ISLAMABAD: Dry fruits, the specialty of winter, are good source of fiber which help keep digestive system smooth and functional.
Health experts Monday said dried apricots contain 6.5 grams per cup, while fresh apricots contain just 3.1 grams. A recent study of Harvard School of Public Healthpointed out it helps prevent obesity, heart disease and some forms of cancer.
Dried fruits generally contain more fiber than the same-sized serving of their fresh counterparts, it added.
Dried fruit generally contains a lot of fiber and is a great source of antioxidants, especially polyphenols which are associated with health benefits such as improved blood flow, better digestive health, decreased oxidative damage and reduced risk of many diseases
Dry fruits also help lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar control, decrease inflammatory markers and blood cholesterol and lead to increased feeling of fullness.
All of these factors should contribute to a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. With dropping temperature to freezing level, the demand for dry fruit has witnessed a surge in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Various varieties of dry fruits from Balochistan and Northern Areas are good in quality attracting more customers due to their nutritious value and taste.
Peanuts, cashew nut, wall nuts, almonds, pistachios, roasted black chickpea etc. are generally in demand at dry fruit shops and vendor stalls.
Asad Hussain, a customer at Aabpara said, “My children like peanuts with `Ravari’ and `Kishmish’ in evening while watching television or having chit chat with family members and I also prefer to keep them engaged inside in this way rather than to go out for playing”.
He said dry fruit is a blessing of winter and good source of energy so they enjoy it a lot.
Zahid Shah, a dry fruit seller at Karachi Company said, “Peanuts are always in demand and the Pinus Gerardiana (Chilgoza) sale is going down for last so many years due to its high price.
He said, daily around 40 to 50 kg peanuts, 25 to 30 kg cashew nuts, wall nuts, almonds and pistachios are sold at his shop but hardly two to three percent customers demand Chilgoza.
He said December and January are the peak season for the sale of dry fruit as it demands starts reducing in February with the changing weather.
Asif Khan, a vendor at Jinnah Super market said, he brought dry fruit from Northern Areas and got good number of customers here at this market.
He said people are ready to pay but asked for good quality of dry fruits.