10 Healthiest Dried Fruits To Eat

by Ella

Dried fruits have been cherished for centuries as a nutritious and convenient snack. Packed with essential nutrients, fiber, and natural sugars, they offer a burst of energy and flavor without the need for refrigeration. However, not all dried fruits are created equal in terms of their nutritional profile. In this article, we will delve into the world of dried fruits, exploring their health benefits and unveiling the healthiest option among them.

Is Dried Fruit Healthy?

Dried fruit can be a healthy snack option when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. It offers some nutritional benefits but also comes with certain considerations. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of dried fruits:



1. Nutrient Content: Dried fruits retain many of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber present in their fresh counterparts. They can provide essential nutrients like potassium, iron, and dietary fiber.


2. Portability: Dried fruits are convenient and portable, making them a great on-the-go snack option. They require no refrigeration and can be easily carried in your bag.


3. Energy Boost: Dried fruits are energy-dense due to their natural sugars, which can provide a quick source of energy, making them a good option for athletes or those needing a quick pick-me-up.



1. Calorie Density: Dried fruits are concentrated sources of calories because the water content has been removed. This can make it easy to consume a large number of calories in a small portion.

2. Sugar Content: While the natural sugars in dried fruits provide energy, they can also contribute to high sugar intake if consumed excessively. Some dried fruits can have added sugars as well, further increasing the sugar content.

3. Sulfur Dioxide and Additives: Some commercially dried fruits may contain sulfur dioxide and other additives to preserve color and extend shelf life. These additives can cause adverse reactions in some individuals, such as those with sulfite sensitivity.

4. Dental Health: Dried fruits are sticky and can adhere to teeth, potentially increasing the risk of dental cavities if proper oral hygiene is not maintained.

Nutritional Facts of Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are derived from fresh fruits by removing their water content. This process concentrates their nutrients, making them a compact source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Dried fruits are rich in essential vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, and various B vitamins, which contribute to immune function, skin health, and energy metabolism.

One of the most significant benefits of dried fruits is their high fiber content. Fiber aids digestion, promotes satiety, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Moreover, the natural sugars found in dried fruits are accompanied by fiber, which slows down the release of sugar into the bloodstream, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.

Which Dried Fruit Reigns Supreme?

Antioxidants are compounds that protect our cells from damage caused by harmful molecules known as free radicals. Dried fruits are known to contain antioxidants, but their levels can vary significantly. Among the contenders for the title of healthiest dried fruit in terms of antioxidants are raisins, apricots, figs, and prunes.

1. Dried Raisins

Raisins, derived from dried grapes, are well-known for their sweet and chewy texture. They contain significant amounts of resveratrol, an antioxidant linked to heart health. Resveratrol has been associated with improved blood flow, reduced inflammation, and lowered blood pressure. Raisins are also rich in quercetin, which may help combat allergies and inflammation.

See Also: Green vs. Black Grapes: Which is Better?

2. Dried Apricots

Dried apricots are a fantastic source of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy vision, promoting immune function, and supporting skin health. Additionally, apricots are packed with potassium, which aids in regulating blood pressure and muscle function.

3. Dried Figs

Figs are unique among dried fruits due to their exceptional fiber content. This fiber not only supports digestive health but also provides a sense of fullness, making figs a valuable asset for weight management. Figs are also rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium, promoting bone health and proper nerve function.

See Also: Figs: Varieties, Nutrition Facts, Benefits, Picking & Storage

4. Dried Prunes

Prunes, or dried plums, are renowned for their digestive benefits. They are a natural source of dietary fiber and sorbitol, a sugar alcohol known for its gentle laxative effect. Prunes also contain phenolic compounds that have antioxidative properties and contribute to overall health.

5. Dried Dates

Dates are a natural sweetener and are rich in potassium, magnesium, and fiber. They also contain various vitamins and minerals.

6. Dried Cranberries

Dried cranberries contain antioxidants and have been associated with urinary tract health. Opt for those with lower added sugar content.

7. Dried Goji Berries

These berries are high in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C and vitamin A. They also contain amino acids and have been used in traditional medicine.

8. Dried Blueberries

Dried blueberries are another source of antioxidants, such as anthocyanins. They may help with cognitive function and heart health.

See Also: Blueberry: Nutritional Facts, 10 Benefits, Selection & Storage

9. Dried Mulberries

Mulberries are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and dietary fiber. They also contain resveratrol, which has potential health benefits.

10. Dried Cherries

Dried cherries offer antioxidants and nutrients like potassium and vitamin C. They may have anti-inflammatory properties as well.

See Also: Top 20 Healthiest Fruits

Dried Fruit vs. Fresh Fruit

Dried fruit and fresh fruit each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Choosing between them depends on your dietary goals, preferences, and individual needs. Here’s a comparison of dried fruit and fresh fruit:

Dried Fruit:


1. Nutrient Retention: Drying preserves many of the nutrients found in fresh fruit, including vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.

2. Long Shelf Life: Dried fruit has a longer shelf life compared to fresh fruit, making it a convenient option for times when fresh produce is not readily available.

