Dehydrating is one of the best DIY methods of preserving food. Because the process removes moisture from food, dehydrated foods can last years when stored properly.
Dehydrating is a way to preserve produce so you can eat it year round. This benefit is particularly great if you grow your own food.
Studies have found that dehydrating doesn’t hurt the mineral content of food. In particular, the iron and calcium content of dehydrated food is similar to that of fresh food. These nutrients can be challenging to get in winter, especially for vegetarians or when meat and dairy aren’t available.
Because dehydrating removes moisture from food, the nutrients in dehydrated foods become concentrated. This makes getting the RDA for certain nutrients from dehydrated foods easier than fresh ones.
One of the nutrients which get concentrated in dehydrated foods is fiber. Because fiber is essential for cancer prevention, it’s no surprise that dehydrated food reduces the risk of colon, gastrointestinal, pancreatic, and other cancers.
Some foods, like tomatoes, peppers, and mushrooms, are more than 90% water. Dehydration removes the moisture from these foods but keeps all the calories intact, thus creating a very energy-dense food.
Bioavailability is your body’s ability to absorb a particular nutrient from food. Dehydrating increases the bioavailability of certain phytochemicals, such as polyphenols and tocopherols from fruits, so the body is better able to utilize them.