When you think of cake, healthy food is definitely not something that comes to mind. However, fruit cake is an exception to this and has many health benefits when you eat it moderately.
The benefits of fruit cake include high antioxidant levels, improved cardiovascular health, improved sleep quality, and healthier blood sugar levels. Eating it also leads to better digestive health and sleep quality.
Read on to learn more about fruit cake’s health benefits. I’ve also included tips on how to make it even healthier.
Health Benefits of Fruit Cake
Here are some of the ways that fruit cake can help improve your health:
Dried raisins and cinnamon powder are both main ingredients of fruit cake. Thanks to these foods’ low glycemic index, they’re great at regulating blood sugar levels.
This is particularly true for those who suffer from type 1 diabetes. A slice of fruitcake can help lower their blood sugar to a safe level.
You tend to hear the word antioxidant thrown around a lot when talking about food and health. Therefore, you may wonder what antioxidants are.
Antioxidants help protect your cells from potential damage caused by free radicals. As a result, they greatly reduce your risk of developing serious diseases like diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
Guess what, fruit cake is packed with them thanks to dried fruits being among its main ingredients.
If you’re prone to digestive issues like constipation, fruit cake can be your best friend.
This tasty treat contains nutmeg and other sources of fiber that help stimulate your digestive system and allow your bowels to function smoothly.
Of course, eating too much fruit cake can have a reverse effect, so don’t go overboard with your indulgence.
Fruit cake can also help improve heart health and make you less prone to developing cardiovascular conditions like peripheral artery disease and blood clots.
It does so due to its rum content. While too much alcohol is harmful, getting a little bit of it into your system through a slice of fruit cake can work wonders for your cholesterol levels.
Rum rids your body of harmful cholesterol and raises healthy cholesterol levels, which safeguards you from heart disease. The raisins and nutmeg in fruit cake also have the same effect.
Another benefit of the rum in fruit cake is that it can help you fall asleep more easily and for a longer time.
Rum can do so because it slows down your brain activity and relieves anxiety. The nutmeg in fruit cake also helps your body relax and get into the right physical and mental state for a good night’s sleep.
Providing a boost of energy is also among fruit cake’s many benefits.
The dried fruits it contains are rich in natural sugars and healthy calories that elevate your activity level. Additionally, fruit cake has very little fat content, which makes it less likely to make you feel sluggish.
As a result, a slice of fruit cake in the morning can help fill you up with energy and get you ready for a long and productive day.
I’ve established that fruit cake is already a healthy treat. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take measures to make it even more beneficial.
Here are some possibilities:
People often use candied fruits when they make fruit cake because they make it look better. They’re also more sugary so they make the cake taste sweeter.
However, this high sugar level makes candied fruits unhealthy. Additionally, candied fruits often contain artificial colors and additives. Therefore, they don’t add nutritional value and can sometimes be harmful.
As a result, you’d be better served to use natural dried fruits to make your fruit cake.
When you make a fruit cake, you’ll inevitably use flour. Which type of flour you go for has a significant effect on how healthy the resulting cake is.
Refined flour tends to contain gluten, which you should avoid when you can. Therefore, I recommend using multigrain flour instead.
It’s more rich in healthy calories, and in turn, will make you feel full long after you’ve eaten your cake.
When baking a fruit cake, try to prioritize quality over quantity when adding the dried nuts. We recommend using nuts with low calories and high nutritional value, such as walnuts and pistachios.
You should also use sensible amounts regardless of which type of nuts you decide to go for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions people commonly have about fruit cake.
If you like a citrusy taste in your fruit cake, orange liqueur is your best option. For those looking for a spicy twist, brandy or whiskey is the way to go. Alternatively, you can use amaretto or cherry brandy.
Despite fruit cake’s alcohol content, this tasty treat won’t get you intoxicated. This is because the alcohol you season your fruit cake with evaporates very fast. Therefore, the amount of alcohol that enters your system is minimal.
The alcohol’s purpose is to accentuate the fruits’ and nuts’ flavor.
Yes, you can make fruit cake without alcohol. However, note that alcohol-free fruit cake doesn’t last nearly as long when stored as fruit cake that contains rum or brandy.
Alcohol helps accentuate flavors in your cake because it creates something known as the hitchhiker effect. When the alcohol evaporates, it takes some of the fruit and nut flavors with it and wafts them into your nose. This makes you feel the flavor more intensely.
Additionally, the flavor of the fermented fruit or grain in your spirit of choice blends into the cake.
You may have heard a friend or family member say that fruit cake is healthy. This may have got you wondering about the benefits of fruit cake.
When you make fruit cake using natural dried fruits, multigrain flour, and nutritious nuts, you can take advantage of benefits like improved heart health and sleep quality. Fruit cake can also lead to better digestive health and more stable blood sugar levels.
Who said cake can’t be healthy?!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.