Dried fruit is a food that has many calories but also as many benefits since, depending on the food chosen, it contains vitamins, minerals, fiber, omega-3. Precisely for this reason, the advice is to include it in your diet, without exceeding it, whether you do physical activity in the gym to get better or whether you are a bodybuilder looking for the best body composition: in both cases and a balanced diet the dried fruit is a good ally.
What Is Dried Fruit?
Dried fruit is a food category that can be divided into:
- Carbohydrate dried fruit or dehydrated / dried fruit: apricots, plums, grapes, dates, …
- Lipid (oily) dried fruit: walnuts, almonds, macadamia, hazelnuts, … We have very “caloric” foods in both cases as they have very little water inside and therefore a greater density of nutrients about weight.
If we consider fruit and its dried counterpart, the nutrients are kept practically unaltered by the drying process: only the water changes. For this reason, if you already have a lack of liquids and you have to choose whether to snack on fresh apricots or dried apricots, it is better if you choose the former.
What Are The Benefits And Properties Of Dried Fruit?
The dried, dehydrated fruit (apricots, bananas, prunes, …) is great for recharge of sugar since it contains fructose and glucose and contains soluble fiber. Furthermore, each fruit chosen has particular properties that have a positive impact on health: for example, sultanas and plums are excellent antioxidants, kiwi contains vitamin C, dates contain iron. Other properties are reported below.
The benefits that we can attribute to lipid nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, …) are:
- reduction of “bad” cholesterol,
- cardiovascular protection,
- the contrast of free radicals (harmful to the body),
- supply of vitamins and minerals.
The main characteristics of this type of food are unsaturated fats and insoluble fibers. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid essential for the body (the body does not produce it). On the other hand, almonds contain magnesium and hazelnuts, a fair amount of phytosterols, which help reduce LDL cholesterol.
Among the polyunsaturated, there is also omega-6, which can have both anti-inflammatory and inflammatory effects depending on the subject (nutrigenomics). Don’t use the excuse that dried fruit is good for you in a pub, accompanying pistachios, cashews, and peanuts with copious mugs of beer.
How Many Calories Does Dried Fruit Contain? What Are The Nutritional Values Of Dried Fruit?
As already mentioned, dried fruit is very high in calories. In the oily one, the calories come mainly from fat, while in the dehydrated one from carbohydrates, except chestnuts (oily fruit), with a nutritional profile more similar to dry fruit and coconut (dehydrated fruit), which nutritionally resembles more oily fruit.
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Does Dried Fruit Make You Fat?
In a balanced diet, no. But overeating by eating a handful of extra walnuts as a snack or finishing the bowl of peanuts during the aperitif can make the difference, precisely because being very caloric risks leading you to an excess of energy compared to your needs. Plus, they have a ‘delayed burst’ satiating power, so if you get satiety with dried fruit, it means you’ve eaten a lot (and therefore a lot of calories)!
When Do You Eat Dried Fruit? Before Or After Meals?
The ideal time to take dried fruit is away from meals, for example, as a snack. In reality, this precaution is not essential, but it can be useful because oily dried fruit also contains phytates. Phytates are antinutrients that chelate some minerals (calcium, iron, zinc, …): this means that they do not make them available to the body when you eat (when instead it would be appropriate for them to be absorbed).
List Of Dried Fruit
Dried (Or Dehydrated) Nuts:
- Dried apricot: rich in carotenoids, suitable for those who are frail and always tired.
- Dry pineapple: natural diuretic, useful in case of water retention due to silent inflammatory states.
- Dried banana contains fibers that are particularly useful for rebalancing the intestinal microbiome.
- Dry chestnut: compared to other fruits, it is rich in starch, proteins, and sulfur.
- Dry cherry: it has an action similar to aspirin in decreasing the pain signals associated with inflammatory states.
- Dried fig: it has a laxative effect in high doses, while in small amounts, it helps the action of the microbiota.
- Dry date: rich in iron, it helps to lower LDL.
- Dehydrated kiwi: it is among the fruits richest in vitamin C, even more than orange.
- Dried apple: rich in important fiber, it contains many vitamins and folic acid.
- Dried pear: indicated during febrile states because it helps to lower the body temperature.
- Dried blueberry: rich in organic acids and involved in the health of the capillaries.
- Dry Papaya: Contains papain which allows people who have difficulty digesting proteins.
- Dry peach: it has laxative properties and helps those with bladder problems.
- Dried plum: among the most antioxidant fruits of all, its fibers have laxative properties.
- Sultanas: has an antioxidant action, reduces bad cholesterol, and have an anti-cancer effect.
Oily Dried Fruit
- Cashews: rich in niacin, useful for the brain and blood circulation, and rich in omega-6.
- Peanuts are part of the legume family but are more similar to dried fruit in composition and use; they have the same functions as cashews.
- Walnuts: contain omega-3s, lower cholesterol and improve skin quality.
- Almonds: rich in magnesium and vitamin E, they have an excellent lipid profile.
- Macadamia nuts: contain flavonoids useful for cardiovascular health.
- Brazil nuts: contain small amounts of radium and can interact with the thyroid.
- Pine nuts: rich in positive monounsaturated fats, they have an antioxidant effect.
- Pistachios: they have a mild anticancer impact. The fat profile is not particularly positive like the rest of dried fruit.
- Hazelnuts: rich in phytosterols, they have a good amount of vitamin E.
- Coconut does not have a particularly good lipid profile, but it does have short-chain fatty acids that improve lipid metabolism.
Which Dried Fruit To Choose? Which Is The Best?
Dried fruit can range from an average calorie content such as chestnuts (189 kcal) to a very high-calorie content such as macadamia nuts (718 kcal). Still, you need to know how to compare the satiating effect with the calorie content. Therefore, dried fruit can be considered in slightly low-calorie diets, but if the diet is particularly restrictive, it is probably worth opting for more filling and fewer calorie foods.
On the other hand, if you need to gain weight, integrating a Moderate amount of oily nuts into your snacks or meal before bed is a great idea. In addition to the caloric reason, you can choose dried fruit according to your needs.
How Much Protein Does Dried Fruit Contain?
The proteins of dried fruit are not the most represented nutrient. Moreover, they are of low quality. They do not have an excellent biological value: the amino acid composition is unbalanced, and the body absorbs not all amino acids.
You can always refer to the table for more precise values, which indicates the grams of protein per 100 g of product. For example, in descending order, the richest in proteins (between 26 and 15 g per 100 g of food) are peanuts, pistachios, sweet almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews.
What Is The Best-Dried Fruit To Eat For The Gym And Bodybuilding?
The “best” in absolute terms does not exist, and it depends on what you need. Surely if you eat nuts based on protein intake, always consider that those proteins bring a lot of fat and a lot of calories, in addition to the fact that they do not have a complete amino acid spectrum and that the protein fraction is not dominant.
Oily nuts are mainly a source of fat, which is a category of macronutrients that are limited in those looking for improved body composition to have more muscle and less fat. For this reason, it is good to keep the amount of dried fruit consumed under control so as not to exceed.
Dried Fruit Benefits And Conclusions
In a varied and balanced diet, dried fruit should never be missing, given its properties of supplying vitamins and minerals and supporting your health. Obviously, given its caloric content, you must not exceed it. Otherwise, the benefits will turn into defects.
Also Read: ABOUT PEPPER – THE KING OF SPICES