Useful properties of dried fruits

In the Stone Age, when men went hunting, women gathered herbs, roots, and fruits—everything that could be eaten. Unfortunately, the collected fruit could not be stored for a long time, but resourceful women noticed that the fruits that fell from the trees, dried under the influence of the sun, although they did not have such juiciness as freshly picked ones, were sweeter and were stored longer. So the moment when a woman, having picked the next fruits, laid them out on stones to dry in the sun, can be called the birthday of not only a new type of female activity, but also the food industry. Time passed, and already many ancient sailors took dried fruits with them as provisions, although at that time it was not yet known to science that dried fruits were a storehouse of vitamins, minerals and, most importantly, protected from many diseases. The ship’s doctor not only used special herbs and drugs for the sick, but also always increased the nutrition of the sick with dried fruits – it was noticed that the body fought ailments more actively and the patients got to their feet twice as fast. In ancient China, silk, dishes and dried fruits were considered the most valuable gifts. Moreover, it was dried fruits that were an obligatory gift for a wedding. Each of the dried fruits meant a certain wish for future spouses: for example, a dried pear symbolized the wish to be inseparable; donated dried apricots meant a wish for success and prosperity, since the apricot had a yellow-orange color, and only representatives of the nobility wore clothes of this color (later – only the emperor); dried cherries meant a wish for more tenderness in relationships, a spring spirit of youth, care for each other. No wonder one ancient Chinese philosopher said: “Dried fruits are fruits that have known wisdom.” Modern dried fruits A real consolation for the sweet tooth, dried fruits can be a great substitute for confectionery, as they contain a large amount of carbohydrates (fructose, sucrose, glucose), and they have almost half the calories of sugar. The fructose (fruit sugar) found in dried fruits is “packed” into fiber, which makes it retained in the body in only a limited amount, preventing the intestines from absorbing more sugar and cholesterol than necessary, and without raising insulin levels in the blood, as usual. sweets. So, if you choose between chocolates and dried fruits, the second option will be less deplorable “for the figure.” In addition to the ability to replace sweet treats, dried fruits have a lot of other, no less valuable advantages. And above all, they are an absolutely natural product that does not contain dyes, emulsifiers, stabilizers and artificial additives. In fact, these are the same fruits, only without water. Dried fruits are a real source of valuable trace elements and nutrients. They contain calcium (strengthens nails and hair, gives a fresh complexion), magnesium (normalizes high blood pressure), potassium (improves the functioning of the cardiovascular and nervous systems, removes excess fluid from the body, reduces swelling), sodium and iron ( support the level of hemoglobin in the blood, provide oxygen to all organs and tissues), fiber and pectin (normalize the work of the intestines and stomach). A handful of dried apricots and raisins satisfy the daily requirement for potassium, 50 g of dried cherries for vitamin B6 and magnesium. And by eating a few pieces of prunes, figs or dates a day, you will forever get rid of problems with the intestines: the dietary fibers contained in them improve the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. By the way, in prunes there are other “assistant digestion” – organic acids. They increase the acidity in the intestines and kill harmful microorganisms. Most bought Dried apples and pears. These dried fruits were known in Rus’. Today they are no longer so popular (because a lot of exotic dried fruits have appeared), but in vain! Apples and pears in their healing properties are in no way inferior to dates, figs, dried apricots. But what is especially valuable, they contain boron, which is necessary for brain function, which is not enough in other dried fruits. Dried apples are well stored, and in winter they are used to prevent influenza. Dried pear removes heavy metals and toxins from the body. Dried bananas. They serve as constant food for 400 million people in developing countries, and they come to us mainly from Vietnam. These bananas are rich in natural sugar, which, when digested, quickly enters the bloodstream and provides a boost of energy. Therefore, they are often used by athletes. Dried melon (dried). This Tajik national sweet contains fiber, proteins, mineral salts, vitamin C, B vitamins, carotene, a large amount of iron, folic and nicotinic acids. Dried melon tones, has diuretic, choleretic, anti-inflammatory and tonic properties, cleanses the skin and intestines. Prunes. Contains potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, chromium, manganese, zinc, iodine, fluorine, cobalt, vitamins A, B1, B2, PP, C. It is a wonderful antidepressant and is the absolute champion in antioxidant content. It also removes salts of heavy metals from the body, heals the skin and strengthens blood vessels. Prunes are obtained from the dried fruits of the Hungarian plum variety. Strange as it may sound, the best prunes are made from the Hungarian Italian variety, which is beautifully stuffed with walnuts and soft cheese. (And a little about the choice: if the prunes have a coffee tint, this means that they were previously scalded with boiling water, and there are few vitamins in them. Also, you should not buy dark gray “anthracite” prunes – they are clearly processed with glycerin. Real prunes are only black, and its taste should not be bitter.) Dried apricots. These are dried apricots (they have various names: apricots with a stone – apricots; apricots cut in half and without a stone – dried apricots; whole apricots with a squeezed stone – kaisa). They contain pectin, malic, citric and tartaric acids, ascorbic acid, vitamins B1, B2, B15, P, PP, a lot of carotene (provitamin A). Everyone knows that dried apricots are rich in potassium, and only 5 pieces of dried apricots contain the daily rate of iron. It also contains vitamin B5, which promotes fat burning in the body. It has been scientifically proven that regular consumption of dried apricots reduces the chance of developing cancer. Dried apricots (in the form of mashed potatoes) are prescribed for children with beriberi. (When choosing dried apricots, take a