Nutritional value, benefits and uses of dried fruits

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Organic dried fruits

Figs

fig

Figs are a nutrient-dense fruit that can be yellow-green, copper or purple in color. Ficus carica is an Asian species of flowering plants in the mulberry family, known as the common fig (or just the fig). It is the source of the fruit also called the fig, and as such is an important crop in those areas where it is grown commercially. Native to the Middle East and western Asia, it has been sought out and cultivated since ancient times, and is now widely grown throughout the temperate world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant. The species has become naturalized in scattered locations in Asia and North America.[

Nutritional Value: A 1/4 cup serving of dried figs contains 93 calories, 1 gram of protein, 0.4 gram of fat and 24 grams of carbohydrate, including 4 grams of fiber, or 16 percent of the daily value for fiber. Dried figs have more fiber per serving than any other fruit. Each serving of dried figs provides 253 milligrams of potassium and 6 micrograms of vitamin K, or 7 percent of the DV, along with 60 milligrams of calcium and 25 milligrams of magnesium, or 6 percent of the DV for these nutrients. Figs contain a type of antioxidant called phenols.

Health Benefits:

  1. Helpful For Removing Harmful Estrogens
  2. An antioxidant called phenols in figs may lower your risk for heart disease and cancer by preventing cell damage by dangerous free radicals.
  3. Fiber lowers your risk for high cholesterol, heart disease and constipation. The fiber in figs may also help you lose weight since it makes figs more filling, helping you eat fewer calories.

Uses: Soak dried figs for 30 minutes before use so they’ll plump up nicely and puree in a jiffy. The soaking water can also be used in recipes since its rich in nutrients and delightful dark purple color, indicating the high antioxidant content. Try figs in: Raw Almond Vegan Fig Bars, Speculoos Truffles with Fig Almond Crumble, Gluten-Free Fig Newton Clones, Fig and Peach Chia Smoothie, Raw Fig Pie, or Super Health Vegan Berry Fruit Tarts with Chia Seeds. Or, substitute it for dates in any of our energy bite or bar recipes, or toss them in some morning porridge as another option.

 

Plum

plum

Plum  is a a fruit of the subgenus Prunus of the genus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera (peaches, cherries, bird cherries, etc.) in the shoots having a terminal bud and solitary side buds (not clustered), the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one side and a smooth stone (or pit).

Nutritional Value: Dried plums contain quite a bit of fiber – 12.4 grams, 27 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A and  129 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K also 36 percent of the potassium your body requires daily.per 1-cup serving. While fruits are nutritious, eating too many calories – even from healthy foods – can cause weight gain. A serving of 6 pitted, dried plums provides about 150 calories. Going overboard by eating a full cup lands you with 418 calories. Limit your snacks to 100 to 200 calories.

Health Benefits:

  1. Dried plums are more effective than psyllium fiber to relieve constipation.Eating them has long been a home remedy for constipation because of the fiber content.
  2. Including dried plums in your diet may help you avoid vitamin K deficiency in older people correlates to certain medical conditions, such as osteoporosis and atherosclerosis.
  3. potassium-rich foods such as dried plums helps to ensure proper function of the heart and transmission of nerve impulses throughout your body. It may also positively affect bone health.
  4. The vitamin A in this fruit is also helpful for the immune system in general. Not to mention, vitamin A fosters good nighttime vision and protects the cornea.

Uses: Pairing dried plums with lower-glycemic foods, such as nuts and low-fat milk, can help keep your blood sugar and appetite in-check. it can be added into smoothies, salads or mix with raw nuts and seeds.

 

Nectarines

nectarines

Nectarines are similar to plums or peaches, but they are orange or orange-red in color when ripe and have a smooth firm skin. They are slightly larger than plums, and about the same size as mature peaches. 

Nutritional Value: One medium-sized nectarine contains 62 calories and is a good source of a number of minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber. The bright orange-red color of nectarines is due to its high beta-carotene content. One medium-sized nectarine contains 471 international units of vitamin A per serving and contains 8.4 grams of vitamin C. Nectarines, whether fresh or dried, are a good source of dietary fiber. One medium-sized nectarine contains 2.4 grams of dietary fiber and also 285 milligrams of potassium, an important mineral for overall body health and function.  

Health Benefits:

  1. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that helps protect the body from damage from free radicals. Beta-carotene is also converted by the body into vitamin A, although the body will not convert more beta-carotene into vitamin A than is necessary. Vitamin A helps build and maintain healthy skin, teeth, bone tissue, soft tissue and mucus membranes.
  2. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is needed throughout the body for a variety of functions. It makes up part of a protein responsible for producing skin, scar tissue, tendons and ligaments. It also helps to repair cartilage, bones and teeth as well as heal wounds. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that may help prevent cancer, heart disease and some medical conditions such as arthritis.
  3. Dietary fiber helps by adding bulk to your diet, making you feel full on less food, thus reducing the number of calories you consume. Fiber also helps prevent constipation and helps with digestion.
  4. Potassium is a mineral that is necessary for electrical and cellular functions in the body. It plays a role in metabolism, regulates pH balance, assists with protein synthesis and helps with the digestion of carbohydrates.

Uses: It can be added in smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, granola, salads and cereals. 

 

Wild Cherry (Prunus Avium)

cherry

Wild Cherry (Prunus Avium)  is a species of cherry native to Europe, Anatolia, Maghreb, and western Asia, from the British Isles south to Morocco and Tunisia, north to the Trondheimsfjord region in Norway and east to theCaucasus and northern Iran, with a small isolated population in the western Himalaya. The species is widely cultivated in other regions and has become naturalized in North America and Australia.

