Before discussing what are the types of dry fruits and nuts, it’s important to have a quick discussion on what are dry fruits and nuts. Well, whenever we hear about dry fruits and nuts its rich and classic taste instantly strike our minds. And why not, when dry fruits are the soul of Indian recipes. Dry fruits, as the name suggests, are basically fruits from which the water content has been removed, either naturally or by the use of dehydrators. To understand more clearly, what dry fruits and nuts are, we take the example of raisins, which is very common among dry fruits. Red grapefruits, when harvested, are left in sun for drying, so that, all the original water is evaporated and the sugar gets caramelised, leaving behind small light raisins with extra load sweetness.
What are the types of dry fruits and nuts?
There are countless varieties of dry fruits, but this article introduces some very common dry fruits and nuts easily found in every kitchen shelf.
1. Cashew nuts:
About: Very popular among dry fruits and nuts, these are considered as heart healthy fats. Cashew nuts are basically seeds of cashew tree. These seeds are taken from cashew apple which is grown on cashew tree. The highest productivity of these nuts, in India, comes from Maharashtra and other coastal areas.
Health aspects: Consuming 3 to 4 cashew nuts regularly is great for the health of your heart, as, it not only builds good cholesterol but also reduces the bad ones. The intake of these nuts are amazing for metabolism, skin and weight management. But, make sure you do not over consume it in raw form, as, this would cause chronic health problems due to presence of high oxalate content. Roasted cashews are healthy, delicious and more on the safer side.
About: Almonds are seeds of deciduous tree plants of rose family, coated with hard fruit covering. The cultivation of this dry fruit is popular in California and other Asian countries including India, especially Jammu, Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Almonds are of 2 types, sweet and bitter, both of which are widely used for edible purposes.
Health aspects: Having 8 to 10 soaked almonds is great to improve your diet plan. This is vital among dry fruits and nuts, as, it lowers bad cholesterol and enhances free flow of oxygen and nutrients in the body due to the presence of essential micro nutrients including, vitamin E, magnesium and potassium. Consuming almonds on a daily basis works amazing for bone building, sugar control and reduction in appetite.
3. Wal nuts:
These are wrinkle shaped edible seeds consisting of two halves, enveloped with hard shell covering, found in green fruits of tall deciduous walnut tree. In India, this temperate dry fruit is mostly grown in Jammu, Kashmir, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh. On the global front, California holds 1/3 of world’s production of walnuts.
Health aspects: Walnuts are packed with nutrition just like other dry fruits and nuts. But, you need to have only 2 to 3 per day, as, having more than this can lead to excessive weight gain and other petty issues. Some proven benefits of consuming walnut includes, decreased inflammation, healthy gut, reduced risk of cancer, weight control, managing type 2 diabetes, healthy aging, etc.
About: Raisins are actually the dried form of grapes. In other words, grapefruits, especially red grape fruits, are dried for about 3 weeks in sun or through machines to evaporate the excessive water and caramelize the sugar inside to form small and sweet raisins. Some top states in India leading in the production of this dry fruit includes, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.
Health aspects: This fat-free dry fruit is a rich antioxidant and has zero cholesterol. The nutritional value of raisins go much beyond its sweet taste. Having a handful of these is exceptionally good for smoothening digestion, strengthening bones and teeth and building metabolism. But, a diabetic person should not have this dry fruit due to very high sugar content in it.
About: Dates are the most delicious among dry fruits and nuts. These are commonly found hanging on tall date palm trees. The easiest way to get them is to buy these dry fruits online rather than hunting for trees or stores. In India, dates are majorly harvested in Rajasthan, Punjab and Gujarat.
Health aspects: Dates holds a long chart of benefits including reduced risk of cancer, healthy digestion, preventing infections, antioxidant properties, improved brain functions, healing diabetes and much more. Well, you can have 5 to 6 dates per day to boost your body and taste and also keep your hunger at bay. These are extremely friendly with taste buds and health, therefore, should be a part of your meal.
6. Pistachio Nuts:
About: These nuts belong to the family of cashews and actually are edible seeds of pistachio tree. These are coated with hard shell and are slightly greenish and sweet in taste. In India, Jammu and Kashmir, due to the presence of suitable weather, are famous for the mass production of these delicious quality nuts.
Health aspects: A handful of pistachio nuts is advisable to eat, as, these boost the energy level for the rest of the day. These are best for cardiovascular diseases, as, it keeps a check on the cholesterol level in the body, especially the bad ones. The best part is, pistachio nuts are way more heavenly when served roasted-salted, to satisfy your appetite. Having these as snacks fills your tummy to promote weight control.
7. Sesame Seeds:
About: These are oilseeds, usually flat and oval in shape. Sesame seeds contain maximum healthy oil than any other dry fruits and nuts. These are easily grown at places where other seeds fail to nurture. These edible seeds are cultivated from the pods of the flowers of annual herb plants. States in India holding highest share of sesame seed production includes, Gujarat followed by West Bengal, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Health aspects: Sesame oil is trendy these days due to its high nutritional value and so are the seeds. These seeds have been a part of Indian traditional sweets since ages. Sesame seeds are tremendous for hair, skin, aging, bones, energy, digestion, blood pressure, etc. Including these seeds in your daily cooking is a great idea to nourish your body.
8. Dried apricots:
About: This is the most traditional among dry fruits and nuts. The apricot fruits are dried to remove excess moisture and chemically preserved, just the way raisins are, to form rich dried apricots. Jammu, Kashmir and regions of Himachal Pradesh are responsible for supplying maximum of dried apricots throughout the country.
Health aspects: Having 4 to 5 dried apricots, on a daily basis, is highly recommended, as, the presence of calcium is amazing for strengthening bones and stability of nerve functions. Also, the magnesium in it provides relief from muscular pains and cramps. Apart from this, dried apricots work magic in controlling sugar level, obesity and hypertension.
9. Flax seeds:
About: These seeds are golden yellow or reddish brown in colour and are cultivated from flax plant, which is a food and fibre crop. In India, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Telangana are some major flax seeds growing states.
Health aspects: Since ancient time, flax seeds have been a good source of winter diets, as, the presence of omega-3 produces enormous body heat. Besides this, these tiny seeds are loaded with nutrients such as protein, fibre and essential minerals, which provide help in healing arthritis, heart diseases, risk of cancer, blood, sugar, constipation, etc.
10. Dried figs:
About: Figs are the oldest fruits recognised by humans, grown on the fig tree, a member of Mulberry family. These fruits are dried up naturally or through artificial process to form sweet dried figs, which is the most favoured among dry fruits and nuts. Several states in India including, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh are well known for producing majority of dried figs.
Health aspects: Prominent among dry fruits and nuts, dried figs must be consumed in limited proportion, which is 2 to 3 per day, to grab the best out of it, as, over consuming will lead to unnecessary weight gain. Packed with essential nutrients such as fibre, iron, calcium and potassium, these healthy flavourful snack controls blood pressure and mental stress.
This article has provided all needed answers to what are dry fruits and nuts and what are the types of dry fruits and nuts. Well, in this scenario of pandemic, dry fruits and nuts act as immense immune boosters and hence should be purchased to include in your diet plate. The best option to grab these is to buy dry fruits online, as, purchasing dry fruits online not only fits your budget and is qualitative, but also protects you and your family from the rush at stores and saves your time.