What do a walnut and a raisin have in common? Still scratching your nut? Well, both are in the family that includes nuts and deliberately dried fruit. Nuts are enjoying a popular phase right now: thanks to their remarkable nutritional qualities, they entered the dietary recommendations updated in 2017. Dried fruit also has a number of benefits. Learn how they make the perfect allies for you this autumn!
What do we mean?
Let’s take an example. Walnuts and raisins are both dried foods. Here is what sets them apart: the walnut is a naturally dry fruit and belongs to the nut family (also described as oleaginous), just like the hazelnut or almond. The raisin, however, has gone through a process of dehydration so we call it a dried fruit. This ensures it keeps longer and the nutrients it contains are more concentrated.
Why are they such good allies?
The post-summer period which heralds going back to school, work and the gym (for the brave ones among you!) is a time for new resolutions. But the change of season can also bring fatigue and stress. After a couple of weeks’ holiday, your natural rhythm will have been disrupted, your energy levels might feel low and you may feel your brain is not quite working at its usual speed… Dried fruit and nuts contain high levels of certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B1 and B9, magnesium and potassium which contribute to combating fatigue and promoting a healthy nervous system and immune defences.
For the more athletic, dried fruit and nuts contain ‘fast’ sugars making them the perfect snack to enjoy before and during exercise to provide energy!
Absent from dietary recommendations until now (including the famous ‘five a day’ fruit and veg), nuts have now made it on the list. And for good reason: they boast a high energy density and good concentration of omega 3. This ‘healthy fat’ (in which we are very often deficient) is nonetheless essential for our cardiovascular health and important for normal brain function.
Focus on some dried fruit and nuts and mixes
Nuts and dried fruits are the ideal complements from a nutritional perspective—which is why Sun likes to combine them in its super mixes.
A couple of examples:
Dietary recommendations: new habits?
As you might have already guessed, dried fruit and nuts have an important place in our daily diet. But how do we make this happen?
New dietary indicators recommend a small handful of nuts (20-30g) a day for an adult and at least one portion a week for children over three years.
As always, the most essential point is to diversify the sources to make the most of their benefits: almonds as a snack to carry around wherever you want, walnuts and pine nuts in your salads, dried apricots in your yoghurt, the choices and combinations are infinite!
Article written by a dietician and nutritionist at Atlantic Santé communications agency.