Nutritional Value: Rich in antioxidants, Cherries also contain anthocyanins which is the red pigment in many fruits. Cherries contain numerous vitamins such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A, and are high in nutrients like beta-carotene, perillyl, ellagic acid, bioflavonoids and potassium. This delightful fruit also produces melatonin.

Health Benefits:

  1. Wild cherry is used for colds, whooping cough, bronchitis and other lung problems; diarrhea; gout; digestive disorders; pain; and cancer.

Uses: A 20-oz. serving of wild cherry slush contains 286 calories with no fat and no cholesterol. Total carbohydrate content is 76 g — all sugar. With 43 g of sodium, a 20-oz. of slush has no protein and no nutritional value. The American Heart Association recommends that women should consume fewer than 100 calories per day of sugar and men should limit their sugar intake to no more than 150 calories a day. That amounts equals about 6 tsp. for women and 9 tsp. for men. Since the total amount of 286 calories is from sugar in a 20-oz. slush that is the equivalent of more than 2.5 times the maximum daily amount for women and about 1.25 times the recommended amount for men.

 

Pear

pear

Pear is native to coastal and mildly temperate regions of the Old World, from Western Europe and North Africa east right across Asia. It is a medium-sized tree, reaching 10–17 metres (33–56 ft) tall, often with a tall, narrow crown; a few species are shrubby.

Nutritional Value: Pears fruit is packed with health benefiting nutrients such as dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins, which are necessary for optimum health. Total measured antioxidant strength (ORAC value) in pears is 2941 µmol TE/100 g.In addition, pear fruit is one of the very low calorie fruits; provides just 58 calories per 100g.They contain good quantities of vitamin C. Fresh fruits provide about 7% of RDA per 100 g. They are moderate sources of antioxidant flavonoids phyto-nutrients such as beta-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin.The fruit is a good source of minerals such as copper, iron, potassium, manganese and magnesium as well as B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). Although not well documented, pears are among the least allergenic of all the fruits.

Health Benefits:

  1. Weight Loss, The average pear contains only 101 calories, which is low. Pears contain a high amount of fiber and have a low glycemic index, so they may help promote a feeling of fullness.

Bottom Line: Pears are high in fiber, which can produce a feeling of fullness and lead to weight loss over time. They may also help increase beneficial bacteria in the digestive system.

  1. Blood Sugar, Type 2 diabetes is a very common disease. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce sufficient insulin. Diet, lifestyle and maintaining a healthy body weight can have a major impact on the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Pears are rich in flavonoids, such as epicatechin, quercetin and anthocyanins. These antioxidants can improve insulin sensitivity and help prevent type 2 diabetes. The skin of pears is also full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances that may reduce the risk of diabetic complications.

Bottom Line: Pears may have benefits against type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and slowing down sugar absorption.

Pears have been suggested in various traditional medicines in the treatment of colitis, chronic gall bladder disorders, arthritis, and gout.

Uses: Dried pear can be added in smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, granola, salads and cereals.

 

Strawberries

ne-sticker-powder6-strawberries

Strawberries, The garden strawberry was first bred in Brittany, France, in the 1750s via a cross of Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America andFragaria chiloensis, which was brought from Chile by Amédée-François Frézier in 1714. Cultivars of Fragaria × ananassa have replaced, in commercial production, the woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca), which was the first strawberry species cultivated in the early 17th century. Technically, the strawberry is an aggregate accessory fruit, meaning that the fleshy part is derived not from the plant’s ovaries but from thereceptacle that holds the ovaries.[4] Each apparent “seed” (achene) on the outside of the fruit is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it.

Nutritional Value: Strawberries mainly consist of water (91%) and carbohydrates (7.7%). They contain only minor amounts of fat (0.3%) and protein (0.7%). One cup of whole strawberries (150 grams) contains less than 50 calories.

Health Benefits:

  1. Boost Immunity (excellent source of vitamin C).
  2. Promote eye health.
  3. Help fight cancer.
  4. Keep wrinkles at bay.
  5. Fight bad cholesterol.
  6. Reduce inflammation.
  7. Regulate blood pressure.
  8. Boost fibre.
  9. Aid in weight management.
  10. Promote pre-natal health.

Uses: 1. for a delightful Dairy-Free Strawberry Frosting, 2. Grain-Free Granola, 3. Create amazing mock-KIND bars with a burst of strawberry flavor, 4. Blend them in with your favorite Fruit–n-Veggie Smoothies, for an extra punch of flavor, 5. Mix them into your favorite Grain-Free Breakfast Porridge, and many more.

 

Lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)

lingoberries

Lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) is a short evergreen shrub in the heath family that bears edible fruit, native to boreal forest and Arctic tundra throughout the Northern Hemisphere from Eurasia to North America. Lingonberries are picked in the wild and used to accompany a variety of dishes in Northern Fennoscandia. Commercial cultivation is undertaken in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

Nutritional Value: Lingonberry is rich source of fibers, sugar, vitamin A, vitamin C and magnesium. Lingonberry also consists of large amount of flavonoids and lignans. Lignans and flavonoids are believed to be anti-cancer. Lingonberry is also rich in benzoic acid, thus, they are often used as antimicrobial agents in food preparations. Arbutin content in Lingonberry is about 4.44%. While, the level of hydrophilic carboxylic acids in lingonberry is about 2.27-3.05%.

