Nuts and dried fruits have been part of the human diet since prehistoric times. They are nutrient-rich foods and constitute an excellent means to deliver health-promoting bioactive compounds. As such, they serve as important healthful snack items, besides being part of many traditional and new recipes of gastronomy worldwide.
Frequent consumption of nuts and/or dried fruits is highly recommended to obtain the full benefit of the nutrients, bioactives, and antioxidants that they contain, together with their desirable flavour.
Scientists at CIBEROBN-Instituto de Salud Carlos III in Madrid have reviewed bioactives in nuts and dried fruits highlighting their health benefits. "The macronutrients, micronutrients, and other health-promoting bioactive compounds contained in nuts and dried fruits may synergistically contribute to modulate the risk of cardiometabolic and other non-communicable diseases through various mechanisms", say the scientists.
Experimental research, prospective studies, and human clinical trials have reported beneficial effects of nut consumption on various health outcomes, while the benefits of dried fruits have been less explored.
"This review summarizes recent findings on bioactive constituents, health claims, and health benefits of nuts and dried fruits and also discusses their great potential as healthy foods to benefit a number of diseases afflicting human beings," concluded the scientists.
Source: Cesarettin Alasalvar, Jordi-Salas Salvadó, Emilio Ros, 'Bioactives and health benefits of nuts and dried fruits', 2020, Food Chemistry, Volume 314, 126192.