Raisins are more than just a shriveled up grape. The small, sun-dried fruit
is packed with nutritional goodness that provides a boost of energy, a
good source of fiber, and various essential vitamins and minerals that
do your body good. In fact, studies have shown that a daily dose of the
amazin’ raisin may even reduce your risk for certain chronic diseases,
and it is also known to
In honor of National Raisin Week (May 1-7), here are
six reasons you should make raisins one of your new favorite snacks:
Get an instant energy boost. Raisins are rich in carbohydrates, especially natural sugars, so they
make a great pre- or post-workout energy-boosting snack, without giving
you that “heavy” feeling or later leaving you to feel sluggish
and tired like other “white” carbohydrates.
Prevent constipation. Raisins are a good source of dietary fiber (a ¼-cup serving provides
approximately 2 grams of dietary fiber), which can promote good digestive
health. In addition to preventing constipation or providing relief from
it, raisins can also help to stop diarrhea.
Reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases. A
2013 study in the “Journal of Food Science” showed that eating raisins regularly led to to lower blood glucose levels,
reduced blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and lower overall food
consumption due to an increased feeling of fullness. It suggested that
eating raisins has the potential to decrease the risk for developing heart
disease, diabetes and possibly overweight and obesity. Raisins are packed
with potassium, which helps with hypertension, a leading cause of heart
disease and stroke. Raisins are also a good source of polyphenols, which
are antioxidants that have been linked to a decreased risk of gum disease,
heart disease and even cancer.
Prevent or combat anemia. Raisins are a powerhouse of iron, which helps to treat anemia as well as
to improve circulation. This small, yet mighty, dried fruit also contains
vitamin B that is essential for the formation of new blood, and high copper
content which helps the formation of red blood cells.
Help with sexual dysfunction. Raisins include an amino acid, known as Arginine, which has been known
to stimulate the libido and induce arousal, as well as increase the levels
of sperm motility.
Ensure good health for your eyes and bones. There is a large amount of phytonutrients in raisins that make them good
for vision, which is why patients of cataracts, macular degeneration and
other eye-related issues are advised to include more raisins in their
daily diet. Raisins contain a valuable source of calcium, and are packed
with a good source of Boron, an important micronutrient for bone formation
as well as efficient calcium absorption. In fact, Boron has been proven
helpful in preventing osteoporosis in women.
So, next time you’re looking for a healthy snack, reach for a handful
of raisins! There are so many ways to enjoy raisins. You can eat them
plain, add them to your salad, oatmeal, desserts or potatoes, sprinkle
them on top of your celery and peanut butter sticks, or cover them in
yogurt and add it to your trail mix. (Just be sure not to give your pooch any raisins—this fruit can be
toxic for dogs!)
Eat Raisins in Moderation
A ¼-cup serving of raisins contains: 130 calories, 0 fat, 10 milligrams
of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 29 grams
of sugar and 1 gram of protein.
As with many foods, there are some risk factors associated with eating
excessive amounts of raisins. As is the case with dehydrated fruits, they’re high
in calories and sugar, which could lead to unwanted weight gain, and they
have high levels of triglycerides from the fructose, which can increase
the chance of developing diabetes, coronary heart disease and liver cancer.
So, talk to your doctor before adding too many raisins to your diet.