and healthy skin can be found in this fruit. In addition, mango is teeming with phytonutrients, vitamins A, C and E.
Cherry – Antioxidants are important in the fight against cancer causing free radicals and cherries have been called the “new antioxidant super fruit.” Moreover, they also include other important nutrients like beta-carotene, folic acid and fiber.
Fig – As mentioned above, it is believed that some fruits lose a portion of their nutrition when dried; figs lose none of their potency! They are still a great source of iron, folic acid and potassium.
Papaya – Everyone wants to have a healthy heart! Recent studies have shown that papaya, another great source of antioxidants, have shown that they may aid in preventing diabetic heart disease.
Blueberry – With high amounts of vitamin A, E and especially B, blueberries are another super fruit that is rich in antioxidants. In addition, they are fundamental to maintaining a healthy nervous system.
Raisin – This is a childhood favorite and with good reason; raisins are low in sodium, high in fiber, totally fat and cholesterol-free. Definitely a great everyday, every age group snack!
Plum – Dried plums, or prunes, are known because of their assistance in regulating the digestive system, but they are also a great source of vitamins.
Tomato – Yes, tomatoes are fruits! A great way to receive the cancer-reducing proprieties of tomatoes, along with lycopene and vitamin C is by eating sun-dried.