Are dried fruits nutritious?

July 9, 2015

I always thought of them as candy, but the answer is Yes! It is however important to choose them wisely. Dried fruits are simply fresh fruit with the water removed, and this process of dehydration, in fact, causes some nutrients to become more concentrated. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition for example, found that antioxidants in figs, plums, grapes, and cranberries are more potent that in the fresh fruit version.

It is important to be aware that the calories of dried fruit are approximately twice of the ones found in fresh fruit. Because dried fruits are so small and tasty, we can tempted to indulge excessively, but remember that due to the high concentrations of calories and nutrients, smaller amounts count for more, a 1/2-cup serving is equal to a 1-cup of fresh fruits.

Additionally, many manufacturers add sugar for extra flavor. These sugar added dried fruits are more like candy than a healthy snack and should be avoided (no wonder why I never thought of them as nutritious).  So, always check the ingredients box to avoid dried fruits that have sugar and sulfur dioxide. The best dehydrated fruits to consume are apricots, figs, tomatoes, raisins, blueberries, and cherries.
If chosen and consumed properly, eating dried fruits can help us meet the recommended daily fruit intake. This is my favorite brand if you would like to try them.

Vinson, J., Zubik, L., & Bose, P. (2005). Dried Fruits: Excellent in Vitro and in Vivo Antioxidants. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 24(1), 44-50.

 Photo my own

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