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Health Benefits of a Food Dehydrator

author image Gary Ronberg
Gary Ronberg has been writing professionally for more than 35 years. A journalism graduate of Michigan State University, he's been a staff writer for Sports Illustrated, The Philadelphia Inquirer and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He's the author five books and a contributor to a wide range of publications, websites and major corporations.
Health Benefits of a Food Dehydrator
A close-up of sun-dried tomatoes on the rack of a food dehydrator. Photo Credit elena moiseeva/iStock/Getty Images


A food dehydrator delivers the vast majority of foods with the same vitamins and minerals as their fresh counterparts, in a remarkable array of concentrated flavors, nutrients and enzymes. According to the Energise for Life website, "The dehydration process retains almost 100% of the nutritional content of the food, retains the alkalinity of fresh produce and actually inhibits the growth of microforms such as bacteria."


Health Benefits of a Food Dehydrator
Dried apple rings in a glass jar on a rustic table. Photo Credit Gutzemberg/iStock/Getty Images

The modern dehydrator produces basically the same food with about 75 percent of its moisture removed. The only threat to deterioration is the remaining moisture. When dehydrating food, it is better to over-dry than under-dry. Once dehydrated, food must be packed inside airtight moisture-proof jars, bags or containers. It should be stored in a cool, dark area such as a pantry or cupboard. According to the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science at Brigham Young University, rice, corn, wheat and grains that have been properly dehydrated, canned and stored will last 30 years or more. Dehydrated vegetables, fruits, and pastas have a shelf life of up to 30 years. Powdered milks or milk substitutes can last up to 20 years.

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Health Benefits of a Food Dehydrator
Dried fruits and nuts in a burlap sack on a wood table with spices. Photo Credit udra/iStock/Getty Images

"Living foods are uncooked foods," says The Healing Journal, and "dehydrating food dates back to Biblical times when it was a necessity." Modern dehydrators produce a thin food material with its vitamins and minerals still present. Dried vegetables and sprouts, naturally low in "high-cholesterol" fats, are high in fiber. Almost no Vitamin C is lost in dehydration, and all Vitamin A--Beta Carotene--in plant foods is retained. Such minerals as selenium, potassium and magnesium are preserved. According to the website Life 123, quite a few supporters of the raw foods diet still use dehydrated foods as main food sources due to their rich concentration of nutrition and enzymes.

Cost Effective, Convenient

Health Benefits of a Food Dehydrator
Dried foods for sale in bulk at a health food store. Photo Credit moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images

Dried foods can be rather pricey in a store. A food dehydrator enables you to preserve fresh, nutritious foods in your own home at a fraction of the cost. The shelf lives of dehydrated foods can be decades long. Add your favorite nuts to dehydrated apples, pineapples, grapes, or cranberries for a tasty and healthy trail mix. Make genuine meat jerky from beef, poultry and pork. Banana chips are examples of what can be made by dehydrating to 3-5 percent moisture content. It's usually a good idea to soak dehydrated foods prior to consumption, preferably in distilled water. This promotes the absorption of just enough water for optimal taste. Another popular method is placing dehydrated food in a steamer. Absorbing steam plumps it up beautifully.

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