3. Portability: Dried fruit is lightweight, compact, and doesn’t require refrigeration, making it a convenient snack for on-the-go activities.


1. Calorie Density: Dried fruit is more calorie-dense due to the removal of water. This can lead to overconsumption of calories if not eaten in moderation.

2. Sugar Content: The natural sugars in dried fruit become more concentrated during the drying process. Some dried fruits also have added sugars, contributing to higher sugar intake.

3. Additives: Some commercially available dried fruits contain additives like sulfur dioxide or added sugars. Opt for unsweetened and additive-free options.

Fresh Fruit:


1. Hydration: Fresh fruits have a high water content, contributing to hydration and a feeling of fullness.

2. Lower Calorie Density: Fresh fruits generally have a lower calorie density due to their high water content, which can be beneficial for weight management.

3. Diverse Nutrients: Different fresh fruits provide a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.


1. Spoilage: Fresh fruit has a shorter shelf life and requires proper storage to prevent spoilage.

2. Convenience: Fresh fruit may not always be as portable as dried fruit, and it might require refrigeration or preparation before consumption.

3. Availability: Certain fresh fruits might not be available year-round, depending on seasonal factors and geographic location.

See Also: Top 18 Vitamin C-Rich Fruits

How can I add dry fruits to my diet?

Incorporating dried fruits into your diet can be a tasty and nutritious way to boost your intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here are some ideas on how to add dried fruits to your meals and snacks:

1. Trail Mix: Create your own trail mix by combining your favorite dried fruits with nuts, seeds, and perhaps some dark chocolate or whole-grain cereal for added crunch.

2. Oatmeal or Yogurt: Sprinkle a handful of dried fruits over your morning bowl of oatmeal or mix them into your yogurt for extra flavor and texture.

3. Smoothies: Blend dried fruits into your smoothies for a natural sweetness and added nutrients. They can complement the flavors of fruits and greens in your smoothie.

4. Baking: Incorporate dried fruits into your baked goods like muffins, granola bars, and cookies for a delightful burst of flavor.

5. Salads: Toss dried fruits into salads to add a touch of sweetness. They work particularly well with spinach, mixed greens, or even grain-based salads.

6. Grains and Cereals: Mix dried fruits into cooked grains like quinoa, rice, or couscous to enhance the taste and nutritional value of your dishes.

7. Energy Bars: Make your own energy bars or protein bars at home with a combination of dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and other wholesome ingredients.

8. Snacking: Enjoy dried fruits on their own as a convenient and satisfying snack, but remember to watch portion sizes due to their calorie density.

9. Nut Butter Spread: Spread almond or peanut butter on whole-grain bread or crackers and top with thinly sliced dried fruits for a balanced snack.

10. Cooking: Some dried fruits can be added to savory dishes, like Moroccan tagines or stews, to add a touch of sweetness and depth of flavor.

11. Tea or Infusions: Drop a few dried fruits into your tea or hot water to infuse it with a subtle fruity flavor.

12. Homemade Granol: Make your own granola with rolled oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Enjoy it with milk, yogurt, or as a topping for smoothie bowls.

Tips for adding more dried fruit to your diet

Adding more dried fruits to your diet can be a delicious and nutritious way to enhance your meals and snacks. Here are some tips to help you incorporate dried fruits into your eating routine:

1. Hydrate Before: Because dried fruits are concentrated in natural sugars, they can be a bit more sugary than fresh fruits. Drink water before consuming them to help control your appetite.

2. Read Labels: When purchasing store-bought dried fruits, read the ingredient labels to ensure you’re choosing options with minimal added sugars and additives.

3. DIY Drying: Consider drying your own fruits at home using a dehydrator or oven. This way, you have control over the quality and ingredients.

4. Experiment with Flavors: Different dried fruits offer unique flavors and textures. Experiment with various options to find the ones you enjoy the most.

5. Use in Desserts: Use dried fruits as a natural sweetener in desserts like puddings, parfaits, and fruit salads.

6. Stay Mindful: While dried fruits are nutritious, they can still contribute to your overall calorie intake. Be mindful of your daily caloric needs and balance your intake accordingly.

How much dry fruits should I eat daily?

1. Portion Size: A typical serving size of dried fruits is about 1/4 cup (about 40-50 grams), which is roughly equivalent to a small handful. This portion provides the nutritional benefits of dried fruits without overloading you with calories and sugars.

2. Frequency: Aim to consume dried fruits a few times a week rather than daily. This will help you avoid excessive sugar intake and ensure you’re getting a variety of nutrients from other food sources as well.


Dried fruits offer a convenient and nutritious way to enjoy the benefits of fruits year-round. While all dried fruits provide various nutrients and health benefits, prunes stand out as the healthiest option due to their exceptional digestive benefits, antioxidant content, and nutrient profile. Whether enjoyed on their own or incorporated into various dishes, prunes can be a delicious addition to a balanced diet. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet, especially if you have specific health concerns or dietary restrictions.



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