Dry fruits are small but are extremely rich sources of minerals and proteins. Every diet specialist always recommends a handful of dry fruits in our diet in order to keep us healthy and fit. There are just umpteen varieties in dry fruits such as raisins, cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, dates and the list goes on. Dry fruits possess a lot of medicinal properties because of the ample amount of nutrients that are present in them. Though the dry fruits are really expensive and are regarded as delicacies but the health benefits that they possess makes them worth their price. This article consists of the top ten health benefits that different dry fruits have and therefore the reasons to include dry fruits in our diet if we want to stay healthy and sound. However, we must put some restrictions on the amount of intake of dry fruits as excess of anything can be harmful.
1. PREVENT HEART DISEASES
Dry fruits are the best when it comes to treat cardiovascular problems. Almonds help to reduce the risk of recurrent coronary heart problems. Cashews do not contain cholesterol and are loaded with monosaturated fats and thence promotes cardiovascular health. Pistachios also help in preventing heart problems as it contains a healthy dose of Vitamin B6. Omega 3 present in Walnuts regulates the formation of plague in blood vessels and also prevents erratic heart rhythms. They also have amino acids I-arginine present in them which helps in improving cardiovascular health by improving the elasticity of blood vessels. Dates are very helpful in maintaining heart’s health as they protect us against atherosclerosis which is the major cause of strokes and heart attacks.
2. CONTROLS WEIGHT
The high amount of dietary fiber and high energy density present in Cashew nuts are very effective for weight management. Raisins and Dates are preferred for the ones who are suffering from anaemia as these dry fruits help in weight gain and also provide the person with a lot of vitamins and minerals.
3. CONTROLS BLOOD PRESSURE
Almonds help to lower blood pressure to a great extent. Raisins helps to neutralize the acids present in blood and thus helps to check acidosis because of the presence of magnesium and potassium in it. Pistachios also help a lot in stabilizing the blood pressure and blood sugar levels according to a study performed by The University of Toronto.
4. BENEFICIAL FOR BODY ORGANS
Raisins have calcium and boron which is considered to be important for bone formation. They are also very good for eye care as they contain oxidant properties and Vitamin A, which protects eye from weakening of vision, macular degeneration and cataract. They also play a vital role in protecting our teeth against cavities, tooth decay and other dental problems. Raisins are thus beneficial for bones, eyes and for promoting dental health. Cashew nuts also support healthy muscles and gums as they are rich in magnesium and calcium. Pistachios are also very advantageous for eye health because of the presence of carotenoids in them. Walnuts contain omega 3 fatty acids and that is why is called the “Brain Food” and hence is very important for the development of the brain.
5. SLOWS DOWN AGING
A lot of dry fruits are eaten to slow down the process of aging and to get a healthy and glowing skin. We can also make a paste by soaking almonds in water overnight, and then crushing them and mixing them with milk. When this mixture is applied to our face, it will remove the dirt and dead cells and will provide us with a radiant skin. Raisins contain resveratrol which is a type of antioxidant that helps to keep our skin beautiful by slowing down skin ageing. Walnuts contain high content of Omega 3 fatty acids that are known to nourish dry skin and to improve its texture. A mixture of walnuts and 3 tablespoons of yogurt can be blend and applied on our face to get soft and smooth skin. Also, walnut oil has linoleic acid that prevents fine lines and wrinkles. Cashews are also used in a number of cosmetic products to prevent skin damage and to reduce tan. Cashew nut oil is used to protect cracked heels by nourishing them. Vitamin E present in Pistachios is very effective as it protects our skin from premature aging and UV rays. Pistachio oil has demulcent and antioxidant properties and it also contains carotenoids, zeaxanthin and lutein which help to smoothen our skin and neutralize free radicals, thereby preventing ageing.
6. REDUCE THE RISK OF DEVELOPING CANCER
According to the research done by the World Cancer Research Fund, it have been revealed that almonds contains several substances that are very useful in order to prevent cancer. Studies conducted by Pennsylvania State University states that almonds are considered to be strong suppressors of prostate and lung tumor growth. Also, the presence of flavonoids in almonds have proven to be very favorable for suppressing breast cancer by reducing the growth of those cells which are exposed to cancer causing agents. Free radicals which are one of the main causes of cancer can be eliminated by eating cashews, as they are a rich source of antioxidant properties. Walnuts are also rich in antioxidants and are thus eaten to fight the dreaded disease. Nutrients present in Pistachios protect our skin from skin cancer.
7. PREVENTS HAIR LOSS
Almonds are the most important dry fruits when it comes to treat hair problems. Applying almond oil on the scalp has proven to be very effective in curing several hair problems. It helps to prevent hair loss and adds shine and luster to dull hair. It also promotes hair growth. Apart from this, massaging the scalp with almond oil also helps in relieving us from headache and is considered as the best home remedy to cure headache.
8. MAINTAINS CHOLESTEROL
Cashews have zero cholesterol level and is very advantageous for maintain low cholesterol levels. Pistachios also contain fat and are thus very helpful in lowering high cholesterol levels. Almonds have essential fatty acids that help in reducing cholesterol and promoting blood circulation. Raisins are the ones loaded with magnesium, potassium, iron and phosphorus and thus promote blood circulation. Consuming cashew nuts, Pistachios, Almonds and Raisins is considered very effective in controlling cholesterol and providing us with a healthy body by promoting blood circulation.
9. BENEFICIAL FOR CONSTIPATION
Many dry fruits have the ability to treat intestinal disturbances. Raisins, when ingested, swells up as the fiber available in them absorbs the water thereby giving us relief for constipation. Pistachios also contain fiber which helps us to feel riddled for more period of time. It also helps in operating the digestive system normally, hence preventing constipation. Dates are also well known for treating constipation. They are soaked overnight in water and are then consumed in the morning. Soaked dates provides the laxative effect and relieves us from digestion problems. Not only this, dates also help in maintaining a growth check on pathological organisms, thus giving rise to friendly bacteria in intestines. Almonds can also be consumed everyday to improve our digestive system. Walnuts are another dry fruits that help in easing constipation because of their laxative effects.
10. IMPROVES HEMOGLOBIN
Dry fruits especially almonds are considered to be very effective for improving hemoglobin. Almonds help in the formation of new blood cells and also increase the hemoglobin level in the blood. Unsaturated fats, vitamin B, phosphorus, copper and iron present in nuts helps in the proper functioning of all the crucial organs of our body. Prunes, which are a good source of potassium, Vitamin A, fiber and copper helps in keeping the energy levels high throughout the day. We should carry a handful of prunes in the pocket and munch them all through the day. Cashew nuts possess high concentration of copper and are thus vital in production of energy. They also provide greater flexibility to blood vessels. In fact, eating any dry fruit provides us with an instant gush of energy and also helps us in remaining alert thus enhancing memory improvement.