Among 25 common edible berries, bog whortleberry has the highest content of quercetin and lingonberry is at the second place (74 and 146 mg/kg).

Health Benefits:

Lingonberries have been used as both food and medicine for centuries. Compared to any other berries, they are of no less value and it fights against the effects of a high-fat diet and blocking weight gain. Spaced out from that, they fight against diabetes and obesity as well. Coming to the nutritional profile of these berries, whole Lingonberries or the juices of it have been recognized to have certain beneficial compounds like Quercetin and proanthocyanidin which is also abundant in cranberries. In addition, the leaves of Lingonberry have been shown to be full of bioactive compounds like arbutin- a phytochemical. In traditional Austrian medication the fruits have been managed internally as jelly or syrup for healing of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys and urinary tract, and fever.

Uses: Lingonberries can be used raw or cooked in a variety of ways including preserves, stirred into sauces, breads, drinks and smoothies, baked goods, and desserts.

 

Apple

apple

Apple tree (Malus domestica) is a deciduous tree in the rose family best known for its sweet, pomaceous fruit, the apple. It iscultivated worldwide as a fruit tree, and is the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse, Greek and European Christian traditions.

Nutritional Value: Apples are rich in antioxidant phyto-nutrients flavonoids and polyphenolics. The total measured anti-oxidant strength (ORAC value) of 100 g apple fruit is 5900 TE. Some of the important flavonoids in apples arequercetin, epicatechin, and procyanidin B2. Apple fruit contains good quantities of vitamin-C and beta-carotene. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Further, apple fruit is a good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6),              Apples also carry a small amount of minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.

Health Benefits:

  1. Get whiter, healthier teeth
  2. Avoid Alzheimer’s and Protect against Parkinson’s
  3. Curb all sorts of cancers and Decrease your risk of diabetes
  4. Reduce cholesterol and Get a healthier heart
  5. Prevent gallstones
  6. Beat diarrhea and constipation
  7. Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome
  8. Avert hemorrhoids
  9. Control your weight
  10. Detoxify your liver
  11. Boost your immune system
  12. Prevent cataracts

Uses: Dried apples can be added in smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, granola, salads and cereals.

 

Cherry

cherry

Cherry fruits of commerce usually are obtained from a limited number of species such as cultivars of the sweet cherry, Prunus avium. The name ‘cherry’ also refers to the cherry tree, and is sometimes applied to almonds and visually similar flowering trees in the genus Prunus, as in “ornamental cherry”, “cherry blossom”, etc. Wild Cherry may refer to any of the cherry species growing outside of cultivation, although Prunus avium is often referred to specifically by the name “wild cherry” in the British Isles.

Nutritional Value: Cherries are pigment rich fruits. These pigments, in fact, are polyphenolic flavonoid compounds known asanthocyanin glycosides. Cherries compose of melatonin anti-oxidant. Further, they are also small source of zinc; and moderate sources of iron, potassium, and manganese; and good source of copper. The fruits, especially tart cherries are exceptionally rich in health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic anti-oxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin and beta carotene and also anti-inflammatory property. Acerola or West Indian cherry has exceptionally very high levels of vitamin-C (1677.6 mg per 100 g or 2796 % of RDA) and vitamin-A (767 IU per 100 g).

Health Benefits:

  1. Protection from Diabetes
  2. Helps You Sleep Better
  3. Decreases Belly Fat
  4. Helps Ward of Alzheimer’s
  5. Reduces Risk of Stroke
  6. Slows the Aging of Skin
  7. Lowers Risk of Gout Attacks
  8. Reduces Muscle Pain
  9. Good for the Heart
  10. Helps with osteoarthritis relief
  11. Helps to Prevent Colon Cancer

Uses: It can be used in various way of preparing foods such as cake, smoothies, desserts, and many other.

 

Schisandra

schisandraberries

Schisandra berries is the berry of Schisandra chinensis owes its name Wu Wei Zi (five flavored berry) to the fact that it is sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent. Nobody eats this stuff with yogurt. Rather, Schisandra berry is made into various medicinal preparations for longevity and overall vitality. 

Nutritional Value: It contains significant anti-oxidant, an adaptogen aspect and anti-inflammatory.

Health Benefits: Schisandra is used as an “adaptogen” for increasing resistance to disease and stress, increasing energy, and increasing physical performance and endurance. Schisandra is also used for preventing early aging and increasing lifespan; normalizing blood sugar and blood pressure; and stimulating the immune system and speeding recovery after surgery. It is also used for treating liver disease (hepatitis) and protecting the liver from poisons.

The Chinese have developed a liver-protecting drug called DBD that is made from schisandrin, one of the chemicals in schisandra. Other uses for schisandra include treatment of high cholesterol, coughs, asthma, sleep problems (insomnia), nerve pain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), chronic diarrhea, dysentery, night sweats, spontaneous sweating, involuntary discharge of semen, thirst, erectile dysfunction (ED), physical exhaustion, excessive urination, depression, irritability, and memory loss. Some people use schisandra for improving vision, protecting against radiation, preventing motion sickness, preventing infection, boosting energy at the cellular level, counteracting the effects of sugar, and improving the health of the adrenal glands.

