Dried or dehydrated blueberries are one of the most controversial foods in nutrition.
Some claim that dried cranberries are good as one of their properties is their high antioxidant content. Others are bad because they are high in calories, carbohydrates, and sugar.
To find out if they are perfect, this article studies the nutritional properties and benefits of dried cranberries. Are they suitable for people with diabetes?
What are dried cranberries?
Blueberries ( Vaccinium myrtillus ) are a type of berry of Greek origin.
Dehydrated, dried, or raisins blueberries are fresh fruits after dehydration. There are reds, purples, and blacks.
Today, you can buy packaged dried cranberries; they are sold in most health stores. Although you can also make them at home with an oven, this is a way to maintain their properties better.
Dried cranberries can be dehydrated naturally with temperature. Some growers also use chemicals and sugar to extend their shelf life. This alters its properties.
World blueberry production increases every year. In 2019, the United States (37) and Canada led it with 24% of world production.
Dried blueberry’s nutritional properties
100 g of dried blueberries provide 320 calories. This figure is similar to other dehydrated fruits like goji berries or dates. As with all dehydrated fruits, the energy is concentrated in a smaller volume in the drying process.
However, it is good to know that some of its properties, such as the mineral content, are the same as dried and fresh blueberries.
As for the carbohydrate content, this can vary substantially.
One of the properties of fresh blueberries is that they are low in carbohydrates. However, most dried cranberries have sugar, or other simple carbohydrates added, thus losing this benefit.
Commercial dried blueberries typically have about 80 grams of carbohydrates, of which 68 grams is sugar. To find out if sugar has been added to raisins, you should read the nutritional value label.
The nutritional properties of dried cranberries are:
|Total fat||2.5 g|
|Total carbohydrates||80 g|
|C vitamin||23.8 mg|
|beta carotene||84 µg|
|Lutein and zeaxanthin||208 µg|
|Vitamin E||2.35 µg|
Table of nutritional properties of 100 grams of dehydrated blueberries. USDA Source (6)
// Recommended: Do fruits have sugar, and are they fattening?
Dried cranberries benefits
Dried cranberries stand out for the presence of minerals, polyphenols, and anthocyanins. A bioactive molecule that gives it its red or purple color and has antioxidant properties associated with several health benefits.
Studies claim that a diet rich in berries (such as blueberries) is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. (2,3,4)
However, it is always dried cranberries with no added sugar when it comes to benefits.
Dried cranberries without sugar are low on the glycemic index, making them an ideal fruit for diabetics and even allowing low-carb diets like the keto diet. However, those with a lot of sugar have more harm than good.
The benefits of dried cranberries are:
- They can improve skin health
One of the properties of dried cranberries is their high content of vitamin C, antiocinanines, and flavonoids. All of these molecules can fight free radicals, which are associated with slowing down aging processes and improving skin health.
- A healthy snack between meals
If the dried cranberries do not contain an extra added sugar, they are an excellent choice as a snack between meals. This fruit is perfect in combination with unsweetened yogurts and nuts.
- Improve the digestion process
Dried blueberries have 7-8% vegetable fiber content. One of the benefits of including foods with fiber in the diet is to improve the digestion process.
- Promote nitric acid production
Research confirms that dried cranberries contain bioactive compounds that increase nitric oxide production. (1) This benefit is associated with a better contraction capacity of the blood vessels.
- Improve cardiovascular health
Polyphenols are the most abundant natural pigments in dried cranberries. In addition, they are high in molecules such as quercetin, kaempferol, and catechins. (1) All molecules with antioxidant properties can improve the cardiovascular system.
Are dried blueberries excess sugar and fattening?
If the label of dried cranberries has a high sugar content (greater than 80 percent), it can be said that even in moderate amounts, they are fattening. So you should not exaggerate its consumption; a handful is enough.
Red raisins with added sugar are not allowed foods for people with diabetes.
While regular consumption of fresh blueberries is associated with benefits such as controlling blood sugar levels, if glucose, sucrose, or fructose is added to these on the outside, they are no longer healthy.
The effects of the polyphenols in blueberries in reducing hyperglycemia do not apply to those dried or dehydrated with sugar. This occurs due to the inhibition of enzymes such as amylase and glucosidase. (1)
Where to buy dried cranberries?
Dried blueberries can be purchased at most supermarket chains, online stores, and health food stores.
Its price depends on the country, although it is usually a lower-quality, dehydrated fruit than other more exotic ones such as mango or pineapple.
We recommend buying organic dried cranberries. Organic foods cannot use any synthetic chemicals in their production, which has even better properties.
As for the color, purples are even higher in antioxidants. However, if you prefer reds, this won’t make a big difference.
Dried or dehydrated blueberries are a type of dark berry that is high in antioxidants: vitamin C, catechins, and polyphenols.
The amount of calories and carbohydrates in these raisins varies substantially depending on whether sugar has been added to its composition. Unfortunately, most commercial brands do. This is to extend its life.
The benefits of consuming dried cranberries without sugar regularly are improved digestion process and cardiovascular and skin health.
The mineral content is one of the properties that dehydrated blueberries do not lose compared to fresh ones. The presence of potassium, zinc, and iron stands out.