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Raisins are one of the most consumed foods on Earth. They’re also a great source of nutrients, but they don’t always get their due in our diet. Check out these surprisingly good health benefits and learn more about raisins today!
The disadvantages of eating raisins are that they can cause gas and bloating. They also have a high glycemic index, which means they may not be the best option for people with diabetes. However, there are some surprising benefits to eating raisins that you might not know about yet.
From our earliest years, the raisin has been in most of our lives, from the childhood favorite “ants on a log” through granola and carrot cake. So, how healthy are raisins? Raisins’ nutrition comprises rich amounts of energy, electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals. They are popular with people of all ages and are pretty flexible in the kitchen.
What are the benefits of raisins? Raisin nutrition is linked to decreased blood pressure and better heart health. Daily intake has been demonstrated in studies to drop blood pressure considerably, particularly when compared to other typical snacks, making them one of the best natural therapies for high blood pressure.
A raisin also has a high concentration of phenolic chemicals, which help to prevent and cure cancer.
It’s challenging to find a reason not to incorporate the tiny but powerful raisin in your diet daily since it’s so fast and simple to eat! What else does raisins nutrition have to offer in terms of advantages? Continue reading.
What Exactly Are Raisins?
The majority of raisins nowadays are made from Thompson seedless grapes. What is the process of making raisins? When the grapes are picked, they are spread on brown craft paper trays between the vineyard rows and left to dry in the sun. This is how a grape becomes a raisin by drying naturally in the sun.
The raisin’s natural dark brown and black exterior is caused by the oxidation and caramelization of the sugars during this process. Raisins are often sun-dried, although they may also be water-dipped and dehydrated artificially. The drying process protects and concentrates a raisin’s antioxidants in general.
There’s also the golden raisin and sultanas, in addition to the darkly colored dried fruit you’re probably acquainted with. The antioxidant capacity and phenolic content of golden raisins have are determined to be the greatest.
Sultanas are a different type of raisin that originates in Turkey and is more popular in Europe. They are made from petite, light golden-green grapes. When comparing raisins to sultanas, remember that sultanas are smaller and sweeter.
There’s also the muscat raisin, which is somewhat bigger than the others. They’re also a little bit sweeter. Currants, for example. Currants are black, seedless grapes that are dried. They’re a little smaller, darker, and tangier than a regular raisin.
Raisins are the dried grapes produced by the Vitis vinifera plant. The three primary commercially available kinds are sun-dried (natural), chemically dried (water-dipped), and sulfur dioxide-treated raisins.
Raisins are packed without any additional sugar, unlike many other dried fruits with sweeteners added during the drying process. As a result, the natural sweetness of a raisin is just right for the taste senses.
Are raisins good for you? Yes! When it comes to raisins, natural energy isn’t the sole benefit. They’re also high in fiber, potassium, iron, and other essential minerals while being low in saturated fat and cholesterol. In case you were wondering, they’re also gluten-free.
A small box of seedless raisins (1.5 ounces) offers the following nutrients:
- calories: 129
- carbs (34 g)
- protein (1.3 g)
- fat 0.2 gram
- fiber (1.6 g)
- Sugar content: 25.4 g
- Potassium 322 milligrams (9.2 percent DV)
- Iron content: 0.8 milligrams (4.4 percent DV)
- Vitamin B6 (0.08 mg) (4 percent DV)
- Magnesium 14 milligrams (3.5 percent DV)
- Calcium in the amount of 22 milligrams (2.2 percent DV)
- Vitamin K (1.5 micrograms) (2 percent DV)
Raisin nutrition contains polyphenols, antioxidants, flavonoids, and minerals that may aid general health and be a popular snack item based solely on flavor. The following are some of the most important health advantages of raisins:
1. Lowers Chances of Cavities and Gum Disease
Contrary to popular belief, a raisin is a sweet and sticky dried fruit that may benefit dental health. It’s even on the list of natural treatments to cure cavities and repair tooth decay.
Raisins may help oral health, according to research published in Phytochemistry Letters, since the fruit contains antimicrobial phytochemicals that inhibit the development of oral bacteria linked to tooth cavities and gum disease.
Oleanolic acid is one of the research’s five phytochemicals found in raisins’ nutrition. The study found that oleanolic acid prevented the development of two types of oral bacteria: Streptococcus mutans, which causes cavities, and Porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes gum disease.
So, although a raisin will satisfy your sweet appetite, it will also aid in keeping your tooth cavity-free!
2. Effective Digestive Aid
Raisins are a high-fiber food that may help with digestion. Anything that promotes digestion will make you less prone to typical bowel problems like constipation or diarrhea.
A raisin includes both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps keep things healthily moving through the intestines by minimizing constipation and inhibiting loose stools.
Dried fruits contain more calories than fresh fruits, but they also have more fiber. For example, while raisins have more calories per serving than grapes, one cup of grapes offers one gram of fiber, while one cup of raisins has seven grams.
You may quickly increase the fiber content of your culinary creations by adding raisins to snacks and meals.
3. Reduce the risk of stroke
Individuals with minor rises in blood pressure may benefit from regular intake of raisins, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 61st Annual Scientific Session in 2012. (three times a day).
The researchers discovered that consuming this snack regularly lowers blood pressure considerably, particularly when compared to eating other typical snacks.
Raisins are also high in potassium, a heart-healthy nutrient that helps avoid low potassium, a typical problem in the traditional American diet.