Uses: Schisandra fruit is used as an adaptogen at dosages of 1.5 to 6 g/day. A standardized extract containing 3.4% schisandrin has been used in a clinical trial for improved athletic performance at 91 mg/day of extract. Examples of various doses used in Russia include the following: Tinctura Fructum : Schisandrae prepared with air-dried fruits and 95% ethanol given as 20 to 30 drops twice daily; Tinctura Seminum : Schizandrae prepared with dried seeds and 95% ethanol given as 20 to 30 drops twice daily;Infusion Fructum : Schizandrae prepared with air-dried fruits and water (1:20 w/v) given as 150 mL twice daily; Fructum Schizandrae : contains air-dried fruits given at a dose of 0.5 to 1.5 g twice daily; Schizandra seed powder : given as 0.5 to 1.5 g twice daily before lunch and dinner over 20 to 30 days;Schizandra seed extract : prepared with air-dried seed and 95% ethanol given as a single dose of 0.05 or 0.2 mL/kg.

 

Rasperries

raspberries

Rasperries is the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus of the rose family, most of which are in thesubgenus Idaeobatus; the name also applies to these plants themselves. Raspberries are mostly grown as red (Rubus idaeus) and, black (Rubus occidentalis) varieties. However, there are also purple varieties (a cross between red and black raspberries) and yellow varieties (a mutation of red or black raspberries) (Penn State – Extension, 2014). Production occurs across much of the country, although most of it is concentrated in California, Oregon and Washington. California leads the nation in both black and red raspberry production.

Nutritional Value: According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of raspberries (about 123 grams) contains 64 calories, 1.5 grams of protein, 0.8 grams of fat, and 15 grams of carbohydrate (including 8 grams of fiber and 5 grams of sugar). Eating one cup of raw raspberries will provide 54% of your vitamin C needs, 12% of vitamin K, 6% of folate, 5% of vitamin E, iron, and potassium, and 41% of manganese needs for the day as well as lesser amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and copper.

Health Benefits:

  1. Brain power.
  2. Heart health.
  3. Cancer prevention.
  4. Diabetes management.
  5. Digestion detox and disease prevention.
  6. Easy on the eyes.

Uses: people usually use it for a healthy lifestyle, or diet. Maintain weight. Some people also use it as a medicine.

 

Raisins blonde sultana

ne-sticker-powder6-blonde-raisin

Raisins blonde sultana are juicy and unique in their appearance, sweetness and energy content. Raisins are a wonderful natural product with a high nutritional value rich in energy, vitamins and minerals.They are brought to you without the use of preservatives, colourings or other additives. The Blonde Sultana Raisins are cultivated by strictly controlled and selected producers in Greece, in regions of Protected Designation of Origin for this product. They are collected, sun dried, cleaned and carefully washed without the use of preservatives, colourings or other additives at our factories, which are undoubtedly considered to be among the best in the industry and in accordance with the strictest international health and quality control regulations such as ISO 9001 and ISO 22000.

Nutritional Value: Raisins are sweet due to their high concentration of sugars (about 30 g of fructose and 28 g of glucose in 100 g of raisins). The sugars can crystallize inside the fruit when stored after a long period, making the dry raisins gritty, but that does not affect their usability. These sugar grains can be dissolved by blanching the fruit in hot water or other liquids. 100 grams of raisins to about 300 calories and contains approximately, carbohydrates 75%, 5.3 % fiber, 2.8 % protein and high in potassium

Health Benefits:

Raisins combine the benefits of grapes and also provide other. However, they have more calories than fresh grapes but they also contain a fourfold proportion of trace elements: calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium (combat hypertension) minerals and carbohydrates, and vitamins (except vitamin C), especially B. Its fibers are well tolerated by the body and have a favourable effect on the gastrointestinal tract and colon. This dry fruit, concentrated in polyphenols, is recommended especially for its antioxidant qualities preserving the cardiovascular system (reducing the bad cholesterol). It also helps prevent muscle fatigue, cramping and is therefore recommended for athletes (because it facilitates fast recovery).

Uses: They can be eaten raw or used cooked in some recipes.

 

Raisin black

ne-sticker-powder6-black-raisin

Raisin black is a dried grape. Raisins are produced in many regions of the world and may be eaten raw or used in cooking, baking, andbrewing. In the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia, the word “raisin” is reserved for the dark-coloured dried large grape, with “sultana” being a golden-coloured dried grape, and “currant” being a dried small Black Corinth seedless grape. The word “raisin” dates back to Middle English and is a loanword from Old French; in modern French, raisin means “grape”, while a dried grape is a raisin sec, or “dry grape”. The Old French word, in turn, developed from the Latin word racemus, “a bunch of grapes”.

Nutritional Value: 100 grams of raisins to about 300 calories and contains approximately, carbohydrates 75%, 5.3 % fiber, 2.8 % protein and high in potassium also vitamin B and vitamin C.

Health Benefits:

Raisins combine the benefits of grapes and also provide other. However, they have more calories than fresh grapes but they also contain a fourfold proportion of trace elements: calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium (combat hypertension) minerals and carbohydrates, and vitamins (except vitamin C), especially B. Its fibers are well tolerated by the body and have a favourable effect on the gastrointestinal tract and colon. This dry fruit, concentrated in polyphenols, is recommended especially for its antioxidant qualities preserving the cardiovascular system (reducing the bad cholesterol). It also helps prevent muscle fatigue, cramping and is therefore recommended for athletes (because it facilitates fast recovery), but also for people with abdominal obesity. 

Uses: Raisins can be cooked in culinary preparations or consumed raw, as a candy.

