The health benefits of dried fruit are enormous—so much so that we recommend using them in recipes, as snacks or sweet treats for you and the kids, or in any other way you can think of.
Dried fruit can be a terrific source of health-promoting nutrients because the fruits’ benefits are not only contained but more concentrated if you measure by volume (The one exception to this is vitamin C, because there’s little of it in dried fruit.). It’s getting easier to find variety in dried fruits beyond raisins, dates and prunes in your local market. Blueberries, cranberries, cherries, currants, apricots and figs are now more readily available. However, there are a couple things to think about when consuming dried fruit.
You may love that raisin cereal, but check to see if sugar is added to the fruit—because it’s not necessary. You’re better off buying a high-fiber cereal and adding in your own raisins or cranberries for sweetness.
When buying dried fruit, keep pesticides in mind. Some fruit is heavily sprayed with chemicals to prevent pests and mold. That means when the fruit is dried, the chemicals are concentrated. Blueberries and cranberries are not a heavily treated crop but strawberries and grapes (and thus raisins) are, so go organic when possible.
Like with any SuperFood, portions matter—and with small, sweet fruits it’s easy to keep eating and eating until the bag is empty. Check the nutrition label for portion size and calorie content so you don’t overdo it. A good rule of thumb is to eat no more than a quarter cup in a day.