Dried fruits are a convenient snack and a quick way to satisfy sweet tooth cravings. Most people assume that these raisins and dates offer the same amount of nutritional benefits as do the fresh fruits, even though nothing could be further from the truth.
Many studies have been conducted to evaluate the nutrients of dried fruits. It has been conclusively proved that they are also rich in several types of vitamins and minerals (like magnesium, potassium, and calcium). All these factors translate into more health-centric benefits.
Some of the best dry fruits that you could have every day are cashews, dates, figs, hazelnuts, raisins, apricots, walnuts, dates, brazil nuts, and prunes. They all have a high value of antioxidants, fatty acids, fiber, and protein. No wonders, fitness professionals prefer to have them every day.
Healthy as it may seem, an excess or improper consumption of these naturally occurring superfoods can court some serious health risks. They are often high in sugar and oils- two factors that can hurt those suffering from diabetes or allergies. The same holds for those fighting obesity and bulging waistlines too.
Secondly, several types of artificially manufactured dried fruits are treated with Sulphur dioxide to prevent discoloration. This chemical gas makes them contaminated and they can cause nausea, stomach pain, swelling in the liver, and even kidney failure in some cases when consumed regularly.
Did you know? Most healthcare experts advise you to have some dry fruits every day because they have higher natural fiber and antioxidants compositions as compared to fresh fruits. However, people suffering from asthma, diabetes, or blood pressure should stay cautious about having them regularly.
Here are some of the disadvantages of eating dried fruits in excess:
These fruits contain almost no water. For example, you would not eat 10-12 fresh apricots in one sitting, but you might like to eat a bagful of the dried apricots quickly. Even though a dried apricot is a fraction of the size of a fresh one, the two contain the same number of calories and sugar.
This can be an ill-advised practice to follow for everyone, especially those who are overweight or obese. Their metabolic process is slower than most people around and overeating would only lead them to become flabbier. This is sure to hurt their weight management regime.
To make them more palatable, manufacturers often load raisins with artificial sweeteners and sugars. So even though you could be eating them for their health-centric value, you might just end up eating several sugar candies in most cases.
It could become worse for patients with blood sugar and blood pressure for reasons you can understand yourself. If the swing is too rapid, it may even cause an attack or seizure in some cases. Healthcare experts thus warn everyone to eat these sun-dried fruits in strict moderation.
A small portion of dried fruits and nuts can make a deep impact on your daily calorie intake. Consuming an extra 250 calories per day from these dried fruits could contribute to as much as 2 pounds of weight gain in a one-month time frame. Due to the presence of excessive calories and carbs, eating too many dried or dehydrated fruits may sabotage your weight loss goals.
You also would need to work out longer to burn those extra calories, and even though your body might stretch, it won’t appreciate it once you go back to the normal levels after a few days. You might thus get slower results with your weight management regime. Eating too many of these raisins and dates could also shoot your Body Mass Index up.
Dried or dehydrated fruits are high in fiber. It is an essential nutrient to improve regularity and promote bowel health. But too much of this nutrient can irritate your gut, especially if you do not normally consume high-fiber foods. This can also lead to abdominal cramping, bloating, constipation, and even diarrhea.
Did you know? Our virtual fitness experts often ask their clients to restrict the intake of dried fruits to a minimum or as per an advised diet plan.
The preservatives and packages that are used to increase the shelf life of these dried products are also very harmful from a health perspective. Sulfur dioxide, which is commonly used as a preservative in these products, may cause health risks like stomach upset, allergic reactions, and even asthma attacks.
We advise you to check the nutrition labels on the packet before you decide to have these dried fruits (go for those brands that do not add any added sugars or sweeteners). In case of any doubt, you should go for fresher alternatives because they are always the best!
Why is this hybrid citrus fruit better suited for fitness professionals?
The grapefruit is a subtropical citrus tree known for its relatively large sour to semisweet, somewhat bitter fruit. The interior flesh is segmented and varies in color from pale yellow to dark pink.
A natural hybrid of Jamaican sweet orange and Indonesian pomelo, grapefruit was first found in the West Indies in 1692. Some people believe that a famous sailor named Captain Shaddock brought pomelo seeds to Jamaica, bred it for the first time, and gave the fruit a new name- shaddock.
Some people mistakenly link it to another hybrid fruit called the forbidden fruit. It was a term coined by a Welshman named Rev. Griffith Hughes who had visited the islands. He has also told about these citrus fruits in the book, ‘The Natural History of Barbados.’
