Dried Fruits

Dried Fruits

Nutrient Dense and Naturally Sweet

Dried fruits provide you with a valuable, concentrated source of vitamins and minerals. Dried fruits are a good or very good source of dietary fibre, are fat-free (or virtually fat-free) and sodium-free (or virtually sodium-free). Many dried fruits contain no added sugar: they are naturally sweet.

Dried fruits also contain an array of phytochemicals (beneficial bioactive compounds found only in plants) such as carotenoidsflavonoids (e.g. quercetin), lignans (phytoestrogens), phytosterols and resveratrol. These phytochemicals are associated with a range of health benefits, including being potentially beneficial for your cardiovascular health.

How Much is a Portion of Dried Fruit?

One portion of dried fruit is about 30g (just over 1oz). Eating dried fruit within the context of a healthy diet such as the Mediterranean diet is a convenient way of getting some of your 5-a-day. Key features of theMediterranean diet include eating lots of whole grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fruit, monounsaturated fats and fish and eating red and processed meats and drinking red wine in moderation.

We provide a large range of quality dried fruits. Continue reading to find out more about the health benefits of individual dried fruits.

Please note that RI refers to ‘reference intake’, the term replacing ‘guideline daily amount’.

 

Apples

  • A valuable source of fibre, including the soluble fibre pectin: just 8 dried apple rings (about 50g) gives you nearly 20% of your daily need for fibre. Dried apples are higher in fibre than dried apricots(4.4g per 50g vs. 3.6g per 50g, respectively).
  • A 50g serving gives you riboflavin (vitamin B2), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and vitamins K and E.
  • A 50g serving gives you a wide variety of minerals including copperpotassiumironmanganese,magnesium and iron.

 

Apricots

  • Give you an array of vitamins including folateniacin (vitamin B3) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). Most notably, however, a 50g serving of dried apricots provides you with over 10% of your daily need forvitamin E and over a third of your daily need for vitamin A.
  • Rich in minerals: provide manganesephosphorusmagnesiumcalcium and selenium. A 50g serving provides you with about 7% of your RI for iron, 9% for copper and 12% for potassium.
  • Free from saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and cholesterol, which makes them a heart-healthy food.

 

Blueberries

  • A very valuable source of fibre: a 40g serving of dried blueberries (about a handful) gives about 16% of your daily need. Fibre helps to keep your bowels regular, promotes your heart health and improves your cholesterol profile.
  • Contain a wide variety of vitamins: a 40g serving gives you over 10% of your RI for vitamin C. and about a third of your RI for vitamin K.
  • Rich in polyphenols, bioactive plant compounds with anti-inflammatory properties that may have benefits in cardiovascular disease, cancer and age-related cognitive decline.
  • Also rich in a type of polyphenol known as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins give blueberries their blue colour and also have antioxidant properties that are important for blood vessel health. The phenolic compounds in blueberries have an antioxidant capacity significantly higher than in vitamins C or E.

 

Cherries

  • Crammed with antioxidants: dried cherries have one of the highest levels of antioxidants of all antioxidant-rich fruits.
  • Contain the highest concentrations of anthocyanins of all fruits. Anthocyanins, the bioactive pigment that gives cherries their colour, are antioxidants that may reduce inflammation.
  • May be associated with a reduced risk for arthritis and gout; may be beneficial for aiding muscle recovery in athletes.
  • Just 60g of dried cherries gives you about 45% of your RI for vitamin A, and about 8% of your RI forfibre.
  • Naturally cholesterol- and fat-free and also sodium-free: dried cherries are a heart-healthy food.

 

Cranberries

  • A rich source of antioxidants and other phytonutrients, which may protect against heart disease and other chronic diseases. Dried cranberries outrank nearly every other fruit (and vegetable) for their antioxidant content.
  • Play a role in promoting the health of the urinary tract, specifically, in reducing the incidence of urinary tract infections in women who have recurring urinary tract infections. Dried cranberries are thought to prevent disease-causing microorganisms from adhering to the lining of the urinary tract.
  • A valuable source of fibre: a 40g serving of dried cranberries provides you with about 9% your RI.
  • Provide you with small quantities of vitamins, including pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and vitamins E and K.
  • Provide you with copper and iron and about 5% (for a 40g serving) of manganese.

 

Dates

  • A valuable source of fibre: a 50g serving of dates (about 7 dates) provides you with about 16% your RI. Dietary fibre can help maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of colon cancer.
  • Contain a wide range of minerals including potassium (just 7 dates will give you about 7% of your RI) manganesemagnesiumironcopper and selenium and zinc.
  • Give you a wide range of vitamins including many of the B vitamins, most notably pyridoxine(vitamin B6).
  • Dates are a rich source of polyphenols, antioxidants derived only from plants. Polyphenols are thought to have a high capacity for reducing oxidative stress in cells in your body by destroying free radicals that can cause disease.
  • Free from saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol, which makes them a heart-healthy food.

