Did you know how good dried fruit is for you?

Dried fruits are small “nutrient powerhouses” and offer some advantages over fresh fruits, including a longer shelf life. In addition, did you know that 30g of dried fruit counts as 1 of your 5 a day, compared with 80g of fresh fruit?

Dried fruits are important contributors to the daily fibre intake. They generally contain more fibre than the same size serving of their fresh counterparts. Dried apricots, for example, contain 6.3% fibre (making them high in fibre), while fresh apricots only contain 1.7% (not even enough to be a source of fibre).

Because most of the water is extracted from dried fruits, their nutrients are concentrated. This also applies to some vitamins and minerals. Dried fruits like apricots, raisins, prunes and figs are good sources of minerals such as iron, potassium and copper. These minerals carry a number of health benefits. Some examples are shown below:

  • Iron contributes to the normal function of the immune system and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue
  • Potassium contributes to normal muscle function and the maintenance of normal blood pressure
  • Copper contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism and the normal function of the immune system

Dried fruit are also a healthier alternative to refined sugars for sweetening foods (eg: adding to breakfast cereals, porridge or natural yoghurt).