Everything You Need to Know About Fruit & Nuts

  • By Jen OG
  • September 18, 2019
  • In News


Snacking on fruit and nuts is one of the most delicious ways to improve your diet. While you already know that fruit is the juicy champion that gives us Vitamin C and a whole host of other vitamins and minerals, did you know how powerful nuts are? So powerful that a study found that those who eat a handful of nuts per day are likely to live longer than those who don’t!
If that’s not enough to have you sneaking more fruit and nuts into your lunch box, read our guide that covers the history of dried fruits and nuts, their health benefits and their optimum growing climate.

The History of Dried Fruits


Dried fruits are an important part of some of our most popular products at J.C.’s Quality Foods; fruit and nut mixes. While more households across Australia are seeing the benefits of locally-grown products, the idea of snacking on dried fruits isn’t a new one.

In fact, the process of drying fruit has been around for centuries – or even longer. The intention was to help preserve the fruit, as dried fruit lasted longer and was handy to have around when fresh fruit was in short supply.

Dried fruit goes way back to the bible, which mentions Figs and Raisins. Since then, it has made its way across the west, where grape cultivation was introduced to California in the mid 1800’s. The first Californian raisin crop took place; a product that eventually became a staple of the area. Now, Raisins are enjoyed worldwide, along with dates, Figs, Dried Apples, Apricots, Berries and more!

The history of nuts


Researchers in Israel have found that our ancestors were snacking on nuts as far back as 780,000 years ago! Almonds, Pistachios, Acorns and Water Chestnuts formed a major part of our diet back then.

Before proper tools were invented, people (mostly Native Americans) would bash nuts against stones to crack them open and get to the good stuff inside. The nuts were either eaten whole or were ground with a mortar and pestle in order to make nut butter or flour. This ground produce became a staple in our diets, forming a part of so many other food items.

Over the years, nuts have gained some prestige and the Romans considered Walnuts a “food for the gods”. The Macadamia nut originated here in Australia, tracking back 60,000 years with our Indigenous community, though it’s also commonly linked with Hawaii nowadays.

The health benefits of fruit and nuts


Dried fruit is sweeter than its fresh counterparts because the natural sugar is more concentrated, but have you ever wondered about the health benefits it offers? How does it compare to fresh fruit? Let’s take a look at the health benefits of both nuts and dried fruit.


  1. One serving of dried fruit contains a large portion of your vitamin intake. The average “serving” of dried fruit is 30g. It contains (mostly) around the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit, just condensed into a smaller, drier package.
  2. Dried fruit is full of antioxidants. Nibble on dried fruit for a great source of antioxidants, especially polyphenols. They help with digestion issues, weight management, cardiovascular diseases and other illnesses.
  3. Nuts are nutrient-dense. Your daily intake of nuts will provide you with a good helping of unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.
  4. Nuts could lower cholesterol levels. Nuts have a high concentration of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Nuts including almonds and hazelnuts could raise “good” cholesterol and pistachios seem to lower triglyceride levels in people with diabetes.
  5. Fruit and nut mixes could help with weight loss. Ditch the chips and chocolate and choose healthier snacking. Though considered a “high calorie” food, studies suggest fruit and nuts could actually aid weight loss, as the body doesn’t absorb all the calories and they keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Are fruit and nut mixes healthy?


Yep, they certainly are. Despite being considered a “high calorie” food, studies suggest fruit and nuts could actually aid weight loss, as the body doesn’t absorb all the calories and they keep you feeling fuller for longer. In other words, these snack options are great for dropping unwanted kilos and getting yourself in shape. They also pack a range of nutrients and vitamins that will keep you fueled with natural energy all throughout the day. Whether you’re hitting the gym, playing sport or looking to improve general well being, there’s no better choice. So, replace the chips, chocolate and lollies with a healthy fruit and nut mix for a great outlook on life.

Digging into a healthy fruit and nut mix


Getting your fill of fruit and nuts is easy because these tasty little bites can be eaten anywhere and at any time. Have a bag on hand throughout the day and enjoy a healthy feast whenever your tummy rumbles. These products are perfect on their own and can also be added to cheese boards that need a little extra crunch. Serve alongside favourite treats and know that people won’t be able to resist. Fruit and nut mixes are healthy, delicious and can be used for grazing throughout the day or entertaining in all forms.

What growing climates are best?


A balanced climate is just what’s needed for fruit and nut trees to thrive. Ideally, a wet winter is needed to cleanse the soil and trigger flowering and pollination. Then, a hot, dry summer should roll around to build sugar and flavour, and keep pests away.

This Mediterranean climate is just right; while frost during spring or rain during summer can inhibit growth, injure flowers and increase the risk of diseases. During excessively hot periods, it’s best to cover trees with shade cloth to avoid sunburn! Trees can also be protected from damage during the winter with a frost protecting solution, to give the fruits and nuts the best possible chance at blooming beautifully.