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Q:

Do dried blueberries have the same antioxidant benefits as fresh blueberries?

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C., Albany, Calif. ANSWER: A fresh berry is about 80 percent water by weight; a dried one is down to about 15 percent water (or less, depending on the degree of drying). This means that with a dried berry, you get more nutrients (and calories) on a per-weight basis. If the berries are freeze-dried, there will be only a slight loss of nutrients, and the loss of antioxidants will be negligible. If heat is used during the drying process, the losses might be slightly greater, but nowhere near enough to dampen the flavors, healthfulness and nutritive value of the food. Dried blueberries are a wonderful source of dietary fiber and the many bountiful nutrients usually found in edible berries. Use fresh or dried, which ever you prefer. I keep dried fruits in the house at all times, using them in my breakfast cereal or mixing them with yogurt, or with various types of nuts for a trail mix. It might be blueberries, raisins, cranberries, raspberries or cherries. These also work well as a lunch ... more
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