Potassium is an essential mineral for the efficient functioning of all human cells, tissues, and organs. Therefore, people who consume a high potassium diet have a decreased risk of stroke, particularly ischemic stroke.
4. Assist with Diabetes Management
In 2015, a randomized trial compared the effects of dark raisins vs. other processed snacks on glucose levels and other cardiovascular risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes.
In this research, individuals who ate raisins had a 23 percent lower glucose level after a meal than those who ate other processed snacks. In addition, raisin consumption was associated with a 19 percent decrease in fasting glucose and a substantial decrease in systolic blood pressure. Overall, evidence suggests that raisins are a good snack option for type 2 diabetic individuals.
A raisin’s fiber content also aids in the digestion of the raisin’s natural sugars, which helps to reduce insulin surges.
5. Assist in Cancer Prevention
According to studies, dried fruits, mainly dates, prunes, and raisins, have significant phenolic components with better antioxidant properties than fresh fruits. Antioxidants are critical for human health because they prevent free radicals (highly reactive molecules that can destroy cells) from creating cellular damage inside our bodies.
Free radicals are one of the significant, underlying reasons that cause cancer cells to spontaneously grow and spread, which is why high-antioxidant foods like raisins are effective anti-cancer foods.
“A larger consumption of raisins and other dried fruits may be beneficial in the prevention of malignancies of the digestive system,” according to a scientific study published in 2019.
Not only can you boost your antioxidant levels by including raisins in your diet, but you may also aid in reducing cellular damage and preventing cancer.
Facts to Ponder
As early as 2000 B.C., raisins were farmed in Egypt and Persia. The Bible mentions dried grapes or raisins many times, notably when David (Israel’s future king) was given “a hundred bunches of raisins” (1 Samuel 25:18), which was presumably somewhere between 1110 and 1070 B.C.
Raisins were used to adorn worship locations in ancient Rome and Greece and were even given out as rewards in sports events.
Until the twentieth century, Greece, Iran, and Turkey were the leading raisins producers. However, by the middle of the twentieth century, the United States had overtaken Australia as the world’s top raisin producer. You may have heard of “California raisins,” which is understandable given that the raisin business in the United States is centered primarily on California, where the first raisin grape harvests were established in 1851.
While Thompson seedless grapes are the most often used for raisins, they are also frequently utilized for fresh consumption, juice concentrate, and wine production.
How to Make Use of
Raisins are always available in a ready-to-eat state. They may be consumed as a snack or incorporated into various meals.
Raisins are a delicious and nutritious addition to:
- cereals such as granola
- mixtures for hiking trails
- rice-based meals
- muffins, bread, and other baked products prepared from scratch
When raisins are added to baked goods such as cookies or cakes, they assist in keeping the moisture in the finished product. You may also use them in pasta and grain salads and fresh fruit and vegetable salads.
A golden raisin may be used in the same manner as a standard raisin. Because currants are smaller, they may be utilized the same way, although they don’t hold moisture.
Raisins should be kept in a cold, dry, and dark area. Keep raisins firmly tied with a plastic tie or rubber band once they’ve been opened. They may also be stored in a resealable plastic bag.
Freshness may be extended by storing dried fruit in the refrigerator for up to a year. However, raisins should not be stored in a heated kitchen cupboard (near the stove) since high temperatures might cause raisins to lose moisture more rapidly.
Side Effects and Risks
The natural sugar in a raisin is simple to digest. It may give you a burst of energy, but don’t consume more than one serving size each day to avoid overdoing your daily sugar consumption, particularly if you have diabetes or have blood sugar difficulties.
What is the sugar content of raisins? On a scale, 10 raisins are around 3 grams.
Are there any risks associated with eating raisins? If you’re controlling your weight, like with other dried fruits, you don’t want to eat too many raisins since they’re heavy in carbohydrates and calories. So keep serving sizes to a minimum.
A raisin treated with sulfur dioxide (such as the golden type) may trigger asthma and other allergic symptoms in persons with sulfur sensitivity. To prevent it, read labels carefully. If you’re worried, naturally sun-dried is your best choice.
Make sure you pick up that stray raisin off the floor if you have a dog. It’s unknown why, but raisin intake in dogs may result in renal failure. That’s why they’re often included on lists of foods not to give your dogs.
- Raisins are usually sun-dried, although they may also be water-dipped and desiccated artificially.
- The three primary varieties offered commercially are sun-dried (natural), chemically dried (water-dipped), and sulfur dioxide-treated raisins.
- Raisin nutrition facts are impressive, with high fiber, potassium, iron, and other critical elements while being low in saturated fat and cholesterol. They’re also devoid of gluten.
- Raisins are high in polyphenols, antioxidants, flavonoids, and other nutrients good for your general health.
- Raisin nutrition advantages include decreased risk of cavities and gum disease, improved digestion, lower blood pressure, reduced stroke risk, diabetes management, and cancer prevention.
- They’re delicious on their own, but raisins can also be used in various dishes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do raisins do to your body?
A: Raisins are a natural source of antioxidants and may help in reducing the risk of cancer. They also contain dietary fiber, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which are beneficial for health.
What happens if we eat raisins daily?
A: If you eat raisins daily, your body becomes more and more sensitive to the effects of tannin. Eventually, it will cause a severe reaction in which blood vessels clog up, and fluid builds up everywhere in your body, causing death.
How many raisins should we eat in a day?
A: That depends on what you are trying to do. If you want a healthy diet, eat between 2-3 raisins per day. If your goal is to gain weight, then try 3-5 raisins each day over the course of two weeks and see how it goes!
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