Raisins have been revered as a healthy snack for centuries containing just the right amount of sugar, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to curb a sweet tooth while offering plenty of health benefits.
They are made from seedless grapes, which are harvested and sun-dried to turn their skins into the gorgeous shades of caramel and brown that they are known for. Being a dense source of energy and nutrients, raisins are one of the best and most affordable health foods in the world and are they are perfectly suitable for all ages.
Helping to improve digestion, lower cholesterol, increase energy, boost heart health, and reduce the risk of several diseases, raisins are the perfect addition to any lunchbox, snack pack or salad. They can also be used in cooking and baking, increasing the health and nutritional value of any meal.
Here are 12 Incredible Health Benefits of Raisins:
1..Amazing for Digestion
Containing 3.7 grams of dietary fiber per 100 grams makes raisins one of the best high-fiber food sources for better digestive health. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps to reduce constipation while simultaneously preventing diarrhea.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, only 8% of American adults are getting sufficient fiber in their diet, which is recommended to be between 18-38 grams per day. Including raisins your diet will help to increase your fiber intake, containing more than 2% of the daily recommended amount per handful.
2. Improves Oral Health
Research published in the Phytochemistry Letters found that raisins, while being very sweet and sticky, contain plenty of antimicrobial phytochemicals that actually help to prevent cavities and gum disease, rather than causing it.
One of these phytochemicals is known as oleanolic acid, which was found to suppress the growth of the oral bacteria that usually causes cavities, bad breath, and gum disease. Satisfy your sweet tooth while improving oral health? Yes!
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
Raisins are a natural source of potassium, which helps to naturally lower blood pressure by reducing the tension of blood vessels. Most Americans are deficient in potassium, something that can easily be remedied by regular consumption of raisins.
The soluble fiber has also been associated with reducing the stiffness of blood vessels by improving the biochemistry, which helps to reduce the risk of hypertension, strokes, and heart disease.
4. Regulates Blood Sugar
While being a relatively high Glycemic Index (GI) food source, raisins are so high in fiber that it results in very stable, balanced blood sugar levels. In fact, studies have shown that raisins help to lower the body’s insulin response, which helps to prevent the dangerous blood sugar spikes and dips associated with diabetes.
A 2015 study showed that regular consumers of raisins had a 19% reduction in fasting blood glucose levels and systolic blood pressure, which meant better health and better blood sugar management.
5. Plenty of Natural Energy
100 grams of raisins contains 299 calories, which makes them a dense source of natural energy. They are small and light, which makes them easy to pack in and take along anywhere- the perfect snack for athletes and people who need a quick boost of energy with minimal effort.
6. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Studies have shown that raisins contain more phenolic compounds, which are powerful antioxidants, than many other types of fruit. These antioxidants help to reduce free-radical damage on a cellular level, which inhibits the growth of unhealthy and cancerous cells. Regularly consuming raisins will help to boost antioxidant intake, which will help to reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer, particularly colon cancer.
7. Excellent Source of Iron
An iron deficiency can cause fatigue, headaches, migraines, and anemia, something that raisins can help to prevent. One small 43-gram box of raisins meets 4% of the daily recommended amount of iron, which helps to boost red blood cell count and oxygenates your entire body. This will help to improve cognitive function, increase energy, and maintain healthy cells and vital organs.
8. Stimulates Libido
Raisins are loaded with an amino acid known as arginine, which studies have strongly associated with an increase in libido and sperm motility. The high amount of iron and magnesium also helps to stimulate circulation, which increases the drive and pleasure associated with sexual activity.
Raisins are beneficial for those who want to lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight. The high fiber content and the perfect amount of sweetness helps to boost the metabolism and keeps a sweet tooth satisfied, which promotes weight loss, while the dense source of calories helps those who need to gain weight to do so without having to eat large quantities of food. For weight maintenance, raisins are the perfect snack between meals, offering plenty of nutrients for optimum health and vitality.
10. Boosts Bone Health
Boron is a type of nutrient that helps to increase calcium absorption in the body, and raisins contain both boron and calcium, which is excellent for bone health. Frequent intake of raisins can help to prevent osteoporosis, arthritis, bone fractures, and the loss of bone mineral density. They are also a highly alkalizing type of fruit, which helps to create the right pH in the body for bones to stay strong and healthy.
11. Prevents Cramping
Magnesium is an important mineral that helps to prevent muscles from cramping by increasing circulation to the affected area. It also helps to reduce menstrual cramps and the headaches, migraines, and hot flushes that are associated with menopause. Raisins contain 8% of the recommended daily amount of magnesium per 100 grams, which makes them an excellent post-workout and pre-menstrual syndrome supplement.
12. Strengthens Immunity
Containing Vitamin C, polyphenols, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial compounds makes raisins one of the best food sources for boosting the immune system, which helps to prevent colds and flu. The strong phenolic phytonutrients also help to cure fevers and fight infection, which serves as the best support system for the body’s first line of defense.