 

Prunes

prunes

Prunes is a dried plum of any cultivar, mostly Prunus domestica or European Plum. The use of the term for fresh fruit is obsolete except when applied to varieties grown for drying. Most dried prunes are freestone cultivars (the pit is easy to remove), whereas most other plums grown for fresh consumption are clingstone (the pit is more difficult to remove). More than 1,000 plum cultivars are grown for drying. The main cultivar grown in the United States is the Improved French prune. Other varieties include Sutter, Tulare Giant, Moyer, Imperial, Italian, and Greengage. Fresh prunes reach the market earlier than fresh plums and are usually smaller in size.

Nutritional Value: One cup of prunes, or dried plums, has 418 calories, 3.8 grams of protein, 6 grams of total fat and 111 gram of total carbohydrates. Prunes are a great source of vitamins and A, niacin, riboflavin and vitamin B-6. Prunes provide 75 mg of calcium and 120 mg of phosphorus in a 1-cup serving. This serving also gives you 1.6 mg of iron and 1,274 mg of potassium. Prunes are also a good source of several essential trace minerals. A 1-cup serving contains .77 mg of zinc, .49 mg of copper and .52 mg of manganese.

Health Benefits:

  1. They protect against cardiovascular diseases and other chronic illnesses, Prunes and plums contain high levels of phytonutrients called phenols.They’re particularly high in two unique phytonutrients called neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid.
  2. They help prevent type 2 diabetes and obesity, Prunes and plums are high in soluble fibre that helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. Soluble fibre slows the rate that food leaves the stomach and, as a result, delays the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. Soluble fibre also increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
  3. Prunes and plums help to lower cholesterol, the soluble fibre we just spoke of also helps to lower cholesterol by soaking up excess bile in the intestine and then excreting it.
  4. Get improved bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  5. They’re a good source of vitamin K and beta carotene.

Uses: Prunes deserve their reputation as a laxative because a 1-cup serving has 12 grams of dietary fiber. This means that a 1-cup serving of prunes provides 32 percent of the fiber that men need daily and 48 percent of the amount that women require each day, based on the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine. It can be added into smoothies, salads, etc.

 

Pomegranate (Punica granatum)

pomegratate

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree in the family Lythraceae that grows between 5 and 8 m (16 and 26 ft) tall. In the Northern Hemisphere, the fruit is typically in season from September to February, and in the Southern Hemisphere from March to May. As intact arils or juice, pomegranates are used in cooking, baking, meal garnishes, juice blends, smoothies, and alcoholic beverages, such as cocktails and wine. The pomegranate originated in the region of modern-day Iran and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region and northern India. It was introduced into America (Spanish America) in the late 16th century and California by Spanish settlers in 1769.

Nutritional Value: The fruit is moderate in calories, holds about 83 calories per 100 grams. It contains no cholesterol or saturated fats.It is a good source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers; providing about 4 grams per 100 g (about 12% of RDA). Total antioxidant strength of pomegranate fruit measured in terms of its oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) is 2341 µmol TE/100 g. The fruit is an also good source of antioxidant vitamin-C, provides about 17% per 100 g of daily requirement. Further, it is an also good source of many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), folates, pyridoxine and vitamin K, and minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, and manganese.

Health Benefits:

  1. Pomegranates Are Loaded With Important Nutrients
  2. Pomegranates Contain Two Plant Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties
  3. Pomegranate Has Impressive Anti-Inflammatory Effects
  4. Pomegranate May Help Fight Prostate Cancer
  5. Pomegranate May Also be Useful Against Breast Cancer
  6. Pomegranate May Lower Blood Pressure
  7. Pomegranate May Help Fight Arthritis and Joint Pain
  8. Pomegranate May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
  9. Pomegranate May Help Treat Erectile Dysfunction
  10. Pomegranate Can Help Fight Bacterial and Fungal Infections
  11. Pomegranate May Help Improve Memory

Uses: It can be used as additional flavour to the salads, cookies, muffins, and many more.

 

Mulberries (Morus Nigra)

mulberries

Mulberries (Morus Nigra) are are fast-growing when young, but soon become slow-growing and rarely exceed 10–15 m (33–49 ft) tall. The leaves are alternately arranged, simple and often lobed; lobes are more common on juvenile shoots than on mature trees. The leaves are serrated on the margin. The trees can be monoecious or dioecious. The mulberry fruit is a multiple fruit, 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) long. Immature fruits are white, green, or pale yellow. In most species the fruits turn pink and then red while ripening, then dark purple or black, and have a sweet flavor when fully ripe. The fruits of the white-fruited cultivar are white when ripe; the fruit of this cultivar is also sweet, but has a very bland flavor compared with darker varieties.

Nutritional Value: Mulberries have significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called anthocyanins. The berries contain resveratrol, another polyphenol flavonoid antioxidant. In addition, these berries are an excellent sources of vitamin-C (36.4 mg per 100, about 61% of RDI), which is also a powerful natural antioxidant. Further, the berries also contain small amounts of vitamin A, and vitamin E, in addition to the above-mentioned antioxidants. Consumption of mulberry provides another group of health promoting flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin, ß-carotene and a-carotene in small but notably significant amounts. Also some minerals and other vitamins.

Health Benefits:

  1. Source of Antioxidants
  2. Immune System Support
  3. Supports Healthy Blood Sugar
  4. Healthy Food, Dried mulberries are a great source of protein, vitamin C and K, fiber, and iron.
  1. Resists Redness
  2. Brain Protection? Do mulberries offer anything to the brain? Researchers at Khon Kaen University in Thailand set out to answer that question by evaluating the effect of mulberry on male rats with memory impairment and brain damage. Although further investigation is required before mulberries can be declared a cognitive enhancer and neuro-protectant, rats that consumed mulberries had better memories and less oxidative stress.

