Is dried fruit really good for you?
The answer, thankfully, is yes! The health benefits of air-dried fruits are numerous and it is a very efficient way to get the micronutrients your body needs. The air-drying process raises fresh fruit to a high temperature for a long period of time so that the water content evaporates, leaving behind a smaller, more lightweight and nutritionally dense version.
Why our dried fruit is different
We left the peels on!
The peel of the fruit is incredibly nutritionally dense, full of fiber and adds texture and flavor! It may look different than your average dried fruit, and we intended that. The rind of the orange is on and completely edible, the peel of the pear is on, the whole fig is there, and so on. When you eat the Wild Zora air-dried fruit, you know you are getting the full benefit of the fruit you are eating. Because, why would we take away all the stuff that's good for you?
There are no additives to make them look prettier.
Our apricots and our bananas are brown, not the bright orange and yellow you may be accustomed to eating. That's because all of our fruit is organic and we don't add any dyes, sulfur, or preservatives. It's just real fruit, dried. We believe food should only have food in it, none of the other crap.
Avoid sneaky added sugar & preservatives
Not all dried fruit is created equally. A lot of the dried fruit available to consumers has tons of added sugars that make them no better than drinking a soda or eating a sugar-packed dessert. Here’s what to look out for:
Obvious added sugar: We’ve all seen the mango slices that are tossed in a thick layer of sugar. At that point, the mango slices are just candy. Be careful to check the back of the package for added sugar made out to be a healthier choice like: natural cane sugar or coconut sugar. These are still considered additives and will spike your insulin and blood sugar levels, leaving you crashing shortly after.
- Added fruit juice: You may see “added fruit juice” on the back of a package of dry fruit and think, “that can’t be too bad”. Unfortunately, most fruit juices are packed with added sugar, and this is often a sneaky tactic to add sweetness while attempting to seem healthy. Make sure to check the “added sugar” section of the nutrition label and get the whole story.
- Preservatives and dyes: Yes, it is easy to think that beautiful, fresh orange apricot would keep its color when dehydrated because many of the dehydrated apricots on the shelf are bright orange. However, it doesn’t. While the orange color of a dehydrated apricot might be more appealing, it means that it is probably full of preservatives to lengthen it’s shelf-life, and added dyes to make it look better. These added preservatives and dyes have been linked to increased risk of health issues like heart issues and cancer. In order to avoid these things, make sure to check the ingredient information and do your research on the companies you purchase from and how they source their ingredients.
How much should I be eating?
Fruits and vegetables are so important to a balanced diet. When it comes to how much to consume, research concludes between ½ cup-1 ½ cups of fruit a day. You have to be careful when eating dried fruit to be conscious of the serving size you’re consuming. It is much easier to eat WAY too much dried fruit than it is regular fruit, which is why we have added a zipper to our air-dried fruit packaging so that you can have the amount you need and come back for more later.
Since everyone is different, make sure to consult a doctor or registered dietitian if you have questions about your own fruit needs.
How to incorporate dried fruit into your life
Eating dried fruit on its own is great, but if you are looking for things to pair it with, here are some suggestions:
- Add dried fruit to a homemade trail mix for a fully balanced snack. We recommend our Orchard Fruit Mix with dried apricots, cherries and apples mixed with unsalted almonds, pumpkin seeds, and unsweetened cocoa nibs for a great snack on-the-go.
Throw some dried fruit on top of your morning gluten-free oatmeal along with your favorite nut butter for a fiber and protein-packed start to your day.
- Dried fruits and veggies are the perfect hiking snack! Pack some lightweight air-dried fruit as well as some dried kale (we linked our favorite recipe) and sweet potato, and you have a satisfying, full meal approach to your trail snack.
Benefits of individual dried fruits
Our Harvest Fruit Mix has organic dried organic oranges, pears and figs.
Oranges with the peels on: These orange slices include the rind, which is super healthy but slightly bitter. Our family LOVES them because of the subtle interplay between the sweetness and bitterness. Another option is to drop them in your tea or water! The peel packs tons of vitamin C, as well as riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin B-6.
Figs: Dried figs have tons of fiber; in fact, just a 1/2 cup will give you more than 7 grams of dietary fiber (about 25% of your DV!). Dried figs also contain calcium (about 12% DV), which help your bones, nerve function, and assisting with muscle contraction.
- Pears: Dried pears also contain fiber (are you sensing a trend?). Women should eat at least 25 grams of fiber a day (while men should shoot for 38), and a single serving of dried pears provides 7 grams. A serving of dried pears also provide 480 milligrams of potassium, and helps prevent high blood pressure.
Our Orchard Fruit mix has organic dried apricots, cherries and apples.
- Apricots: Dried apricots contain a ton of potassium, a mineral your body needs to maintain blood pressure. Apricots are also a significant source of soluble fiber, which promotes and helps maintain healthy blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
- Cherries: Dried cherries are a great source of copper, a mineral which helps your body in collagen production, keeping your tissues strong. Cherries are also chockfull of vitamin A, which supports new cell growth, wound healing, and immune function.
- Apples: Dried apples contain lots of dietary fiber; a 1/2 cup serving has 3.7 grams (or over 13% of your daily intake!). Fiber keeps you regular and slows digestion, preventing blood sugar spikes that leave you hungry and tired after your meal. Dried apples also contain iron, which your body uses to make new red blood cells.
Our Tropical Fruit Mix has organic dried pineapples, bananas and mangoes.
Pineapple: Air-dried pineapple is maybe the most delicious of all of our fruits. It is sweet, tangy, and great for digestion! It’s fiber content is high, and it contains the enzyme bromelain, which helps the body digest proteins. Bromelain also reduces inflammatory immune cells, called cytokines, that damage the digestive tract lining.
Mango: This fruit is yummy and a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is considered one of the greatest multitasking vitamins we can ingest, as it has been observed to aid in eye, prenatal and cardiovascular health, as well as boosting our immune system.
- Banana: You guessed it. Potassium! These sweet little treasures provide your body with much-needed potassium that supports healthy blood pressure, cardiovascular health, bone strength, and muscle strength. That way, you can be adventuring for a long, long time!
As with everything, we recommend enjoying air-dried fruit in moderation! It is the perfect healthy and sweet alternative for any stubborn sweet tooths or a quick energy boost. For full nutrition information, check out the product listings themselves.
Love, dried fruits,
Zora Tabin (Founder, Mom & Healthy Snack Enthusiast)