Dry fruits and nuts are a healthy option to be had during your snack time. They are calorie-dense, nutrient-dense and a tasty choice for a mid-morning or a tea time snack. Dry fruits and nuts are packed with nutrients such as healthy fats, fiber, proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Though there are healthy fats present in them, they are calorie and sugar-rich. It is essential and important to keep a watch on how much of dry fruits and nuts you eat on a daily basis. In order to avoid consuming excess sodium, have raw and unsalted nuts.
Dry fruits and nuts have a longer shelf life and are easy to pack & carry snacks. Including recommended amounts of dry fruits and nuts as a part of your diet are beneficial and known to improve your health.
Here are the health benefits of some of the dry fruits & nuts -
Almonds: Almonds are tasty, filling nuts that offer us many health benefits. One of the most commonly eaten nuts, it is a rich source of proteins, fiber, vitamins, minerals and has monounsaturated fats in them.
- Almonds help in lowering the LDL cholesterol levels and maintains healthy HDL cholesterol levels.
- Studies have shown that regular consumption of almonds reduces blood sugar levels and improves insulin resistance.
- When consumed as a snack, almonds can keep you full for a long time. It reduces the food cravings and the urge to overeat which helps in maintaining a healthy weight.
- Being a rich source of vitamin E and antioxidants, it fights against cancer, keeps your skin healthy and lowers the signs of skin aging.
- Almonds can be eaten raw, roasted, and is also available as an oil, flour and milk.
Walnuts: A rich source of antioxidants, proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals, walnuts are nutritious nuts. They are also a rich source of polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids.
- The antioxidant activity is higher in walnuts than any other nuts and they are known to be powerful. Antioxidants help to fight against oxidative damage caused by free radicals in our body.
- Studies have found out that walnuts help in increasing HDL cholesterol and reduces total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. So in turn, it assists in lowering the risk of heart attack and other heart disorders.
- Walnuts help in controlling appetite, give you a feeling of fullness and aids in managing a healthy weight.
- It can also manage glucose levels and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Pistachios: Pistachios make a tasty, fun to eat mid-morning or evening snack. They are rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamin B6 and potassium.
- Pistachios have a great number of antioxidants and they hinder cell damage which aids is reducing the risk of cancer. The two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin are present in pistachios. The two antioxidants are important for eye health and protect you from eye-related conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Pistachios reduce the risk of heart diseases as it may improve blood pressure and lowers cholesterol levels.
- There is a feeling of satiety when you consume them as it is a rich source of fiber and proteins. This keeps your food cravings away, the desire to overeat and it can help you in losing your weight.
- Studies have shown that consuming pistachios can have a positive effect on blood sugar levels and it may help in maintaining the levels.
- Vitamin B6 which is found in pistachios assists in hemoglobin formation and hemoglobin is essential for carrying the oxygen from the lungs to the tissues in the body.
Raisins/ Dry grapes: Raisins are the dried form of grapes and nutrients are in the concentrated form. As it is dried fruit, it is calorie and sugar-rich. When eaten in moderation, raisins offers us numerous health benefits. It is one of the commonly eaten dried fruit.
- Raisins help in the process of digestion as it is rich in dietary fibre. It can help to relieve constipation and keeps your bowel movement in check.
- Being a good source of iron, raisins helps in preventing anemia.
- Studies have found out that consuming raisins daily can help in lowering blood pressure.
- Raisins are rich in potassium and it controls blood pressure levels.
Dates: Dates are dry fruits that are enjoyed by all age groups. It is a natural sweetener which are beneficial to our health. The calorie content is high as it is a dried form of a fruit.
- Dates consist of an important mineral, iron which is essential for relieving anemia symptoms.
- If you feel low on energy, eat a few dates as they are an instant energy booster.
- Dates are high in fiber and fiber helps in good digestion. If you are constipated, have few dates as it can give you relief.
- Some studies have shown consuming dates in the later stage of pregnancy is beneficial as it can ease natural labor and reduces the need for induced labor.
Skip the fried foods, chips and processed snacks and go for dry fruits & nuts. They are nutritious, healthy and are perfect snacks to drive your hunger pangs away.