Uses: Dried mulberries can be added in smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, granola, salads and cereals.

 

Lychee (Litchi chinensis)

lychee

Lychee (Litchi chinensis) is a tropical and subtropical fruit tree native to the Guangdong and Fujian provinces of China, and now cultivated in many parts of the world. The fresh fruit has a “delicate, whitish pulp” with a floral smell and a fragrant, sweet flavor. Since this perfume-like flavor is lost in the process of canning, the fruit is usually eaten fresh. An evergreen tree reaching 10–28 metres (33–92 ft) tall, the lychee bears fleshy fruits that are up to 5 cm long and 4 cm wide (2.0 in × 1.6 in), approximately 20g. The outside of the fruit is covered by a pink-red, roughly textured rind that is inedible but easily removed to expose a layer of sweet, translucent white flesh.

Nutritional Value: dried lychee is significantly higher in sugar and calories. One 1/2 cup serving has 263 calories and 63g sugar, but it also provides 3.6g of proteins and 4.4 g of fiber. Doubled as much of raw lychee in vitamin C, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and a powerful antioxidant. It also provides 1.054mg potassium, 1.62mg iron, 172mg phosphorus as minerals supplements.

Health Benefits:

  1. Digestion: The significant amount of dietary fiber in lychee, as in most fruits and vegetables, helps add bulk to your stool and increases your digestive health.
  2. Immune System: This means that your immune system gets a major boost, as vitamin C is a major antioxidant compound and is known to stimulate the activity of white blood cells, the main defensive line of your body’s immune system.
  3. Cancer Prevention: The polyphenolic compounds and proanthocyanidins found in lychee are actually even more powerful than vitamin C in neutralizing free radicals and protecting the body from various diseases and afflictions.
  4. Antiviral Capacity: The proanthocyanidins in lychee have been studied extensively, and they have also demonstrated antiviral capabilities.
  5. Blood Pressure: Lychee has a wealth of potassium, meaning that it can help your body maintain a fluid balance; lychee is also low in sodium, which also helps.
  6. Blood Circulation: Copper is another essential mineral found in considerable quantities in lychee, and although iron is most commonly associated with red blood cells, copper is also an integral part of RBC formation.

Uses: It can be used in mixed fruits or green salads.

 

Goji berries

godiberries

Goji berries or wolfberry is the fruit of Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense, two closely related species of boxthorn in the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The family also includes the potato, tomato, eggplant, belladonna, chili pepper, and tobacco. The two species are native to Asia. These species produce a bright orange-red, ellipsoid berry 1–2 cm in diameter. The number of seeds in each berry varies widely based on cultivar and fruit size, containing 10–60 tiny yellow seeds that are compressed with a curved embryo. The berries ripen from July to October in the Northern Hemisphere.

Nutritional Value: Serving Size: 1 oz (28 g) – about 1/4 cup: Calories: 95 (0 g from Fat), Dietary Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 4 g, Sodium: 75 mg, Sugars (natural): 12 g, Carbohydrates: 24 g, Vitamin A: (140% of DRI), Vitamin C: (20% of DRI), Calcium: (4% of DRI), Iron: (10% of DRI).

Health Benefits:

1.Protection of Eye Health, According to a study published in February 2011 in “Optometry and Vision Science,” daily supplementation of goji berries over the course of 90 days significantly aids in the prevention of soft drusen accumulation in the eyes of elderly patients, an early warning sign of age-related macular degeneration. This exact mechanism behind this effect is currently unclear. Taurine, a compound found in goji berries, is also beneficial in slowing the development of eye conditions related to diabetes.

  1. Cancer-Fighting Properties, Small, fleshy berries like the goji berry contain antioxidant compounds known as polyphenols that could protect against the development of cancer. These antioxidants fight against, diminish and repair cell damage that results from inflammation and oxidative stress from free radicals, preventing the likelihood of cancerous tumor development. Antioxidants like those in goji berries may also improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy by weakening tumor cells, reports a study published in 2008 in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
  2. Improved Feelings of Well-being and significantly reduced inflammatory sunburn response to prolonged simulated ultraviolet radiation.

Uses: Dried goji berries are used herbal teas, juices, wine, smoothies, salads dressings and medicines.

 

Dates (Phoenix dactylifera)

dates

Dates (Phoenix dactylifera) is a flowering plant species in the palm family Arecaceae, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around Iraq. The species is widely cultivated and is naturalized in many tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. Phoenix dactylifera grows 70–75 feet (21–23 m) in height, growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system. The leaves are 4–6 metres (13–20 ft) long, with spines on the petiole, and pinnate, with about 150 leaflets; the leaflets are 30 cm (12 in) long and 2 cm (0.79 in) wide. The full span of the crown ranges from 6–10 m (20–33 ft).

Nutritional Value: The following nutritional data outlines some of the key nutrients found in dates, and is based on a 100g serving of the fruit. Fiber – 6.7 grams. 27% RDA. Potassium – 696 milligrams. 20% RDA. Copper – 0.4 milligrams. 18% RDA. Manganese – 0.3 milligrams. 15% RDA. Magnesium – 54 milligrams. 14% RDA. Vitamin B6 – 0.2 milligrams. 12% RDA.

