Sweet, nutritious, and shelf-stable, dried fruit is an easy and convenient way of getting in your daily servings of fruit. Fruits provide some of the most potent protection against cancer and other chronic diseases due to the variety of vitamins and minerals they contain.
Dried fruits — think prunes, apricots, pears, and apples —promote digestive health. Their high concentrations of soluble and insoluble fiber can help regulate bowel function and relieve constipation. It is exciting to note that the drying process of fruit maintains almost all of the fresh products’ cancer-fighting antioxidants and fiber.
Dried fruits also contain phytochemicals (natural plant chemicals), which are believed to reduce the risk of major chronic diseases, including cancer.
When choosing dried fruit, make sure it looks moist and shiny, not dull or leathery, which would indicate that it’s past its prime. Check that there is no added sugar. Some items marketed as “dried,” such as pineapple and papaya, may have added sugar. It’s recommended to consume ¼ cup of dried fruit per day.
When baking, dried fruit can be a great way to add nutrients and sweetness to muffins, breads, and crumbles, like these oatmeal and Date Cookies.
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