The Healthiest Canned and Dried Fruits

The health benefits of different canned and dried fruits.

Fruits are important to any diet because they contain essential nutrients your body needs, like vitamin C, fiber, and folate. Eating fruit can also lower your risk for diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Even though having fruit in your diet is so important, there are some downsides to eating fresh fruit. Because it's fresh, the shelf life isn't very long. Packaged fruit, on the other hand, is easy, convenient, and has a longer shelf life than fresh produce. In some cases, it may even cost less too.

If you struggle with adding fruit to your diet, you may find it easier to add canned or dried fruit. Here are some canned and dried fruit options and the different nutrients they contain.

Canned Fruit

Canned fruits are contained in either water, syrup, or juice to keep them preserved for a longer time. Some canned fruits are canned in sweet syrup, which can add more sugar content. Since eating too much added sugar can lead to health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, try to eat canned fruits in water or fruit juice.

Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes are a versatile pantry staple for making things like pasta sauce, chili, or soup.

Besides their versatility, canned tomatoes also have a few health benefits. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a pigment that gives tomatoes their red color. Lycopene may have protective effects against cancer and the risk of heart disease.

One can of tomatoes, canned in tomato juice, contains:

  • 1.5 grams of protein
  • 3.6 grams of fiber
  • 6.6 carbohydrates
  • 4.8 grams of sugar
  • 363 milligrams of potassium
  • 62.7 milligrams of calcium

Canned Pumpkin

Canned pumpkin is often used for baking in pumpkin bread and pie, but you could also use it to make soup, oatmeal, or pasta sauce. Pumpkin contains a variety of nutrients. A one-cup portion size of canned pumpkin contains:

  • 2.7 grams of protein
  • 7.1 grams of fiber
  • 19.8 grams of carbohydrates
  • 8 grams of sugar
  • 505 milligrams of potassium

Pumpkin is also rich in vitamin A, which is important for your vision, immune system, and the function of your heart and lungs. Most adults should consume 700–900 micrograms of retinol activity equivalents, or RAE (a measurement of vitamin A content in foods), of vitamin A every day. A half-cup portion of canned pumpkin contains 955 micrograms of vitamin A.

Canned Tangerines

Canned tangerines, or orange fruit cups, are an excellent vitamin C-packed snack. A half-cup portion of canned tangerines contains 42.6 milligrams of vitamin C—the recommended daily amount for most adults is 75–90 milligrams.

Additionally, a half-cup portion of canned tangerines contains:

  • 0.8 grams of protein
  • 0.9 grams of fiber
  • 11.9 grams of carbohydrates
  • 11.1 grams of sugar

Dried Fruit

Dried fruits are a healthy snack that can be eaten on the go and have a longer shelf life than fresh fruit. You can eat dried fruit by itself, or you can also eat it as a part of a trail mix with different nuts and seeds for added health benefits. Research found that consuming dried fruit with tree nuts may reduce your risk of developing a chronic disease such as heart disease and diabetes.

Dried Apricots

A half cup of dried apricots contains 755 milligrams of potassium which is 16% of the recommended daily value. Potassium is important to the body because it plays a big role in the function of your kidneys, heart, muscles, and nerves. A half cup of dried apricots also contains:

  • 2.2 grams of protein
  • 4.7 grams of fiber
  • 40.7 grams of carbohydrates
  • 34.7 grams of sugar
  • 35.8 grams of calcium


Prunes are dried plums which are also a great source of potassium—a half cup of prunes contains 644 milligrams of potassium, or 14% of the recommended daily value. A half cup of prunes also contains:

  • 1.7 grams of protein
  • 6.2 grams of fiber
  • 55.5 grams of carbohydrates
  • 33.2 grams of sugar
  • 120 milligrams of phosphorous


Raisins, or dried grapes, make an excellent and nutritious snack. Raisins contain nutrients like phosphorous, calcium, and vitamin C. One snack-size box of raisins contains:

  • 1.4 grams of protein
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 34.1 grams of carbohydrates
  • 28 grams of sugar
  • 320 milligrams of potassium

A half cup of raisins contains 5% of the recommended daily value of magnesium. Magnesium plays a role in muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and making protein, bone, and DNA.

A Quick Review

Adding canned and dried fruits are a great way to add more fruit to your diet. Fruits contain essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Healthy canned fruit options include tomatoes, pumpkins, and tangerines. Some healthy dried fruits include apricots, prunes, and raisins.

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  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Know your limits for added sugars.

  3. Story EN, Kopec RE, Schwartz SJ, Harris GK. An update on the health effects of tomato lycopeneAnnu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2010;1:189-210. doi:10.1146/

  4. US Department of Agriculture. Tomatoes, red, ripe, canned, packed in tomato juice.

  5. US Department of Agriculture. Pumpkin, canned, without salt.

  6. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin A and carotenoids.

  7. US Department of Agriculture. Tangerines, (mandarine oranges), canned, juice pack.

  8. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin C.

  9. Carughi A, Feeney MJ, Kris-Etherton P, et al. Pairing nuts and dried fruit for cardiometabolic health. Nutrition Journal. 2016;15(1):23.

  10. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Potassium.

  11. US Department of Agriculture. Apricots, dried, sulfured, uncooked.

  12. US Department of Agriculture. Plums, dried (prunes), uncooked.

  13. US Department of Agriculture. Raisins.

  14. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Magnesium.

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