Drying whole food is perhaps one of the oldest ways to preserve food. But more than extending the shelf life of fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood, what are the benefits you get from dehydrated foods? Let’s find out:
Improves Gastrointestinal Health
Did you know dried fruits and veggies contain concentrated levels of fiber that keep the gastrointestinal system healthy? The fiber in dried fruits and veggies treats constipation by stimulating bowel activity. The concentrated level of glucose in dehydrated foods also stimulates the production of gastrointestinal fluids. Gastrointestinal fluids soften partially digested food that passes through the intestines. All these benefits help improve bowel movement!
High in Iron
Dehydrated fruits – such as apricots and raisins – contain an impressive amount of iron. In fact, a 100-gram serving of dried apricots contains almost twice the iron than that of the same serving of beef and four times than the same serving of chicken! And it gets better, the iron found in fruits is absorbed better by the body compared to iron derived from animal sources. In addition, most dehydrated fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C. The body needs vitamin C to improve the absorption of iron. That’s why most people who are vitamin C deficient are also deficient in iron!
Figs, oranges, persimmons, and blackcurrants are just a few of the many dried fruits that are high in calcium. Calcium is a bone-building nutrient that keeps the skeletal system healthy. This nutrient also aids in the absorption of other nutrients from the food you eat. You can always eat these fruits fresh but if a hectic schedule leaves you with very little time to prep a healthy snack, you can always pack dried fruits!
High in Antioxidants
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that the antioxidants in dried cranberries, plums, and grapes are twice as potent as their fresh counterparts. In addition, a tablespoon of dried raspberries has as many antioxidants as half a cup serving of fresh raspberries!
Antioxidants are nutrients that neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals to healthy cells. Studies show that oxidative stress caused by free radical damage is the precursor to chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Eating foods high in antioxidants is one of the best ways to reduce the damage caused by free radicals in the body. Studies show that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of gastrointestinal cancers, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer.
Eating dried fruits and vegetables can be addicting. And if you are watching what you eat, you’d be glad to know that dehydrated fruits and vegetables contain zero cholesterol, trans fat, and sodium. These convenient snacks make the perfect diet food because they are low in calories and high in fiber! Even better, you can bring a packet of dried fruits and veggies and take it with you on the go.
To make sure you are eating high quality dried fruits and veggies, we recommend drying your own food. This way, you can choose the freshest produce and control the ingredients to keep the calories low.