 

Figs

  • An extremely valuable source of both soluble and insoluble fibre: a 50g serving (about 5 dried figs) provides you with about a fifth of your RI. Dietary fibre can help maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of colon cancer.
  • A rich source of several minerals: just 50g of dried figs gives you about 6% of your RI for iron, 7% forpotassium and copper, 8% for calcium, and 13% for manganese, a trace mineral whose functions include regulating blood sugar.
  • Provide you with several minerals including thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2) and niacin (vitamin B3). A serving of 50g of dried figs gives you 10% of the RI for vitamin K.
  • Figs are a rich source of antioxidants, ranking as highly for polyphenols (plant compounds that act as antioxidants) as red wine and green tea.

 

Ginger

  • Ginger has been used as a herbal medicine for thousands of years.
  • Contains a chemical that is used as an ingredient in antacidlaxative and anti-flatulencemedications.
  • Uses include: helping digestion and loss of appetite, treating stomach upset, diarrhoea, flatulence,nauseaarthritiscolic, the common cold, headaches and painful menstrual periods.
  • Clinical studies of various forms of ginger (ginger root, powder, extract) indicate its potential uses in medicine, e.g.: motion sicknesspregnancy-related nausea and vomitingchemotherapy-related nausea, nausea and vomiting after surgery, osteoarthritis, high cholesterol, muscle pain caused by exercise and migraine headaches.

 

Goji Berries

Regarded as a superfood thanks to their density of macro- and micronutrients and abundance ofantioxidants. Gram for gram, goji berries have more vitamin C (an antioxidant) than some oranges, and morebeta-carotene (vitamin A) than carrots.

A 30g serving (a large handful) gives you about:

  • 25% of your RI for fibre.
  • 180% of your RI for vitamin A.
  • 30% of your RI for vitamin C.
  • 15% of your RI for iron.
  • 9% of your RI for calcium.
  • 4g of protein (about 8% of that required by a 60kg woman).

 

Mangoes

  • A 50g serving of dried mango gives you nearly 10% of your RI for fibre. Dietary fibre promotes ahealthy bowel function and protects against cardiovascular disease. Dried mangoes contain the fibre pectin, which may help to reduce high blood cholesterol levels.
  • Provide you with beta-carotene (vitamin A) and vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that can help protect important molecules in your body from damage done by free radicals.
  • Provide you with iron and calcium.
  • Saturated fat-free, trans fat-free and sodium-free: a heart-healthy food.

 

Mulberries

Nutrient-dense, a 28g serving of dried mulberries gives you about:

  • A fifth of your daily requirement for fibre.
  • 120% of your RI for vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that is important for a healthy immune response to infection.
  • 20% of your RI for iron — important for the capacity of your blood to carry oxygen around your body.
  • 8% of your RI for calcium — important for healthy bones and teeth.

Mulberries also contain vitamins A, E, K, B vitamins, magnesiumphosphoruspotassiumcopperzinc andselenium.

Mulberries provide phenolic flavonoids such as:

  • Anthocyanins — may protect against chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes.
  • Resveratrol — may protect against stroke.
  • Lutein and beta-carotene, both of which act to protect the cells in your body from the harmful effect of free radicals.
  • Zeaxanthin, an antioxidant whose light-filtering actions are thought to protect the retina from harmful ultraviolet rays.

 

Papaya

  • A valuable source of fibre: a 40g serving provides you with about 20% of your daily need.
  • A 40g serving gives you about 8% of your RI for vitamin ADried papaya also contains vitamin C.
  • A source of calcium, which is important for good bone health, and iron, which is responsible for carrying oxygen to all cells around your body.
  • A source of antioxidants including carotenes and flavonoids, which promote the health of your cardiovascular system.
  • Cholesterol-, trans fat- and saturated fat-free, so is a heart-healthy food.

 

Peaches

  • A valuable source of fibre: 30g of dried peaches provides about 10% of your RI.
  • Give you a wide variety of vitamins: a 30g serving provides about 6% of your RI for vitamin K, 7% of your RI for niacin (vitamin B3) and 13% of your RI for vitamin A.
  • Provide a wide variety of minerals: calciumzincmagnesiumphosphoruscopper andmanganese. A 30g serving provides about 6% of your RI for potassium and 7% of your RI for iron.

