Time and again, studies have shown the benefits of dry fruits and nuts for the human body. When it comes to the elderly, dry fruits and nuts are extremely potent in maintaining good health and delaying the onset of chronic diseases.
Dry fruits can also help reduce the possibility of age-related cognitive decline as per a recent study.1
Benefits of Dry Fruits
Below are the benefits that are associated with nuts and dry fruits, especially for the elderly.
A Healthier Heart
Research has shown that people who eat a serving of nuts on a daily basis were 29% less likely to die from heart disease. This is especially important for elderly people since age is a major contributor to heart disease risk and heart disease is the biggest killer in the world.
As per the World Heart Federation, the probability of having a stroke doubles every decade after the age of 55.
Nuts are rich in fatty acids, plant sterols, fibre and copper. All of these elements help reduce cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends eating four servings of unsalted nuts per week. One serving is equivalent to 1.5 ounces.
Better cognitive functions
Dry fruits and nuts are particularly good at keeping cognitive decline at bay. Research shows that patients with Alzheimer’s, have higher levels of inflammation, in part due to lower levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Nuts are rich in omega-3s, including DHA, which is an important part of the human brain. DHA helps protect neurons which resolve inflammation and repair free radical damage of tissues.
Hence, all foods which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids replenish the brain and enhance its ability to remove toxic peptides that kill neurons.
A study in 2015 showed that those who followed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts enjoyed better cognitive function than those who did not eat nuts.
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Avoid weight gain
Most dry fruits are rich in both fat and calories. However, studies have shown that eating dry fruits and nuts still help in reducing weight. In a study done by Harvard School of Public Health middle-aged women who ate nuts twice a week were 27% less likely to become obese.
Apparently, the ability of nuts and dry fruit to fight and their combination of fat, fibre and protein helps make weight-management easier. Secondly, the effort taken by the body in eating and digesting them wears out many of the calories in nuts.
Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes
Dry fruits lower blood glucose and insulin which helps in Type 2 diabetes. For example, regularly eating pistachios improves metabolic health in people with prediabetes. When integrated with high carb means. Nuts help prevent spikes in insulin levels. They tend to turn high-GI (glycemic index) meals into low-GI ones.
There are two ways in which dry fruits help with joint pains: they help in weight reductions and they are also great for reducing inflammation. Osteoarthritis is highly correlated with obesity.
Even modest weight loss in people who are overweight can reduce pressure on the joints which helps to relieve joint pain symptoms.
Age is a major risk factor leading to cancer. Nuts and dry fruits are able to reduce the markers of ageing and therefore there is a lower risk of cancer in people who are regular eaters of dry fruits.
A study in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found that regular nut eating women are unlikely to develop colorectal cancer.
Another 2016 study in the British Journal of Cancer, found that prostate cancer patients who are dry fruit and nut eaters for more than 5 times a week have a 34% less likely probability of dying of cancer, as compared to those who only consume them once a week.
At the same time cancer also leads to a poorer immune system which often leads to cardiovascular diseases in cancer patients. Therefore dry fruits are doubly useful for those who are facing cancer.
While we are at it, the video below tackles more of the benefits of eating dry fruits.
In the next section, let us discuss some of the best dry fruit options available for the elderly on the market.
#1 Ocean Spray Craisins Dried Cranberries – Reduced Sugars
Ocean Spray Reduced-Sugar Cranberries have 50% lower sugar than the originally dried cranberries but continue to have the same sweet taste and all the health benefits as well.
Cranberries are considered a superfruit and are full of antioxidants. This product is also gluten-free, peanut-free and has no artificial preservatives of any kind.
Cranberries are also an excellent source of fibre, so much so that a single serving can meet 25% of your daily recommended fibre needs. The product is convenient to be used as both a snack or as part of a recipe.
It adds a different kind of flavour to your dishes. The packaging also comes with some innovative ideas on how to add craisins cranberries to your recipes.
Ocean Spray is a farmer-owned cooperative, thereby the fruit is grown with the highest of care and protection.
- Superfruit full of antioxidants
- Great source of fibres
- 50% lower sugar than normal – great for diabetes patients among the elderly
- Recipe ideas on the box
- The product contains Sucralose, to which some people may be allergic
- Some users complained of shipping damage to the packaging
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#2 Blue Diamond Almonds, Whole Natural
Blue Diamond almonds contain 1 25 ounce bag natural raw almonds. Almonds are one of the best dry fruit for heart disease, better weight management, diabetes and a whole host of other diseases and problems that arise due to age.
Blue diamond almonds are perfect for snacking or adding to your favourite recipes as well. 25-ounce almonds contain 3g fibre and 0 trans fat and cholesterol
Blue diamond also has almonds in various flavours – Habanero BBQ, Wasabi and Soy sauce, Dark chocolate and smokehouse.
- Available in multiple flavours
- Trans fat and Cholesterol free
- One of the best dry fruit for diabetes and heart diseases
- Some users complained of shipping damages
- The packs are a bit expensive as compared to other options
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#3 GERBS Dried Tropical Fruit Snack Mix
Gerbs tropical fruit snacks are made from freshly harvested, Dried, Diced & Cubed Mango, Papaya and Pineapple. The product is Non-GMO, Non-Trans-fats has no chemicals, preservatives or anything non-natural added.
The dried fruits are high in fiber, antioxidants, omega fats, and have lots of protein as well. The product is also low on carbs and is naturally healthy for the heart as they are cholesterol-free.
Gerbs dried tropical fruit snacks are made in a facility that is certified to be allergen-free of the top 14 allergens in the world, including Gluten, Wheat and Peanut.
- Allergen-free production
- Freshly harvested fruits rich in antioxidants
- Non-GMO and Non-Trans-Fat
- High in Fibre, omega fats and protein
- Contains natural sugar, unsuitable for diabetics
- Some users found the product opened when it came in packaging
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#4 PLANTERS Roasted Pecans
Planters Roasted Pecans are crunchy and rich in taste. They are perfect for snacking or adding to your own recipes. These pecans are roasted in peanut oil and seasoned with salt,
The pecans give 200 calories per 1 ounce. Pecans are great for heart disease and for diabetes as well. The planters roasted pecans come in a 7.25-ounce reusable canister which is easy to grab,
Pecans provide the following benefits: they improve Digestion, helps in Weight reduction, reduces the risk of certain types of Cancer, have anti-inflammatory benefits, boost immunity and prevent skin problems as well.
- Variety of health benefits
- Crunchy and rich in taste
- Available in a reusable tin
- Some people did not prefer peanut oil
- Few customers complained of stale and tasteless pecans
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# 5 Amazon Brand – Happy Belly Deluxe Mixed Nuts
The mixture of nuts in this product is as follows: almonds (35-45%), cashews (40-50%), Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and pecans (3-7% each). It is a great combination of some of the best dry fruit products for the elderly.
The nuts are lightly roasted with oil and sea salt for the perfect flavour. The product also comes with a full refund if you are unsatisfied with the quality for a full year after purchase.
- Best mixture of nuts for elderly
- Great flavour
- Full warranty for 1 year.
- Some customers were disappointed with the low amount of pecans and brazil nuts in the mix.
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Dry fruits and nuts are a wonder food for the elderly. They help in heart disease, preventing the onset of dementia, arthritis, diabetes, avoiding weight gain and even cancer!
In this article, we have listed some of the best packaged dry fruits for you to enjoy.