Fitness professionals often turn to fruits with protein content. This explains why they usually start their day with goji berries, oats, papaya, coconut, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and so on. Grapefruit has been a classic superfood for ages now and is considered helpful for weight loss and boosting immunity.
The following table lists what makes this citrus fruit so special for fitness and weight-conscious professionals:
The above values are taken from Wikipedia and are verified by USDA.
The health benefits of this hybrid citrus fruit are available for men and women of all age groups. It offers a lower calorie content with high nutritional value that combines neatly to offer a stronger immune system. This translates into lower insulin resistance and diabetes, and better metabolic rates. This has a direct effect on weight management, especially for people who are overweight or obese.
This delicious fruit is filling, hydrating, and usually large enough to satisfy your afternoon hunger pangs. It also has a slightly sour taste that makes it less sweet than other fruits and people eat it less than usual. If you have irregular blood sugar or blood pressure levels, it might not hurt you to have this fruit in moderation every day!
This citrus fruit ranks at the bottom end of the range for a glycemic loads of fruits (it has a glycemic load of 3). This value is directly related to the sugar content in fruit and so if you are suffering from obesity, you can surely think of cutting down on some flab by making grapefruit a part of your fitness diet.
Let’s check out some of the nutrients that grapefruit contains that makes it a must-have fruit: –
Grapefruit is rich in pectin, a form of soluble fiber. It helps in lowering the “bad” cholesterol (or LDL) and also controls your blood glucose levels. This nutrient also boosts up the digestive process by preventing constipation and taking the load off the liver and colon.
Grapefruit is rich in lycopene, a phytochemical normally found in all red fruits and veggies. It acts as a strong natural antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. You can count on it to help you with improved heart health and cancer prevention.
Can you believe that one medium-size grapefruit contains about 20% more vitamin C than an orange? This vitamin is great for immunity, heart health, and fighting off those nasty free radicals that cause you to fall ill. It also acts as a natural anti-aging agent and keeps us fresher.
Grapefruit is also rich in potassium which is great for heart health and muscle recovery and also reduces the risk of stroke and kidney stones. A lack of this important mineral can lead to muscular weakness, fluid imbalance, and improper blood pressure.
Though this is not a nutrient it does play an important role in improving your health. This citrus fruit contains 91% water, making it one of the most hydrating fruits around. This makes it an amazing post-workout snack as it helps to rehydrate and refuel the body.
PS: The sugar content in dried fruits is always higher and water content is always lower than that found in fresher fruits.
How to eat grapefruit?
As large as grapefruit may seem, it is not too difficult a fruit to eat. It is just an enlarged orange, just a bit less spongy or soft. They have a tangy taste and you should thus have them only after sprinkling some salt or powdered sugar on them for the best results. Be sure not to take them with any dairy product ever!
Here’s how our nutritionists advise you to cut and eat it:
Wash the grapefruit skin well, preferably with soap water.
Place the grapefruit on a wooden board.
Put its bulged head parallel to the surface of the board.
Now slice off an inch off the fruit’s base bottom, straight across.
Repeat until you have sliced it all across.
Wash the grapefruit skin well, preferably with soap water
Keep its bulged head facing the ceiling.
Slice a part of the head and make a cut wide enough so a spoon can go in.
Insert the spoon and take out a chunk.
Make sure to not eat the harder and drier "walls" of fiber in the fruit.
You may also make its smoothie and have it before or after your workouts. It would be digested easily and thus may even be had a salad with other foods. The key is to keep it a constant part of your fitness diet for a longer length of time to have more benefits from it.
Grapefruits may come with a truckload of health benefits but they are certainly not risk-free. The patients taking medications for anxiety, blood pressure, or sugar are at a higher risk because the enzymes in this hybrid citrus fruit often react adversely with the medicinal salts.
This may cause severe health risks like a failure of kidneys and lungs, thus leading to immediate cardiac arrest. One may also suffer from blood clotting and allergies in certain cases. We would recommend that you eat this fruit in moderation and after consulting a healthcare professional online.
We do not have anything against dried fruits- they have been an excellent energy source for ages now. Owing to several limitations and health risks as mentioned above, it is advisable to explore less explored means of getting nutrition at a much lesser cost.
We understand you are a fitness professional and that you take dried fruits as your primary source of energy but you should look over them to have a safer approach. We suggest you talk online with our personal training experts to know how including this amazing fruit could make a switch for the better!