Most moms in India have the habit of soaking almonds overnight and serving it with breakfast in the morning. The skin of the almonds is often removed and at times, it is blended with milk to make a thick shake. Besides that, a lot of people have a tendency to eat dried fruits for breakfast.
Whether it’s Anjeer (Fig) or Cashew, dried fruits are an important part of the Indian diet. People all across the country have been consuming dried fruits for ages. States like Maharashtra, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Karnataka, and Andra Pradesh are known for producing them. They may be a bit pricey but their health benefits make them absolutely worth the money.
Brings down cholesterol.
Helps prevent cancer.
Balances blood sugar levels.
Great energy booster.
Used to cure anemia.
Good for pregnancy health.
Improves heart health and reduces the risk of a heart attack.
Loaded with fiber.
Fantastic natural sweetener. Use it instead of added sugar, jaggery or maple syrup.
Rich in minerals and is a good source of Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, and C.
Relieves constipation due to its fiber content.
Helps maintain healthy skin.
Lowers the risk of diabetes.
Prevents migraine headaches.
Good for bone health.
If consumed in moderation, cashews can help in weight loss.
Aids digestion and contains natural sugar.
Brings down high blood pressure.
Improves oral health and reduces the chances of tooth decay.
Those who suffer from acidity must include raisins in their diet.
Dried apricots are very good for eyesight.
Relieves symptoms of Asthma and Tuberculosis.
A source of calcium.
Known to cure constipation.
Helps maintain electrolyte balance.
Consume it with milk if you want to gain weight.
Prevents loss of vision.
Reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Rich in potassium and the absorption of sugar.
Well, the best way is to have it as is. But since dried fruits are so versatile, you can use it in multiple dishes.
Add it to pulaos, biryanis or other rice preparations. This will make the dish ‘shahi’/rich.
For breakfast, make a super bowl with oats, fresh fruits, chia seeds, peanut butter/cocoa powder (optional). Top it up with chopped almonds, walnuts, and flax or pumpkin seeds.
Make a milkshake. Yes, simply add a handful of mixed dried fruits to a cup of milk and blend them together. This drink will provide you with a tonne of nutrition and energy, thus keeping you full for hours.
They are a big no-no until your baby turns one year old. Most of them are either hard or sticky to chew. So there are chances that your kid may choke while trying to eat dried fruits. Once your baby starts chewing properly, chop the dried fruits into small pieces and feed him/her. They help in baby development, hence should slowly be added to the diet.
However, if you are a mom to a toddler make sure you get your kid to eat them daily. You can either pack them in the school tiffin or serve them for breakfast. They make for a healthy snack and will fill your kid up.
Note: When purchasing dried fruits, always opt for the medium to best quality and buy it from a reputed store. Also, ensure that they are naturally dried and not freeze dried.
Since dried fruits have so many health benefits, every expecting mother must consume them during her pregnancy. They are not only a source of protein but contain the right amount of iron that is needed during pregnancy. Consuming them with yogurt (dahi/curd) also curbs morning sickness.
While one must eat fruits during pregnancy, the dried ones are important for the mom and unborn baby too. However, only a handful of nuts is enough every day as they are calorie-dense and will result in weight gain.
Also read - How to Raise Healthy Eaters?