Strawberries are both delicious and nutritious, but they don’t stay in season all that long!
If you’re tired of not being able to get your favorite fruit in the fall and winter months, you may want to consider dehydrating your strawberries to extend their benefits.
In fact, I’m dedicating an entire post today to try and convince you to add dried strawberries to your diet.
Let’s get started..
Dried Strawberry Nutrition
They’re relatively low in calories with a single serving providing just 40 calories. Strawberries are naturally fat and cholesterol free foods.
They do contain some fiber with about one gram per serving, but their primary macronutrient is carbohydrates with 9 grams in a serving.
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, dehydrated strawberries are a rich source of Vitamin C, containing 40% of your daily value in a single serving.
They also contain some calcium albeit a relatively small amount.
Benefits of Eating Dried Strawberries
When reviewing the health benefits of strawberries, it’s common to wonder if there’s a difference between dried versus fresh.
When drying fruit, the fluid is removed, but the nutrients are retained. This means you can enjoy the same health benefits from both fresh and dried strawberries.
By the way, drying strawberries at home is super easy (here’s how).
If you’re still not convinced, check these benefits:
1. They Can Lower Bad Cholesterol
When it comes to heart disease, you want to pay close attention to your diet. Unfortunately, high cholesterol is a common problem and contributes to developing heart disease over time.
One of the benefits of strawberries is that they can help to lower cholesterol naturally.
Strawberries contain ellagic acid and flavonoids that can decrease bad cholesterol levels in your blood.
Researchers in Toronto studied strawberries and found that they played an important role in lowering cholesterol levels, especially when combined with an overall healthy diet and exercise.
2. They’re a Healthy Alternative to Candy – Yet Just As Satisfying
If you’re like me, you have a sweet tooth. However, processed sugar and sugar-containing foods can be harmful over time.
Not only can they lead to weight gain, but too much sugar promotes inflammation and may contribute to chronic health problems.
The good news is that strawberries are naturally sweet.
They are full of flavor and the dried strawberries are a great way to satisfy your sweet craving without adding extra sugar or many additional calories to your diet.
The next time you feel the need to reach for a candy bar, try snacking on some dried strawberries instead!
3. They’re High in Vitamin C (Immune Boost!)
Strawberries are a rich source of Vitamin C with just one serving providing 40% of your daily required intake.
Not only is Vitamin C an essential nutrient, it’s also a water-soluble vitamin. This means that unlike other vitamins, you have to get enough in your diet on a daily basis.
Finding Vitamin C rich foods isn’t too difficult if you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, but strawberries are an easy and tasty choice for this nutrient.
The good news is that Vitamin C also contributes to a healthy immune system. There’s a reason why so many people take Vitamin C during cold and flu season.
While you may still get the occasional cold, having dried strawberries in your diet may help to ward off some germs.
4. They’re Rich with Anti-Inflammatory Antioxidants
Inflammation is a chronic problem that can occur to anyone.
However, the antioxidant and phytochemical compounds found in strawberries play an important role in reducing inflammation.
One study found that women who ate just 16 strawberries a week had a 14% decrease in inflammatory markers when tested.
Although there are many ways to lower inflammation, very few are as easy as including strawberries in your diet.
5. They Support Healthy Bowel Habits (Thank You, Fiber)
Having a healthy digestive system isn’t always easy and much of your system depends on your fiber intake.
You can find fiber in a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains, but strawberries have a fair amount of fiber as well .
Adding a handful of them to your cereal in the morning is a great way to support healthy digestion. They’re also easy on your system as a natural source of fiber so consider them if you’ve had any problems in the past.
6. They Provide a Tasty Source of Minerals Some People Are Deficient In
Strawberries are also a good source of some minerals.
You may not think about your intake of manganese or potassium but it’s not uncommon to be deficient. Both of these play an essential role in regulating normal cellular function in your body.
You can find them in other foods as well, but dried strawberries are an easy and tasty way to get some in your diet.
7. They Encourage a Healthy Heart
Keeping your heart healthy over time involves eating a diet that’s rich in fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
One study found that eating strawberries significantly reduced the risk of a heart attack.
The researchers at Harvard Medical School found that women who regularly ate strawberries had a 34% reduction in risk of having a heart attack. That’s a big difference from adding just one food to your diet regularly.
8. They May Help Prevent Wrinkles
We all want to keep our bodies in good shape over time and strawberries may help keep aging at bay.
The nutrient composition of strawberries naturally works as an anti-aging fighter, helping to support collagen production.
It also contributes to your body’s anti-inflammatory response which may help you to avoid wrinkles over time.
If you’re looking for a quick option to improve your skin, this is the way to do it.
How Many Dried Strawberries Should You Eat Per Day?
This is a common question that comes up but there isn’t one correct answer.
As a general rule, one serving a day is going to give you the health benefits without adding many calories to your diet.
One area you should consider is the sugar content of strawberries. Although the sugar in the berries is a natural source, you don’t want to have too many in your diet for optimal health.