closer look at the grayish “individuals” – there is a chance that they simply were not treated with chemicals. It can still be orange, because it has a storehouse of carotene, but only dried apricots with a “storehouse” of chemicals can be bright bright orange.) Dates. A royal gift of nature, they contain all vitamins except E and biotin, but they are especially rich in vitamin B5, which increases vitality. Dried dates contain potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, sulfur, manganese. With dates, you get 23 different amino acids that are not found in other dried fruits. Dates are useful for colds – not only a vitamin supplement, but also a mild antipyretic. Another valuable property of dates: they make up for the loss of calcium in the body. Don’t buy dates that are too shriveled (although they should be wrinkled) and those that have crystallized sugar and mold on their skins. You can store dates for a whole year in a container with a tightly closed lid in the refrigerator, and in the freezer – for five whole years! Figs. Only chemically processed (imported) fresh figs get into our stores, because they are capricious. Therefore, it is better to use dried figs – it contains enzymes that stimulate the function of digestion, kidneys and liver, and there is more iron in figs than in apples, so it is recommended for patients suffering from iron deficiency anemia. Figs are rich in potassium and fiber, and they are the only fruit with a high content of calcium. When choosing dried figs, it should be remembered that a high-quality fruit has a light yellowish wax color, while the fructs themselves are the same in size and quite soft. But if the fig has an unpleasant salty-sour taste, dry and rough to the touch, its shelf life has already expired. Raisins. Everyone knows these dried grapes. Raisins come in different varieties: light, dark, blue, with and without pits. It has a high calorie content: 100 g contains up to 320 kcal. Raisins from red grapes are considered more useful than from green ones. Raisins contain a large amount of boron, which prevents the development of osteoporosis, and manganese, which is necessary for the thyroid gland, as well as potassium, iron and magnesium, vitamins B1, B2 and B5. Raisins “with tails” are distinguished by the fact that they do not undergo mechanical processing during the separation of the stalk. Therefore, the berries do not crumple and do not lose their appearance. The highest grades of raisins are only “with ponytails”. 99% of light raisins sold in shops and markets are treated with sulfur to give them a golden yellow color. Naturally dried raisins from light grapes have a light brown color! It is better to take raisins for compote with seeds, they contain the most antioxidants. Candied fruits (papaya, banana chips, coconut) These are dried fruits soaked in syrup before drying. Do not confuse: candied fruits are dessert, not healthy dried fruits. They are boiled in sugar syrup, dried, and even painted with who knows what. There are plenty of calories in them, but the benefits are ruined in the bud. What should packaging say? If you think that dried fruits and only they are in a beautiful package, you are mistaken. There are preservatives and dyes. There is no need to be afraid of preservatives, their level is controlled, their dose does not exceed the permissible norm. But in any case, read the composition and draw conclusions. It is advisable (especially if you intend dried fruits for children) to buy packages marked GOST, not TU. Somehow calmer. Dried fruits and nuts are not subject to mandatory certification in the GOST system, but when I carefully looked at the packages in the nearest supermarket, I found out that there are a lot of “GOST” dried fruits. If an excess of moisture is found in the product, it means that it has not been dried. This affects not only the consistency of dried fruits (they become too soft), but also their shelf life. After all, it is known that a humid environment is favorable for the reproduction of harmful microorganisms. The lack of moisture is also a minus: the fruits become too dry, hard and partially lose their nutritional value. The optimal moisture content is established by GOST: the mass fraction of moisture in dried apricots should not exceed 20%, and prunes – 25%. The shelf life of dried fruits in bags is quite large: from 8 months to 2 years. Of course, in order to extend the life of the product so much, manufacturers use preservatives: they dip the fruits in a sweet syrup containing sorbic acid (E200) or its compound (E202), fumigate with sulfur dioxide (E220). According to the regulations, the content of sorbic acid and its compounds in the product should not exceed 1000 mg/kg, and sulfur dioxide – 2000 mg/kg. How to store dried fruits Dried fruits by weight should be stored in a cool, dark and dry place at a temperature below +10 °C. High humidity and heat are ideal conditions for mold to thrive, so it’s best not to stock up for years. If you notice signs of mold, don’t try to wash or scrub it off: mold in dried fruits and nuts can be deadly! Moldy product must be thrown away without any regret. The optimal shelf life of dried fruits is from 6 to 12 months, in glaze – less, about 4 months. Dried fruits can also be stored at room temperature for a short time. How to choose dried fruits Do not take overdried or, on the contrary, too soft fruits – this indicates a violation of the conditions for the manufacture and storage of dried fruits. Rinse dried fruits thoroughly before use – get rid of dirt and chemicals. Boiling water destroys vitamins, so warm water is used for washing. A good way is to pour dried fruits with apple juice and leave overnight. All this applies to dried fruits by weight, but if you bought dried fruits in a package and trust the manufacturer, you can not wash them. However, some manufacturers honestly indicate on the packaging: “it is recommended to wash before use.” Light fruits should ideally be dark after drying. Dried apricots without sulfur turn out to be dark in color, a bright color is achieved with the help of potassium permanganate. Raisins should not be uniformly yellow, soft and oily. Avoid gloss: Dried fruits may be rubbed with less than the best quality oil to add shine. Ideal dried fruits look unsightly: dull, wrinkled, opaque – dry, in a word. If dried fruits are processed incorrectly, they have a vinous “burnt” taste. When choosing dried fruits on street stalls, keep in mind that their pulp absorbs all harmful car emissions. Do not take the product “off the road”.

Leave a Reply