Health Benefits:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Relieving constipation, supporting regular bowel movements
  3. Promoting heart health, reducing heart disease risk
  4. Help in Diarrhea treatment
  5. Help in reducing Iron-deficiency anemia
  6. Reducing blood pressure
  7. Help in Impotence treatment
  8. Promoting respiratory and digestive health
  9. Help in Pregnancy deliveries
  10. Hemorrhoid prevention
  11. Chronic conditions such as arthritis
  12. Reducing colitis risk
  13. Preventing colon cancer

Uses: Dates are high in sugar content – coming in at a whopping 66.5 grams per 100 gram serving of the fruit. It is recommended to lessen sugar consumption as much as possible, even when the sugar is being consumed from fruit.

 

Cranberries

cranberries

Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the subgenus Oxycoccus of the genus Vaccinium. In North America, cranberry may refer to Vaccinium macrocarpon. Vaccinium macrocarpon is cultivated throughout the northern United States, Canada and Chile.Cranberries are low, creeping shrubs or vines up to 2 metres (7 ft) long and 5 to 20 centimetres (2 to 8 in) in height: It is edible, with an acidic taste that can overwhelm its sweetness.

Nutritional Value: 100g dried cranberries equals on average 200gof fresh cranberries. Delicious, tart cranberries hold significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals calledpro-anthocyanidins (PAC’s).Antioxidant compounds in cranberries such as oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC’s), anthocyanidin flavonoids, cyanidin, peonidin and quercetin. In addition, the berries are also good source of many vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, ß-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and folate and minerals like potassium, and manganese. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity or ORAC (measurement of antioxidant strength of food items) demonstrates cranberry at an ORAC score of 9584 µmol TE units per 100 g, one of the highest in the category of edible berries.

Health Benefits:

  1. Cranberries helps reduce the adhesion of certain bacteria to the urinary tract walls, in turn fighting off infections.
  2. Cranberries may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by preventing platelet build-up and reducing blood pressure via anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
  3. Research has shown that cranberries are beneficial in slowing tumor progression and have shown positive effects against prostate, liver, breast, ovarian, and colon cancers.
  4. Proanthocyanidins in cranberries that help prevent UTIs may also benefit oral health by preventing bacteria from binding to teeth and also be beneficial in preventing gum disease.

Uses: the recommended serving size for dried cranberries is 1/3 cup which counts as slightly less than 1 serving of fruit. It is a nice addition to salads, cereal or alone as snack. 1 serving of dried cranberries only contains 130 calories.

 

Buckthorn berries

buckthornberries1

Buckthorn berries is Sea buckthorn, a hardy, cold-climate plant originating from the mountains of China and Russia. This valuable plant multi-tasks as a food and medicinal source and as a barrier to prevent soil erosion in Northern climates. Its Latin name, Hippophae rhamnoides, means “making horses bright,” a reference to the food of horses belonging to Genghis Khan’s troops.

Nutritional Value: High in a variety of antioxidants. Contains all essential fatty acids. Contains a huge variety of minerals and vitamins. Studies indicate that it contains natural anti-inflammatory properties. Per 100g contains 425cal, protein 10.2g, fat 25.1g of which omega 76.3g, carbohydrate 26.8g, fiber 27.3g, vitamin E 11.3mg, vitamin C 4.67mg, beta-carotene 2.64mg.

Health Benefits:

  1. May be beneficial in improving cardiovascular health
  2. May be effective in normalizing blood sugar
  3. May be useful for digestion
  4. May increase energy
  5. May help improve blood circulation
  6. May be useful in treating ulcers
  7. Traditionally used for internal and topical therapy for a variety of skin disorders
  8. May be effective in relieving cough and chronic pain
  9. May be helpful in promoting skin health, including treatment of acne, dermatitis, or eczema
  10. May help to heal stretch marks or burns
  11. May signal the body to stop storing unnecessary fat
  12. May enhance cellular rejuvenation
  13.  Studies have shown it to improve brain and nervous system function
  1. Often used as a natural energy booster
  2. May be effective in improving nervous system health

Uses: Usually dried buckthorn berries will fill up a porridge, yogurt, or salad with edible amount for 1 serving.

 

Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)

blueberries

Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) are perennial flowering plants with indigo-colored berries from the section Cyanococcus within the genus Vaccinium (a genus that also includes cranberries, bilberries and grouseberries). Species in the section Cyanococcus are the most common fruits sold as “blueberries” and are native to North America (commercially cultivated highbush blueberries were not introduced into Europe until the 1930s).

Nutritional Value: Dried blueberries pack a nutritional punch. They are low in sodium and in calories. Dried blueberries are rich in vitamin K and vitamin C. Dried blueberries are also a good source of fiber and a rich source of anthocyanins, which are potent phytochemicals that give these fruits their blue color.

Health Benefits:

  1. Vitamin K helps your blood clot properly and plays a crucial role in your bone health. Furthermore, vitamin K helps your body use calcium to build bones. Evidence suggests that vitamin K helps cut the risk of bone fractures, especially in postmenopausal women who are at risk for osteoporosis.
  2. A water-soluble vitamin, vitamin C aids in bone growth and tissue repair. Our body needs vitamin C for healing wounds, as well as for repairing and maintaining your teeth and bones. Vitamin C also helps build collagen, which is a protein used to form ligaments, skin, blood vessels, tendons and cartilage. Collagen limits the damaging effects of free radicals through its antioxidant activity. Free radicals are unstable compounds that damage your DNA and may contribute to heart disease and cancer.
  3. It may help prevent type 2 diabetes, may lower blood sugar and insulin levels and may improve cholesterol levels in people with diabetes.
  4. Its anthocyanins help fight free radicals, improved cardiovascular health, also have shown notable improvements in metabolic risk factors such as glucose metabolism, lipid peroxidation, total plasma antioxidant capacity and low-density lipoprotein oxidation.

