The Health Benefits of Raisins | L’Orenta Nuts
Raisins are one of our most familiar, popular, and commonly eaten dried fruit. As with all dried fruit, they are higher in sugar than whole fruit, but they are also rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and electrolytes. They are also a great source of low glycemic carbohydrates. When added to yogurt, cereal, granola, trail mix, or baked dishes, raisins not only enhance their taste but also add nutritional value. Raisins are also healthier substitutes for candy and processed snacks like chips. They are an inexpensive and shelf-stable way to include fruit in the diet.Read about the health benefits of raisins.
What are Raisins?
Most raisins start out as Thompson seedless grapes. The raisins are created by drying these grapes either in the sun or in driers. Sun Dried grapes are made by laying these out on paper trays between vineyard rows and allowing them to dry in the sun when harvested.
This is the natural sun-drying process that turns a grape into a raisin. The oxidation and caramelization of the sugars during this process result in a raisin’s natural dark brown to black exterior. While raisins are traditionally sun-dried, they may also be water-dipped and artificially dehydrated in driers.
Raisins were grown in the Middle East as early as 2000 B.C. They were so popular that ancient Greeks and Romans often decorated their worship venues with raisins. Raisins were even presented as prizes during sporting competitions.
Until the 20th century, Greece, Iran and Turkey were the main producers of raisins. By the 1950’s, the U.S. became the leader in raisin production followed by Australia.
The Health Benefits of Raisins
Raisins have a ton of potential health benefits, which includes
improved digestion, bone health, iron levels, blood pressure, eye health, and more. They boost energy, as well as have a positive impact on teeth, skin and hair.
Overall, raisins are a great source of energy, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. They may be high in sugar and calories, but have a low glycemic index.
Raisins are cholesterol-free and rich in various nutrients that include vitamin C, folate, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, and pantothenic acid as well as the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and sodium. They are also rich in polyphenols, flavonoids, and other antioxidants.
This is a great time to order your next batch of raisins from L’Orenta Gourmet Nuts and Goodies! Why not try our delicious healthy Seedless Raisins, our raisins are larger than average which means they pack a whole lot more flavor. Enjoy them as a simple snack, add to your morning cereal, or introduce your trail mix to its perfect partner with our quality seedless raisins! Or for a little more color, try our Golden Raisins to brighten your morning cereal or trail mix.
Here is a closer look at the health benefits of raisins:
Lowered Risk of Heart Disease and Hypertension
Eating raisins lowers the risk of heart disease by reducing blood
pressure. Raisins contain many antioxidants along with iron, potassium and B-complex vitamins. They are helpful in reducing the tension of blood vessels. This greatly helps in relieving and lowering hypertension.
In addition, the fiber in raisins works to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, which is also beneficial for reducing blood vessel tension.
Raisins are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which aids digestion and reduces stomach issues. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the food moving through the intestinal tract, making for more regular bowel movements, and can provide relief from constipation. The fiber in raisins may also help remove toxins and harmful materials from the digestive tract.
Raisins also contain tartaric acid. Research shows this protein may have anti-inflammatory properties, improve intestinal function, and help regulate the balance of bacteria in the gut.
Tartaric acid may also act to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
A healthy digestive tract may prevent intestinal diseases, bacterial growth, and discomfort from bloating.
Raisins can be rich in potassium and magnesium, which are natural remedies for acidosis.
Anemia and Insomnia
Raisins contain a considerable amount of iron and vitamin B complex, which are needed to prevent or reduce anemia. Half a cup of raisins contains about 16 percent of the daily-recommended amount for men and 7 percent of the same for women.
Iron deficiency anemia can also cause insomnia, so intake of iron-rich raisins may help ensure a good night’s sleep.
Dental & Oral Health
Raisins are rich in calcium and boron. Calcium strengthens and helps remineralize tooth enamel, while boron helps to curb the growth of oral bacteria.
In addition, raisins contain the plant phytochemicals oleanolic
and linoleic acids, which play a crucial role in protecting our teeth against decay, cavities, and brittleness. Both have antibacterial properties that limit plaque-forming bacteria in our mouths. These antioxidants also help maintain healthy oral pH levels, which prevent our saliva from becoming too acidic, helping to prevent cavities.
Raisins are great sources of calcium and boron as we discussed earlier, and for the same reasons related to dental health, these minerals are vital for proper bone formation and maintenance. Boron assists in the efficient absorption of calcium, which is especially helpful in preventing menopause induced osteoporosis in women.
The polyphenolic phytonutrients present in raisins are great for ocular health. They guard our eyes from damage caused by free radicals, preventing several eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Raisins are also good sources of vitamin A and beta-carotene for maintaining good eye health.
Vitamin C in raisins helps keep skin radiant, taut, and youthful, while the high levels of phenol, an antioxidant, protects skin cells, collagen, and elastin from free radical damage. These help to delay the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and blemishes, which are all symptoms of aging.
Raisins include other antioxidants that help to speed up the skin’s repair system, and protect it from injury. They also help to renew skin cells and prevent sagging.
Raisins also contain vitamins A and E, which aid in the creation of new cells in the outer layers of the skin. They increase skin moisture, making it soft and younger-looking. Raisins help prevent conditions like psoriasis and acne as they have strong germicidal properties.
Raisins are high in minerals like vitamin B, iron, potassium, and antioxidants, all of which are necessary for healthy hair. Their anti-inflammatory properties may help prevent scalp irritation, dandruff, and flakiness.
The lower glycemic index of fructose compared to glucose means that consumption of raisins can satisfy the sweet tooth without the spike in blood sugar levels that can increase the risk of type II diabetes or make it worse. As a result, raisins are linked to lower postprandial insulin responses, which means they stabilize insulin spikes or plunges after a meal.
Raisins are rich sources of potassium. According to a 2015 research published in Clinical Nutritional Research potassium may help prevent the formation and reoccurrence of kidney stones.
Indeed, raisins are a great replacement for processed snacks. They are healthy to eat, great tasting, and can be eaten anytime, no preparation necessary. And the health benefits of raisins are fantastic!