Medical Reviewed by Darshita Thakkar, Masters in Clinical Nutrition
To lead a healthy lifestyle, eating meals during regular intervals is very important.
Regular eating comes with three main meals and two small meals. When we say small meals, it is usually a mid-morning snack, a mid-noon snack and an evening snack.
When mid-morning snack should be eaten two hours post breakfast, mid-noon and evening snacks should be eaten two hours post-lunch and dinner respectively.
And it is worth mentioning that dry fruits and nuts are a great option for mid-meal snacking.
The regular eating pattern comes with numerous benefits.
Some of them are,
- It keeps you active and energetic
- It is light on the stomach
- Prevents binging since frequent eating keeps the stomach satiated
- Keeps extreme hunger at bay
- Improves metabolism
- Controls blood sugar levels
- Aids in weight loss
By eating dried fruits and nuts, one can enjoy the aforementioned benefits thoroughly. 
Since we are living in a fast-paced world, taking time to prepare salads and sandwiches always for mid-meal snacking is not possible, especially for people who are having full-time jobs. In this case, dry fruits and nuts come handy.
Dried fruits and nuts are loaded with nutrients, have the ability to curb cravings and keep hunger pangs at bay. These are also easy to carry and does not require any kind of cooking whatsoever. One can purchase these in bulk since these do not spoil and have a longer shelf life.
Well, what are dried fruits?
Dried fruits are nothing but fresh fruits that have been dehydrated by traditional sun drying or other industrial drying technique. Post dehydration, the dried fruits become a powerhouse of energy and several nutrients.
Some of the well known dried fruits and nuts are
These dry fruits and nuts are packed with several micronutrients, fatty acids and essential amino acids.
Below are some of the benefits of eating dried fruits.
1. Good for heart health
- Nuts are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. They are loaded with healthy fats that help maintain the balance of good cholesterol in the body.
- Dry fruits and nuts are also a rich source of potassium, magnesium and calcium that help in the management of blood pressure.
- Studies have revealed that nuts are beneficial in reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases, strokes, dyslipidaemia, etc.
2. Boosts immunity
- Since dried fruits and nuts are loaded with antioxidants, potassium, iron, folate, magnesium, it provides the body immunity to fight against diseases.
3. Helps in managing weight
- When nuts and dried fruits are taken in moderation, they are known to provide satiety and maintain energy levels in the body. It works best as a mid-meal snack or can be crushed over foods like muesli, porridge, etc to make the meal more filling.
- Regular consumption of nuts has help individuals manage their weight better, considering the rise of obesity rates in our country.
4. Healthy Gut
- Presence of soluble fibre in dried fruits acts as a probiotic to the microflora present in the gut, thus improving digestion. The ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria should be 85:15. Any imbalance in this ratio can cause gut issues like bloating, acidity, flatulence, constipation, etc and also result in weight gain.
- Dry fruits like raisins, figs, prunes etc are rich in fibre content that helps in maintaining healthy bowels and relieving constipation.
- Healthy gut equals to health and weight management.
5. Skin scrubs / healthy diet
- We often hear about face packs or scrubs like apricot scrubs, almond scrubs, etc. If the application of such scrubs and packs can help your skin look younger and radiant, then imagine what it can do to your body when you include in your diet.
- Nuts like almonds help in the removal of dead skin cells whereas walnuts are known to prevent dry skin, leaving you with supple and young skin.
- We have already established that dry fruits and nuts are a powerhouse of energy. Dried fruits like raisins, prunes, dates are rich in iron, B-complex, vitamins, copper, etc that help you to maintain an optimal level of haemoglobin. This can be very helpful for individuals suffering from anaemia.
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts, Cashews help to build stamina, hence it becomes one of the best pre-workout meal.
7. Bone health
- Nuts are rich in calcium, phosphorus, etc which help in maintaining bone mineral density. This helps in the prevention of bone loss.
8. Brain health
- Dried fruits and nuts have shown to improve memory. They are rich in Omega 3 fatty acid that helps in fighting anxiety disorders and depression.
- Few nuts like pistachios have the presence of melatonin which helps in regulating sleep disturbances.
Dried fruits and nuts are abundantly available in grocery and e-stores with a plethora of options to pick from.
One can pick a single variety of nuts, mixed nuts, salted nuts or seasoned nuts. The best nuts are mixed nuts which are lightly roasted and unsalted.
Nuts are great for mid-meal snacking and eating just handful a day will keep you satiated. Dried fruits and nuts can be included in a variety of recipes to enhance the taste and add crunchiness.
However, it is important to note that if you have a nut allergy or any sensitivities towards dried fruits and nuts, then please avoid consumption to prevent allergic reactions like rashes, stomach cramps, etc. It is important that you consult your physician before including nuts in your diet.
Q: What happens if we eat dry fruits daily?
A: Eating dry fruits and nuts every day provides omega 3 fatty acids to the body, improves body metabolism, helps in weight management and regulates blood sugar levels.
Q: How much dry fruits should we eat in a day?
A: Any food should be eaten in moderation and dry fruits are no exception. Dried fruits are dense in nutrition and have sugars. Therefore, too much of it can cause weight gain. One can safely eat 20 grams of dried fruits and nuts a day.
Q: Which dry fruits increase weight?
A: Dried fruits like raisins, figs, currants, apricots, prunes, dates and sultans are rich in calories. Having them immoderately can cause weight gain. It is also important to note that underweight people can eat these dried fruits for a healthy weight gain.
Q: Which dry fruit is healthiest?
A: Though all dried fruits are good for health, almonds, dates, walnuts and apricots and more beneficial.
Q: Can we eat dry fruits in the evening?
A: Yes, dried fruits and nuts can be eaten in the evening.