Uses: There are many ways for you to enjoy these sweet treats. You can make a smoothie by blending dried blueberries and a banana with a low-fat milk or add blueberries to hot oatmeal.

 

Black currant (Ribes nigrum)

blackcurrant

Black currant (Ribes nigrum) is a woody shrub in the family Grossulariaceae grown for its piquant berries. It is native to temperate parts of central and northern Europe and northern Asia where it prefers damp fertile soils and is widely cultivated both commercially and domestically. It is winter hardy but cold weather at flowering time during the spring reduces the size of the crop.

Nutritional Value: Dried black currants are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are low-fat, cholesterol-free and high-protein, with each cup of dried currants containing 5.88 grams of protein. Dried currants are also an excellent source of nutrients that are essential for health, including dietary fiber, vitamin B6, copper, iron, manganese and potassium.

Health Benefits:

  1. Potassium is what allow the muscles to contract properly, also allows heart to function properly and it is used throughout the body to transfer electricity since it is an electrolyte.
  2. Iron is essential to the body because it allows the organs to get oxygen and the body to store energy for survival. Iron is contained in everu red blood cell, and it is a part of the cell that transports oxygen throughout the body. It is also needed when mitocondria are converting sugar into ATP, the body’s energy storage compound.
  3. Dried black currants are a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. A high intake of soluble fiber may lower your risk of diabetes and high blood cholesterol, while plenty of insoluble fiber helps regulate bowel movements and may prevent digestive disorders. Fiber-rich foods like dried currants may also decrease your risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke and hypertension.
  4. Vitamin B6 in currants helps in assisting in the formation of red blood cells, allowing oxygen to travel around the body.
  5. Dried black currants provide 674 micrograms of copper in every cup. Copper is used by the body to synthesize collagen and to promote the absorption of iron. It is also necessary for energy metabolism and to inhibit free radical compounds from damaging cellular tissue and DNA. Adequate copper intake may lower your chances of developing osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, thyroid problems and anemia.

Uses: Prepared from the small, berry-like fruit native to Europe, dried black currents are often used as a substitute for raisins, dates or prunes in baked goods.

 

Arpricot (Prunus Armenia)

apricot

Arpricot (Prunus Armenia) is a fruit or the tree that bears the fruit of several species in the genus Prunus (stone fruits).The flesh is usually firm and not very juicy. Its taste can range from sweet to tart. The singleseed is enclosed in a hard, stony shell, often called a “stone”, with a grainy, smooth texture except for three ridges running down one side.

Nutritional Value: Apricots are excellent sources of vitamin-A (carotenoids) and potassium also high in fiber without sugar with low glycemix index. Both of these compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision.

Health Benefits:

1. Apricot good for your eyes.

2. Rich Antioxidants in apricot.

3. Fiber are health booster.

4. Heart healthy.

5. Potassium for a healthy you.

6. Non-heme iron. The iron content in apricots is helpful in preventing you from developing anemia.

7. Apricot for cancer. The production of free radicals is a direct result of some molecules’ reaction with oxygen. Antioxidants are essentially body cleansing compounds that control these free radicals.

8. Skin benefits with apricot.

9. Help you lose weight.

10. Strengthens your bones.

11. Electrolyte content.

Uses: Footnotes for Apricots, dried, sulfured, uncooked Percent Daily Values (%DV) are for adults or children aged 4 or older, and are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.

 

Aronia berries (Chokeberries)

aroniaberries

Aronia berries (Chokeberries) is the small dark berries of the Aronia melanocarpa plant are native to eastern North America and most commonly found in wet woods and swamps. The genus is usually considered to contain two or three species, one of which is naturalizedin Europe. A fourth form that has long been cultivated under the name Aronia is now considered to be an intergeneric hybrid, Sorbaronia mitschurinii.

Nutritional Value: Chokeberries are low in calories and fats. 100 g of fresh berries carry 47calories. Nonetheless, they are one of the nature’s richest sources of flavonoid anthocyanin antioxidants. They are rich in flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotenes, luteins & zeaxanthins. Further, they are also good sources of many antioxidant vitamins like vitamin-C, vitamin A, vitamin E, beta-carotene and folate and minerals like potassium, iron and manganese. 100 g of fresh berries provide about 35% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin C.

Health Benefits:

  1. Antioxidant Source, Antioxidant protect the body’s cell from the damaging effect of oxidation.
  2. The second great benefit of consuming aronia berries is keeping good urinary tract health.
  3. Improve blood circulation and strengthens blood vessels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  4. Aronia helps greatly in keeping blood pressure at normal levels.
  5. Aronia can be very beneficial for people who want to prevent diabetes and it can also help people manage diabetes – associated conditions.
  6. Dried Aronia is a great medicine for kidney and stomach problems.
  7. Anti – Carcirogenetic effect.
  8. Anti – Inflammatory properties, suppress viruses.
  9. Eyes protection. The super berries contain a large amount of carotene, which protects cells from damage and the eyes from cataract formation.
  10. Weight control. Aronia can help prevent the body from storing fat around the abdomen, a problem which many people are constantly facing. An added benefit from having aronia berries included in your diet is that it can also improve your cholesterol and lipid levels, by helping the body to produce good cholesterol.

Uses: It can be eaten as a healthy snack, added to muesli, or used in muffins and other baked goodies. In some countries, dried aronia berries are used to make antioxidant-rich herbal tea.