Dehydrated fruits offer several nutritional benefits, including high-quality fibre and antioxidants, which can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. In addition, dehydrated fruits retain most of their vitamins and minerals but have been cooked at low temperatures, so they contain no cholesterol or sodium. Additionally, dehydrated fruits like dried cranberries taste great when rehydrated, which adds variety to your diet and helps prevent boredom with your food choices. Explore six of the most important benefits of dehydrated fruits below.
1. Loaded with Micronutrients
While fruit does contain a number of micronutrients, it’s hard to say whether or not dried fruits will have higher or lower amounts of micronutrients than fresh fruit because it depends on which nutrients you’re looking at and how concentrated they are in fresh fruit vs. dried fruit (the latter is about 20-30% denser).
2. Rich in Fibres
Fibers are critical for a number of reasons, from improving cardiovascular health to helping maintain a healthy digestive system to even helping manage hunger and cravings. One great thing about dried fruits is that they tend to have higher amounts of fibre per serving than fresh fruit because it’s harder for fibre to break down when there’s less moisture in food. Dried fruit has more than 5 grams per serving on average, which is 25% more than fresh fruit (which only has around 4 grams per serving).
3. Prunes are Natural Laxatives
Laxatives are used to treat constipation, and prunes have been used as natural laxatives for years because they’re so effective at moving things along in your digestive tract. While 1-2 servings a day won’t be enough to cause any side effects, eating more than four servings a day may not be great because it can actually cause issues that lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
4. Abundant Antioxidants
Oxidative stress is a big part of what causes premature ageing and many chronic diseases, but antioxidants can protect your body from that oxidative stress. And while fresh fruit has antioxidants, dried fruit may actually have more because it hasn’t been oxidized yet (which happens when it’s exposed to oxygen).
In fact, some research shows that raisins, in particular, may be high in antioxidants because they don’t tend to get damaged by air exposure like other dried fruits do.
5. Minerals & Vitamins
In addition to being good for your digestive system, there’s a lot that dried fruits can do for your bone health as well because they contain a decent amount of minerals, including iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese.
Magnesium helps prevent osteoporosis, and a lack of it can lead to anemia — you know what else helps with anemia? Vitamin B12! Dried fruit is also very high in B vitamins — particularly folate (also known as folic acid), which helps boost hemoglobin levels in your blood.
6. Rich Source of Beta Carotene
Vitamin A is so important for your skin and overall health, and one of its key roles in regulating cell growth and division. Dried fruits tend to be a good source of beta-carotene, which is a form of vitamin A that’s easier for you to absorb than other forms (like pre-formed retinol). The best-dried fruits to eat include figs, papaya, mangoes, raisins and apricots.