Are raisins healthy? High in fiber, tasty, packed with healthy nutrients, and a great ally against a number of diseases, raisins are indeed attributed a wide range of health benefits. The question thus is not whether raisins are healthy, but it’s how healthy. Let’s find out together.
What are raisins?
Raisins are nothing but dried grapes. The vast majority of raisins are made from the Sultana grape, a seedless grape variety that mainly originates around the Mediterranean.
Both yellow and blue raisins are made from the same yellow grape. The color difference only occurs during the processing process.
Blue raisins are made simply by picking and drying the grapes. This causes the grape to shrink and get its dark color. The yellow raisins are soaked in ‘potash’, a mixture of salts, after picking.
This conserves the light color of the grape. After this, they are given a bath of sulfite to preserve the raisin and prevent later tanning.
Nutritional Value of Raisins
Since raisins are nothing but dried grapes, as a result, the raisins contain the vitamins and minerals that the grapes also contain, most notably vitamin B and polyphenols. Both nutrients are important to keep the blood and heart vessels healthy.
|Quantity per 100 g|
|Energy (kcal) 299|
|Fat 0.5 g|
|Saturated 0.1 g|
|Polyunsaturated 0 g|
|Monounsaturated 0.1 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 11 mg|
|Potassium 749 mg|
|Carbohydrates 79 g|
|Dietary fibre 3.7 g|
|Sugars 59 g|
|Protein 3.1 g|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||vitamin C||2.3 mg|
|calcium||50 mg||iron||1.9 mg|
|vitamin D||0 IU||Vitamin B6||0.2 mg|
|Vitamin B12||0 μg||magnesium||32 mg|
Health Benefits of Raisins
A mine of antioxidants!
Grapes, and consequently raisins, contain vitamins B1, B2, B6, and vitamin C, known for their antioxidant action. Flavonoids such as quercetin, catechins, epicatechins, and kaempferol are also found in significant quantities. These antioxidant compounds help fight free radicals and thus prevent the onset of certain diseases.
A concentrate of energy
Despite their small appearance, raisins are real calorie bombs. They provide 275 calories per 100 g, which is 5 times higher than for 100 g of fresh grapes. This is mainly due to their concentrated carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, sucrose) and low water content.
Rich in fibers
Raisins are also a good source of fiber. Fiber is an essential ingredient for the human body. They aid in the reduction of inflammation and the improvement of intestinal health. The high fiber content also helps prevent the abundant natural sugars in raisins from having a strong effect on your blood sugar levels.
Prevents High blood pressure:
In raisins, in addition to vitamins B and C, you will also find polyphenols that protect both your heart and your blood vessels. Raisins, therefore, help you to prevent or slow down myocardial infarction, strokes and arteriosclerosis.
Rich in Iron
Raisins are also rich in iron, a mineral that positively affects anemia. Women who lose a lot of blood during their periods are recommended to eat a handful of raisins daily.
Improve Blood circulation
The same antioxidants also ensure optimal blood circulation. Raisins purify your body: after all, they produce extra digestive juices and increase your kidney function, an important organ to purify your body from all kinds of toxic waste.
The large amount of dietary fiber in raisins also promotes a healthy intestinal flora, the basis of your physical and mental health. A healthy intestinal flora also ensures regular and smooth bowel movements, which greatly reduces your risk of constipation.
Keep the skin healthy
A less known fact about raisins is the fact that they are also effective against all kinds of skin problems such as rash, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
Despite their high content of sugars, raisins can even prevent tooth decay and inflammation of your gums. That’s thanks to the presence of linoleic acid, a strong antioxidant that protects your teeth and gums from attacks from bacteria. After all, linoleic acid prevents them from attaching to your teeth and gums, thus affecting your tooth enamel, and causing infections of your gums.
Help against respiratory infections
Raisins are especially rich in vitamin C, which helps with colds, respiratory infections, bronchitis, and even flu. They cannot prevent flu but will significantly shorten the healing process.
May help prevent cancer
In 2005, researchers at the University of Illinois discovered 10 new flavonoids in grapes. According to some studies, these flavonoids may inhibit the activity of an enzyme that is involved in the development of cancer. They would be particularly useful in preventing digestive cancers, such as colon cancer.
Along with their strong antioxidant support, raisins provide us with powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Studies in this area have shown beneficial effects of grape extracts on inflammation.
Fight aging and promote longevity
Several phytonutrients in the fruit of grapes and raisins can play a role in longevity and can provide us with anti-aging benefits. The best-studied nutrient in this area of health benefits of raisins is resveratrol, a stilbene phytonutrient found primarily in the skin of grapes, but also in its seeds and flesh.
How much raisins can you eat per day?
Although the benefits of raisins for the body are well established, it is important not to eat too many raisins. Indeed, like all our food, we must prevent excesses. It is therefore important to consume them moderately but regularly in order to provide your body with all their benefits. Their high sugar content makes raisins a caloric food, so they should not be overused. It is recommended that you eat about a handful per day.
It is also better to choose organic raisins. This will guarantee that they are not treated with chemical pesticides and will be preservative-free.
Who should avoid eating raisins?
Despite their important health benefits, in some cases, raisins are not recommended or even prohibited. This applies to some diseases, especially diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis, gastritis, and stomach ulcers. They are also contraindicated for people with allergies and for obesity due to their high-calorie content.
If you suffer from any of these diseases, please talk to your doctor before consuming raisins.
Video – Are raisins healthy?
Raisins are nothing but dried grapes and consequently inherit most of the health benefits of the latter. They are rich in nutrients, vitamins, fiber, and energy. Thanks to this abundance of nutrients, provide us with a plethora of health benefits, including the ability to prevent infections, fight aging, prevent caries and keep our skin healthy.
However, due to their high sugar content, it’s important not to abuse them. A handful per day is recommended.
If you like eating raisins, let us know in the comment section, and don’t forget to share this article with your friends.
Erica is an experienced nurse working in the central Florida area. She focuses on subjects related to pregnancy and infant health. She is a mother of two with hobbies ranging from dancing to playing the piano.