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Raisin Nutrition And Health Benefits

Dr. Gulneer Puri    11-12-2016 Consult


Raisins have been in most of our lives since our earliest years. So, are raisins good for you? Well, not only are raisins popular with all age groups and extremely versatile in the kitchen, but raisins nutrition includes being concentrated sources of energy, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.
Benefits of raisins include lowered blood pressure and better heart health. Studies have shown that daily consumption of raisins may significantly lower blood pressure, especially when compared to eating other common snacks, making them one of the best natural remedies for high blood pressure. Raisins are so quick and easy to consume, it's really hard to find an excuse not to include them in your diet on a regular basis!

Raisins Nutrition - Raisins are dried grapes, which are the fruits of the Vitis vinifera plant. The three main types of raisins commercially sold are: sun-dried (natural), artificially dried (water-dipped) and sulfur dioxide-treated raisins. 
Unlike other dried fruits that commonly have sweeteners added in the drying process, raisins are packaged without any added sugar. Raisins naturally provide a perfect amount of sweetness for the taste buds. In fact, they're similar to Medjool dates, one of the best natural sweeteners around. 

Are raisins healthy? The one-word answer is definitely: yes! Natural energy isn't the only plus when it comes to consuming raisins. These delicious dried fruits are also loaded with fiber, potassium, iron and other essential nutrients, but free of saturated fat and cholesterol. They're also gluten-free, just in case you were wondering.

One small box (1.5 ounces) of seedless raisins contains: 
129 calories
34 grams carbohydrates
1.3 grams protein
0.2 gram fat
1.6 grams fiber
25.4 grams sugar
322 milligrams potassium (9.2 percent DV)
0.8 milligrams of iron (4.4 percent DV)
0.08 vitamin B6 (4 percent DV)
14 milligrams magnesium (3.5 percent DV)
22 milligrams of calcium (2.2 percent DV)
1.5 micrograms vitamin K (2 percent DV)

Health Benefits of Raisins Nutrition - Aside from being a popular snack food based on taste alone, raisins contain polyphenols, antioxidants, flavonoids and nutrients that can benefit overall health. Here are some of the top ways consuming raisins can help you live a healthier life.

  1. Decrease Likelihood of Cavities & Gum Disease - Contrary to what you might expect from a sweet and sticky dried fruit, raisins can actually improve oral health. In fact, they're one of the best ways to naturally reverse cavities and heal tooth decay. Research published in the Phytochemistry Letters revealed that raisins can benefit oral health because the fruit possesses antimicrobial phytochemicals that suppress the growth oral bacteria associated with dental cavities and gum disease. One of the five phytochemicals the study identified in raisins is oleanolic acid. In the study, oleanolic acid inhibited the growth of two species of oral bacteria: Streptococcus mutans, which causes cavities, and Porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes gum disease. So even though raisins satisfy your sweet tooth, they actually help to keep that tooth free from cavities!

  2. Excellent Digestive Aid - As a high-fiber food, raisins are an excellent digestive aid. Anything that aids your digestion is going to make you less likely to have common bathroom issues like constipation or diarrhea. Raisins contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which both help keep things moving through the intestinal tract in a healthy way by reducing constipation but discouraging loose stools as well. Dried fruits might have more calories than fresh, but they also have a higher amount of fiber. For example, one cup of grapes has one gram of fiber while one cup of raisins has seven grams of fiber. By adding raisins to your snacks and meals, you instantly up the fiber content of your culinary creations quickly and easily. 

  3. Lower Blood Pressure & Reduce Stroke Risk - In a study conducted, individuals with mild increases in blood pressure can benefit from the routine consumption of raisins (three times a day). The researchers found that this daily consumption may significantly lower blood pressure, especially when compared to eating other common snacks.  In addition, raisins are rich in the heart-healthy electrolyte potassium, helping prevent low potassium - a common issue in the standard American diet. Potassium is a key mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues and organs in the human body. People who get a lot of potassium in their diets have a lower risk of stroke, especially ischemic stroke. 

  4. Help Manage Diabetes - A randomized study in 2015 evaluated the impact of routine consumption of dark raisins versus alternative processed snacks on glucose levels and other cardiovascular risk factors among patients with type II diabetes. In this study, compared to alternative processed snacks, those who consumed raisins had a 23 percent reduction in glucose levels after a meal. Those who consumed raisins also had a 19 percent reduction in fasting glucose and a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure. Overall, research supports raisins as a healthy snack choice for patients with type II diabetes.  When you eat raisins, the fiber content also helps your body to process the raisins' natural sugars, which helps prevent insulin spikes manage diabetes naturally.

  5. Aid in Preventing Cancer - Studies show that dried fruits, especially dates, prunes and raisins, contain high phenolic components that have stronger antioxidant powers than those in some fresh fruits. Antioxidants are extremely important to our health because they prevent free radicals (highly reactive chemicals that have the potential to harm cells) from causing cellular damage inside our bodies. Free radicals are one of the primary, underlying factors that lead to the spontaneous growth of cancer cells as well as the spread of cancer, which is why high-antioxidant foods like raisins are such great natural cancer treatments. By including raisins in your diet, not only can you can increase your antioxidant levels, but you can also decrease cellular damage and ward off cancer.

 
 
 
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