Most people find that adding a serving to their cereal in the morning or using it in their trail mix is a good option to include in your diet.
Don’t be afraid to enjoy them but keep your serving size under control for the best option.
Are Freeze Dried Strawberries Healthy?
The good news is that the answer to this question is a resounding yes!
Freeze-drying strawberries is not only a good choice, it also makes them a satisfying treat to have. With the process of freeze-drying, the moisture is removed which makes the strawberries good for a longer period of time.
However, the good news is that this process doesn’t involve adding any chemicals or sugar to the berries so they’re still a good option.
You can enjoy freeze-dried berries in the same way that you might enjoy berries dried with other methods.
The only difference is that freeze-drying tends to produce berries that are crunchy as they have more of the water content removed naturally.
This can be a good option if you enjoy crunchy treats and feel safe indulging guilt-free as well!
Dried Strawberries vs Fresh: Any Difference in Benefit and Nutritional Content?
If you’re not sure of whether to choose fresh or dried strawberries, you may want to consider the nutrition content.
When it comes to dried fruit, you’ll notice that dried berries are much smaller than the fresh fruit. It’s easy to eat a lot of them at one time so you could find yourself eating a lot more than you realize.
In general, you should limit your serving size of any dried fruit to avoid having any negative effects.
However, when it comes to nutrient composition, dried fruits contain more fiber and antioxidants per ounce.
Since fiber plays an important role in preventing some diseases, the dried version is a better choice for this nutrient.
The take-away point from this is that you should be aware that while dried berries still have good nutrition when compared to fresh fruits, they should still be enjoyed in moderation.
Another point of comparison is their shelf-life. I absolutely love fresh strawberries, but they just go bad SO fast! If anyone else is frustrated by fast-spoiling strawberries, I wrote a guide full of hacks to store fresh strawberries longer. Check it out!
But with dried strawberries, you don’t have to worry about that. They can last months, even years if stored properly.
Ways to Eat Dried Strawberries
Dried strawberries are a versatile fruit that can be used in a variety of ways.
One great way to get them in your diet is by adding a serving to your breakfast cereal every morning.
They’re also a good choice for cooking. You can add them to muffins, breads, cakes, and more.
Some people even enjoy using the dried berries as a topper for cupcakes!
They pair well with citrus dishes and chocolate as well so consider being creative with how you use them. I personally like to grind them up and make strawberry powder! You can mix it into yogurt, smoothies, milk, and more for an instant (and all-natural) strawberry flavor!
Best Time to Eat Strawberries
When it comes to the foods in your diet, there are often questions about the best time to eat them. There probably isn’t any one right time to enjoy dried strawberries but you can get the most benefit by being strategic with your diet.
If you’re going to be exercising, consider having them before or after you workout. It may be a good idea to have them at both times for the most benefit.
Strawberries are a good source of carbohydrates which can fuel your workout, providing you with energy to push through.
After you’re done exercising, enjoy the fruit to refuel your energy stores. Add a serving pre and post-workout for the most benefit.
Strawberries are also a good choice for a breakfast food. They’re high in nutrients and fairly low in calories but also contribute to feeling full.
Since they have a good but also a mild taste, they’re a great choice to add to oatmeal or yogurt. Strawberries are rich in fiber so they’ll keep you going until lunch.
They may also help prevent unhealthy snacking between meals so start your day off right with a simple addition of strawberries to your diet.
If you do find yourself reaching for a snack though, why not turn to dried strawberries? Who doesn’t get at least a little hungry between meals.
If you find yourself reaching for chips or another snack, then consider packing dried strawberries with you to keep unhealthy cravings at bay. You can enjoy them on their own or make the berries into a smoothie to get ahead of any bad habits.
Finally, you may want to eat more strawberries when you’re getting sick or recovering from an illness.
The nutrient composition of strawberries helps to repair and grow new tissue.
It also helps to boost immunity which may prevent or speed up recovery from any disease.
Make sure that you have some on hand during cold and flu season but consider adding them as well for any physical illnesses as they may improve healing.
Although these times are good ways to add them into your diet for the maximum benefit, you don’t have to limit your intake of dried strawberries based on these recommendations.
It’s likely that you’re going to achieve the most benefit from simply having them on a consistent basis. If it works out best to include them for breakfast, then stick with that.
However, simply having them in your diet regardless of the time will make a bigger difference long-term.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are strawberries good for your skin?
Yes, strawberries are rich in Vitamin C which promotes collagen production. Their antioxidant containing properties also contributes to healthy skin over time.
Are strawberries good for your stomach?
While strawberries probably won’t cure any stomach-related illness, they are beneficial for good digestion. They may help your digestive system to be more regular and consistent due to their fiber content.
I’m a foodie that’s slightly obsessed with drying fruits, veggies, beans, and more – especially from my own garden! It started as a hobby but became a “must” when my family fell on hard times, and my dried food stash sustained us. Now I’m always experimenting with different techniques and recipes and sharing them here!