The Real Health Benefits Of Dehydrated Food

Experienced campers and hikers may be well aware of the benefits of dehydrated food. But for the rest of us, it may come as a surprise to find out just how healthy and practical the dehydrated versions of some of your favorite foods can be.

According to WebMD, dehydrating food is a preservation method that dates back to ancient times. Though today, we often dehydrate foods through modern technology and equipment over the former method of using the sun. You can eat dehydrated foods on their own or throw them in a smoothie, salad, or baked goods. Fruits, vegetables, meat, herbs, and other foods can all be dehydrated.

In addition to their versatility, dehydrated foods retain their nutritional value, per WebMD, making them a great, healthy choice. Plus, dehydrating food "can save you money, reduce food waste, and speed up your cooking," the site continued. Yes, there are plenty of benefits that come with this preservation technique.

Dehydrated foods carry a low risk of contamination

A healthy dose of vitamins and minerals from a natural source is hugely beneficial to our health — and thankfully dehydrated foods can provide you with a lot of what you need. "Daily consumption of dried fruits is recommended in order to gain full benefit of essential nutrients, health-promoting phytochemicals, and antioxidants that they contain, together with their desirable taste and aroma, a 2016 study in the Journal of Functional Foods revealed.

According to "Food Processing Technology (Third Edition)," dehydrated foods impede bacteria growth due to their low water content (via ScienceDirect). This allows you to keep them around for longer periods of time, which in turn reduces the risk of food waste and makes them a safe snack option.

The process of dehydrating food allows us more convenience and access to healthy snacking and good-for-you baking ingredients year around. Though WebMD does point out that if you buy store-bought varieties as opposed to drying your own, you may be getting added sugars. It is also important to note that you should watch out for overeating. As dehydrated foods lose their water content and reduce in size, their calories remain the same giving them more calories by weight.