The dried fruits are a good source of various nutrients including various sugars, vital minerals such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
Orange fruits such as dried apricots and papaya are a good source of beta carotene, which, when absorbed by the body, becomes vitamin A.
Nuts have a high caloric value, are rich in protein, fat, minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium and calium (although these minerals are not absorbed as well as the same minerals in dairy and meats) and vitamins of the B group. Most nuts are rich in fatty acids, vital to the body and may even behelpful in cases of high blood fat content, if consumed within a balanced diet recommended by a clinical dietitian. An exception is the coconut, which is rich in saturated fats and it is therefore recommended to limit coconut intake. The nuts are a rich, concentrated source of calories, and should therefore not be consumed in large quantities. It is recommended that they be consumed in their natural form, unsalted (to reduce salt intake) and non-roasted. Nuts lose part of their B-group vitamins in the roasting process. It is also recommended that sugared nuts and peanuts be avoided.
Who do the Dried Fruits Help? Constipation: dried fruits are a good source of dietary fiber and may therefore help people suffering from constipation. Dried prunes, for example, have both a sugar named sorbitol and other ingredients with a laxative effect. Remember that consumption of dried fruits must be accompanied by drinking large amounts of water! Caloric Value In their drying process, the fruits lose a large proportion of their water content. Therefore, most of the nutritional ingredients are highly concentrated, leading to their relatively high caloric value when compared with the same fruits when fresh. Sugar is sometimes added to these fruits in the drying process. The following examples refer to a single serving of the fruit (serving size varies from one fruit to another)
Each serving contains 60 calories on average
- 2 dried figs
- 2-3 dates, fresh or dried
- 2-3 dried apricots
- One slice of dried pineapple
- 2 slices of dried apple
- 2 dried prunes
- Medium size carob
- Flat tablespoon of raisins
Nuts – Each serving contains 50 calories on average:
- Almonds – 6 pieces
- Sunflower seeds in the shells – 1 tablespoon
- Pumpkin seeds in the shells – 1 tablespoon
- Roasted peanuts – 10 pieces
- Walnuts – 2 pieces
- Pecan nuts – 4 units
- Cashew nuts – 6 units
- Hazel nuts – 6 units
- Pistachios – 6 units
- People suffering from obesity, diabetes, high levels of cholesterol – consult with a qualified clinical dietitian regarding the recommended blend of these foodstuffs and their quantities in your daily diet and during Tu Bishvat.
- Choking Hazards for Children Under the Age of 5 – there is a choking hazard for children under the age of 5, which may be induced by consumption of nuts. This hazard is due to the fact that the synchronization between the child’s swallowing and breathing functions has not yet fully developed; also, dhildren sometimes eat while playing, walking or talking – activities that increase the risk of inhaling food into the respiratory tracts. Nuts are also hazardous for children because they tend to absorb fluids and expand, thus causing blockage of the respiratory tracts.
- The Ministry of Health recommends that nuts be avoided and even kept away from children under the age of 5.
- Children can be given dried fruits such as: figs, raisins, dried apricots and dates, however these should be cut into small pieces.