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Dried Fruit

Dried Fruits - Super Foods for Super Health

One of the best things about fruit is it can be dried and therefore makes a variety of fruit more readily available all year round. Though the fruit is dried, there is still much goodness to be found within it. Within the range of dried fruit there is the familiar raisin through to the more extravagant dried mango spears. If you are craving a sweet snack, they are a great alternative to a bag full of lollies.

Dried fruit makes a popular instant snack for many athletes, bushwalkers or those who participate in long distance sports. It provides a great energy source, contains significant amounts of iron, potassium and selenium and also has small amounts of certain other minerals and of course fibre and Vitamin A (in the yellow and orange dried fruits). Again, much better than a handful of lollies.

Dried fruits can offer an excellent contribution those suffering with constipation as their fibre content makes them a gentle laxative and they are also good for relieving anaemia due to their iron content.

Some examples of excellent dried fruits are:


DATES
Most of us think of dates and we think of Nanna's fruitcake - well I do anyway, however dates are great substitutes for sugar and can even be ground into flour.
Dates are great for post-viral chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers as well as excellent for those who suffer with anaemia. Most varieties of dried dates are very high in iron. All dates have a reasonable amount of fibre and are a rich source of potassium.

PRUNES
Prunes are the dried fruit of a specific type of plum. Prunes are rich in Potassium making them of assistance to those with high blood pressure. Furthermore prunes contain useful amounts of niacin, vitamin A and vitamin B6. They contain a chemical known as Hydroxyphenylisatin, which stimulates the smooth muscle of the large intestine (large bowel) therefore making this dried fruit and excellent gentle laxative.

RAISINS
Raisins are dried grapes and the best kind of raisin is one that is able to become so when it is left to dry on the vine. In past tradition raisins would be picked by the bunch (still as grapes) then laid out on earthen floors to dry. The bunches would be turned every 7 to 10 days. Current methods of raisin production employ use of mechanized harvesting. The vines are cut below the clusters of grapes so that the fruit begins to dehydrate while still on the vine.
Raisins are wonderful for a natural energy booster: 100gms of raisins contain around 70gms of natural sucrose, glucose and fructose. They are ideal for anyone suffering from Chronic fatigue syndrome and also high-energy users such as athletes, rock climbers and walkers.
The great thing about raisins is that they are also rich in other nutrients - so eating them is not like devouring a chocolate bar or a bag of lollies. Raisins are rich in iron: 100gm contain more than 25% of the recommended daily allowance for women. Furthermore they contain rich amounts of fibre, which will help reduce cholesterol and improve the function of the bowel, a large amount of potassium which prevents fluid retention and helps reduce blood pressure and also selenium (great for the skin). There are also smaller amounts of Vitamin A and also small but significant amounts of Vitamin B.

Many Consider Raisins to be a Super Food as they are great for sufferers of High Blood Pressure, fluid retention and anaemia, as well as excellent for constipation.
It is always a good idea to wash raisins bought at the supermarket as they can contain sulphur and mineral oil. And because they contain readily available calories they are wonderful for people who battle with depression, anxiety and nervous irritability.

What you can do with dried fruit:
Take a look at these sites: Angas Park Website and Sunbeam Fruits Website. Both companies are well known producers and manufacturers of dried fruit. See how you can include more dried fruit in your diet...

FMP Marketing list great dried fruit recipes
Angas Park dried fruit recipes
Sunbeam dried fruit recipes

- Michelle Palmer
 

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