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Fresh fruits are well known for their numerous health benefits. However due to the high moisture content of fresh fruits, several technological processes including dehydration have been developed in order to preserve fruits and enhance the shelf life. The shelf life of dried fruits is higher compared to fresh fruits. The dehydration process also increases the nutritional value due to the concentration of numerous nutrients present in fruits.
Fruits contain several healthful compounds including polyphenols, flavonoids etc. which have numerous health promoting properties. These include antioxidant activity and beneficial effects for several health disorders including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases.
Dried fruits also have high contents of potassium and fiber. The high content of potassium helps in improvement in blood pressure and the fiber content of dried fruits also has beneficial effects with respect to various digestive health conditions.
There is speculation that the concentration of sugars in dried fruits could have an adverse effect on conditions such as diabetes. However, several studies have shown that consumption of dried fruits does not have a significant adverse impact on these conditions possibly due to the modulation of their health benefits with the presence of other dietary components such as phenols, flavonoids etc.
Dried fruits can be used as functional foods and incorporation of dried fruits in your diet daily can result in better health outcomes. Several fruits can also be processed into different forms such as purees, and used in the food industry as ingredients or additives.