 

Pears

  • A very valuable source of fibre: 4 dried pears halves give you just over a fifth of your daily need. Dietary fibre promotes a healthy bowel function and improves blood lipid profile.
  • Just 4 dried pear halves give you several B vitamins, including about 6% of your RI for riboflavin(vitamin B2). They also give you nearly a fifth of your RI for vitamin K.
  • Four dried pear halves give you a host of minerals including calcium, ironmagnesium,phosphoruspotassium, and about 11% of your RI for manganese and 13% of your RI for copper. You need magnesium for healthy bones. Inadequate levels may result in muscle cramps and high blood pressure.
  • Being low in fat, low in sodium and high in fibre, dried pears are a heart-healthy food.

 

Pineapple

  • Two medium slices of dried pineapple give you about 80% of your RI for manganese. People who are at risk of osteoporosis may help to protect their bones from losing density by adding dried pineapple to their diet.
  • Contains beta-carotene, and is an excellent source of another antioxidant, vitamin C: an 80g serving (just under 3oz) provides you with half of your RI for vitamin C.
  • Provides you with potassium, which is important for healthy heart function.
  • Just 3 rings of dried pineapple give you about 16% of your RI for fibre.
  • Contains a mixture of enzymes known as bromelain, which helps your body to digest protein. Bromelain may offer some anti-inflammatory benefits, and has been used for sinusitis andindigestion.

 

Prunes

  • A very valuable source of fibre: a 50g portion of prunes (about 5 prunes) gives you nearly 20% of your RI. Prunes contain both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre. About 60% of the fibre in prunes is pectin, a type of soluble fibre that may lower blood cholesterol levels.
  • The European Food Safety Authority considers that eating about 100g of prunes daily will maintain normal bowel function.
  • Eating prunes can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Prunes are a low glycaemic indexfood, which means your body absorbs the carbohydrates in prunes slowly. Avoiding spikes in blood glucose levels is especially important for people with diabetes.
  • A 50g portion of prunes provides a rich source of minerals including 7% of your daily needs forcopper and manganese, and 8% for potassiumPrunes also contain boron, a mineral important for building strong bones. Research in postmenopausal women showed that eating prunes was linked to an increase in bone mineral density. This may help reduce the risk of developingosteoporosis.
  • A source of several vitamins including the B vitamins. Also give you about 8% of your daily need forvitamin A and over a third of your daily need for vitamin K, which plays a vital role in blood clotting.

 

Raisins

  • A valuable source of fibre: 30g (about a handful) of raisins provide nearly 10% of your RI.
  • Contain an abundance of inulin, a fibre-like carbohydrate that supports healthy digestion and that may slow the growth of harmful bacteria in the colon.
  • Contain phytonutrients that suppress the growth of oral bacteria associated with cavities and gum disease.
  • Contain resveratrol, a compound that the grape vine produces in response to injury and stress e.g., injury caused by fungal infection. Resveratrol is being investigated for its ability to protect against coronary heart disease and to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
  • Provide B vitamins: a handful of raisins gives you about 4% of your RI for vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).
  • A handful provides about 6% of your RI for iron and 7% of your RI for potassium. Important functions of potassium include reducing your heart rate and regulating your blood pressure.
  • Naturally low in sodium and naturally sweet.

 

Raspberries

  • A rich source of antioxidants: dried raspberries rank in the top 10 antioxidant-high fruits and vegetables and have nearly 50% more antioxidant activity than strawberries. Antioxidants are thought to prevent and repair damage to cells caused by free radicals that have been linked to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
  • A source of anthocyanins (anti-inflammatory chemicals that give raspberries their red colour), which may have a range of health benefits including protecting against cardiovascular disease anddiabetes.
  • A very valuable source of fibre: a 30g serving provides you with over a third of your RI.
  • A 30g serving provides you with about 8% of your RI for iron.

 

Strawberries

  • A valuable source of fibre: 30g (about a handful) of dried strawberries provide nearly 10% of your RI.
  • Provide you with about 4% of your RI for calcium and 9% of your RI for iron.
  • A source of vitamin C, which is important for a healthy immune system.
  • Contain an abundance of ellagic acid, a polyphenol that is being investigated for its ability to help with inhibiting certain types of cancer.
  • Sodium-, cholesterol- and saturated fat-free, which makes them a heart-healthy food.

 

Sultanas

  • A 50g portion of sultanas gives you about 5% of your daily requirement for fibre.
  • A source of ironcalciummagnesium and potassium. Potassium is important for several aspects of cardiovascular health.
  • A source of vitamin B1 (thiamin) and vitamin B2 (riboflavin).
  • Sultanas contain quercetin, a type of flavonoid that has
  • antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies carried out in test tubes have shown that quercetin has an antihistamine effect. Researchers are looking at whether quercetin can reduce the symptoms of allergies (runny nosewatery eyes) in humans. Quercetin may reduce LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol.
  • Naturally sweet, and fat free.