Dried fruits such as dried bananas offer many benefits to a person's health. They are an excellent source of carbohydrates, copper, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and manganese. Drying or dehydrating bananas involves greatly reducing the amount of moisture locked within the fruit. Only a small percentage of a dried fruit's nutritional value is lost during the process of drying.
Drying out fruits such as bananas preserves the fruits from spoilage. Bacteria and enzymes need water to break down a food product and cause it to spoil. Removing all or most of the water content from a banana can preserve the banana for up to several months.
Dried bananas contain no cholesterol and only a small amount of fats. These dried fruits can contribute to a reduction in the risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis, and heart disease because they contain generous amounts of potassium. The low sodium content in these bananas also helps reduce hypertension, atherosclerosis, and heart disease risks.
The copper in dried bananas helps reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. Copper enhances enzyme activity in the body, which is needed to maintain blood vessel and joint elasticity. The manganese in dried bananas also helps enhance enzyme activity.
Banana products are traditionally good sources of magnesium, which helps relieve fatigue and relax the muscles. Magnesium may relieve symptoms linked with migraine headaches, asthma, and tension. Dried bananas offer a moderate amount of vitamin C, which is known to enhance the immune system. Vitamin C may also increase skin and blood vessel elasticity as well as increase iron absorption in the intestines.
The Vitamin B6 in dried bananas helps promote antibody synthesis in the body. Dried bananas also contain niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine. These materials help enhance energy production from food intake. Dried bananas are also a great source of fiber. Fiber promotes colon health, relieves constipation, and helps the bowels move more easily and efficiently.
Despite the many benefits of consuming dried fruits, there remain a few drawbacks linked with these products. Perhaps one of the only downfalls associated with drying fruits is that drying a fruit increases the fruit's caloric content. In fact, a dehydrated banana can contain around twice as many calories as a fresh banana.
The heat involved in the dehydration process is what slightly compromises a fruit's nutritional value. Vitamin C is very susceptible to deterioration during drying. While calcium and potassium may suffer during the drying process, other materials, such as iron and fiber will remain largely unaffected by the heat.