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Why does fruit magically become a high iron food when it is dried?

by (24538)
Updated about 18 hours ago
Created July 13, 2011 at 2:19 AM

This is in my head because I spend all day with a toddler. Our pediatrician recommended raisins for iron. Why not grapes? I've noticed other dried fruits saying they were high in iron too on the package. I'm confused.

Update: 2 years later, no more anemia, yipee! His love affair with raisins was fleeting, but but between dark chocolate, a love of broccoli, the occasional rice cracker with pate fest, and a few hamburgers per week his levels seem fine now.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · August 04, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Yes, but getting a 2 year old to eat liver, can be be a whole different can of worms.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · July 14, 2011 at 6:54 AM

I think that explains his reaction to it. The first day he asked for more "juicy". But the next day and ever since, he's acted like I'm asking him to eat hot coals.

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4080 · July 13, 2011 at 9:51 PM

That foravital made my stomach hurt so much! UGH!

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8757 · July 13, 2011 at 8:45 PM

one word about dark chocolate....caffiene!!!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · July 13, 2011 at 5:26 PM

I've been reading the backs of boxes like mad lately because my son eats only a bite or two of meat at a time and his iron levels were low at our last check up. The doc gave us Floravital for him, but he won't take it. I've even resorted to pinning him down and trying to squirt it down his throat a few times, but that just felt too mean. I think the raisins said they provided 6% DV per serving. I was looking at the back of an 85% cacoa chocolate bar and it said %25. I wonder how bad would it be to give him as much chocolate as he wants for a while?

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15976 · July 13, 2011 at 12:36 PM

absolutely, same for dehydrated or freeze dried things like those crispy berries some camping expedition stores have. If you stop and think about how much actual un-dried fruit you've eaten after you eat a bunch of that stuff it's kind of gross

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736 · July 13, 2011 at 9:19 AM

One little box of raisins is like a whole sack of grapes.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · July 13, 2011 at 6:48 AM

Oh yeah, I've seen it. It also makes me wonder how much iron he could possibly be getting out of them if they go through whole.

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24538 · July 13, 2011 at 3:24 AM

Thanks! My mom had the same answer, but it sounded like she might have been guessing.

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5242 · July 13, 2011 at 2:31 AM

Bingo. By weight dried fruit is more nutrient dense.

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6 Answers

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667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
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15976 · July 13, 2011 at 2:22 AM

Only because like anything else, when you dry it you drive out the water content.

The size goes down and it becomes a lot easier for us to eat a whole lot more of the item.

Essentially the serving size becomes more dense with the original constituents of the ingredient.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15976 · July 13, 2011 at 12:36 PM

absolutely, same for dehydrated or freeze dried things like those crispy berries some camping expedition stores have. If you stop and think about how much actual un-dried fruit you've eaten after you eat a bunch of that stuff it's kind of gross

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · July 13, 2011 at 3:24 AM

Thanks! My mom had the same answer, but it sounded like she might have been guessing.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5
736 · July 13, 2011 at 9:19 AM

One little box of raisins is like a whole sack of grapes.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c
5242 · July 13, 2011 at 2:31 AM

Bingo. By weight dried fruit is more nutrient dense.

2564c814ad9931c834ae092e1ef069fb
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221 · August 04, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Liver beats all fruit for anemia, regardless if it's wet or dried or whatever.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · August 04, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Yes, but getting a 2 year old to eat liver, can be be a whole different can of worms.

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10 · August 03, 2013 at 6:52 PM

there are other ways to get iron, too, like spinach, kale, etc. you might also try "rebar" nutrition bars, they are a combo of fruits and veggies in high density, and chewy like a Charleston Chew or an Eatmore. Molasses also has good iron content, so maybe some ginger snaps with molasses?

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4080 · July 13, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Now that you mention it -My SAD husband is convinced that eating a ton of raisins will cure my anemia. He bought me a giant 4lb box at Costco. A few serious binges later and I am a raisin addict! (No test results back yet on the anemia cure! haha!) Luckily I am not trying to lose weight!

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821
8757 · July 13, 2011 at 8:45 PM

one word about dark chocolate....caffiene!!!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · July 13, 2011 at 5:26 PM

I've been reading the backs of boxes like mad lately because my son eats only a bite or two of meat at a time and his iron levels were low at our last check up. The doc gave us Floravital for him, but he won't take it. I've even resorted to pinning him down and trying to squirt it down his throat a few times, but that just felt too mean. I think the raisins said they provided 6% DV per serving. I was looking at the back of an 85% cacoa chocolate bar and it said %25. I wonder how bad would it be to give him as much chocolate as he wants for a while?

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900
4080 · July 13, 2011 at 9:51 PM

That foravital made my stomach hurt so much! UGH!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · July 14, 2011 at 6:54 AM

I think that explains his reaction to it. The first day he asked for more "juicy". But the next day and ever since, he's acted like I'm asking him to eat hot coals.

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439 · July 13, 2011 at 4:25 AM

LOL...did your Doc warn you about raisin overload poop in that toddler's diaper? They go in like raisins and come out like exploding grapes. It's nasty. Have fun with that. :-)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · July 13, 2011 at 6:48 AM

Oh yeah, I've seen it. It also makes me wonder how much iron he could possibly be getting out of them if they go through whole.

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892 · July 13, 2011 at 3:27 AM

Hehe, this was actually an LSAT logical reasoning question. Why do raisins have more iron per CALORIE than grapes? Note that I said per calorie, not ounce. The answer to the question was supposedly because the drying process causes caramelization of some sugars in the grape, the end product of which cannot be used by the body (thus noncaloric).

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