by Shivani Kakhandki, Cora Health
A woman’s body goes through a lot of changes in every phase of life, be it during puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or menopause. Even the calls of Aunt Flo that happens every month makes a woman go through some changes in her body. All these changes can get quite heavy on a physical note for a woman. She needs her right doze of nutrients and vitamins to keep her going throughout the day undisturbed. And in this fast-moving world, women are more determined than ever to make their place and only good health can help them achieve their goals a little faster. After all, a healthy body equals a healthy mind, isn’t it?
And if you ask us which segment of foods can be that powerhouse of vitamins and nutrients that promote women’s health, we’d gladly answer “dry fruits!” Yes, dear women, dry fruits make for that powerhouse of essential nutrients, and it’s not just us, even our ancestors say so.
Most of us might have some vague memories from school days when we were asked to munch on a handful of soaked almonds for good memory power. Some of our grandmothers and mothers used to religiously soak a handful of mixed dry fruits overnight, blend them with milk the next morning and asked us to gulp it down. They always told us that it will make us stronger and we’ll have some mighty immunity as well. So, you see, traditionally dried fruits were always believed to provide us with a host of health benefits, especially for women. However, please note that candied fruits are not dry fruits. And consuming them regularly can do more harm than good to our bodies. Let’s take you through a list of five super-nutritious and commonly available dry fruits that benefit women’s health the most when consumed regularly.
They scream health and nutrition! Walnuts are loaded with health benefits for women. These crunchy brown nuts are a delight to taste buds as well! Add them in your salads or desserts (picture banana walnut cake) — they taste good with everything. Here are some health benefits that walnuts provide us:
- They Are Brain Food: Walnuts contain certain neuroprotective compounds, for example, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and antioxidants that contribute to better cognitive function of the brain. They help to combat stress and promote calmness. These brain nuts also contain flavonoids that help in destroying the harmful free radicals and reduce the risks of health conditions like dementia.
- They Help Fight Cancer: Women who consume walnuts regularly have lesser chances of developing breast or pancreatic cancer. Eating walnuts will also help minimize cancer cells’ proliferation. The high melatonin and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) content of walnuts is what might be behind its chemo-preventive capabilities.
- It’s Beneficial For Hair And Skin: These are one of the two main features of women that make them feel beautiful inside-out. Antioxidants and vitamin-B rich walnuts help fight the damage caused by free radicals, thereby preventing any signs of aging, for example, wrinkles. The presence of biotin in these nuts strengthens hair and reduces hair fall.
Diet Tip: One can consume 4–7 walnuts per day. You can also grind them and include them in your everyday staple foods.
This is one dry fruit that we recommend you eat every single day. They are beneficial for women across all age groups. Here are a few reasons why you should be munching on a handful of these nuts every day:
- They Help In Weight Management: Good fats, dietary fiber, and proteins are high in almonds — this makes you feel full thereby reducing the risks of overeating.
- It Helps To Control Your Blood Sugar Levels: When we make almonds a part of our meal, the monounsaturated fatty acids of almonds slow down the glucose release into our bloodstream and this prevents any abnormal spikes in our blood sugar levels.
- It Promotes Heart Health: The high percentage of vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids in almonds helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels in the body. The presence of potassium and magnesium in almonds helps in maintaining the normal functioning of the heart.
Diet Tip: Instead of eating just almonds, if we add them to our meals, then the glycemic index of our food reduces. Slice or chop these nuts up and include them in your salads, pasta, or any curry.
This super-delicious and gooey dry fruit is incredibly rich in iron content. This dry fruit is known to be very nourishing and wholesome and can be savored in more than one form. Let’s take you through its health benefits:
- They Are Rich In Iron Content: If you are suffering from or are at risk of having anemia, then adding this nutritious delight to your everyday diet will be beneficial. Even those who suffer from symptoms of anemia can benefit from eating dates.
- It Eases Digestion: Dates are also rich in fiber and this aids digestion and relieves constipation. Ripe dates are potassium-rich and they help in controlling diarrhea.
- They Are Energy Boosters: Dates can instantly boost your energy levels as they are high in sugars (fructose, glucose, sucrose). This is one of the reasons why dates are eaten to break fasts as it helps in instantly revitalizing the body.
Diet Tip: We recommend that you eat 2–3 dates every day especially during afternoons as one generally feels very sluggish during that time.
The Brazilian nuts have a South American origin. They have many health benefits ranging from aiding digestion to improving one’s immunity. Also, if you’re looking for something that will boost your skin’s health, then consuming Brazil nuts is your sure shot! Some of the other health benefits of Brazil nuts are:
- It Helps To Control Thyroid: Considered to be one of the richest sources of selenium, Brazil nuts contribute to the normal functioning of the thyroid. Selenium also acts as a catalyst for thyroid hormone, therefore consuming it regularly will help to maintain healthy levels of the hormone in thyroid patients.
- It Provides Anti-cancer Properties: The high Ellagic and Selenium content of Brazil nuts prevents the development of cancer in women. It promotes cell growth and positive effects of antioxidants thereby preventing any formation of malignant tumors.
Diet Tip: Consuming 2–3 Brazil nuts every day is sufficient. Make them a part of your trail mix or add them to your regular daliya or porridge.
These beautiful dried orange fruits come packed with antioxidants and boost your skin’s health. It also helps to keep your immunity game strong. Some of its other health benefits for women include:
- They Are Excellent For Eyes: Apricots contain beta carotenoids and pro-vitamin A — these are known to prevent any age-related sight problems. Eating these dry fruits will also strengthen the optic nerve, which improves your eyesight.
- They Keep Your Bones And Skin Healthy: Due to their high potassium and calcium content, apricots strongly contribute to maintaining healthy bones. While calcium is necessary for the good development of our bones, potassium helps in the absorption, excretion, and distribution of calcium in our body. Apricots contain vitamin C and antioxidants which reduce the appearance of any fine lines and wrinkles and give that smooth appearance to your skin. It also promotes quicker cell regeneration.
Diet Tip: Include apricots in your everyday diet by adding them to your cereals or even to your smoothie.
Now that you know how beneficial dry fruits are for women’s health, make it a point to include them in your everyday diet so that you can wear your superwoman cape stronger and healthier.