Are Raisins Good For You? Raisins Health Benefits
Yes! Raisins are very good for our health, in fact, they are considered to be one of the most nutritious dried fruits in the world. Raisins have quite a history. They were discovered long ago by prehistoric cavemen who might have come across dried grapes on vines and from then started consuming them. Ancient Israelites even used raisins for settling debts and paying taxes.
What are raisins?
Raisins are dehydrated grapes that have been sun-dried or heat-dried. Even though very sweet grapes are selected for making raisins, most store-bought raisins contain artificial sweeteners to make them even sweeter. You can avoid these artificially produced ones by making sure you purchase organic and naturally dried raisins, if available.
Nutrients found in raisins
Even though raisins may look unappetizing with their wrinkled dried up texture, raisins are highly nutritious and contain powerful anti-oxidants and nutrients.
Magnesium: For proper nerve and muscle functioning and conversion of blood sugar to energy.
Calcium: Builds bones and teeth, for proper function of muscles, the heart and nervous system.
Iron: Used to build red-blood cells and for repairing worn out cells.
Potassium: For regulation of heart beat and maintaining blood pressure.
Phosphorus : For strong bones and teeth.
Zinc : Eliminates cholesterol deposits and necessary for manufacture of enzymes.
Copper : Facilitates iron absorption and promotes protein metabolism.
Fluoride: Hardens tooth enamel and dentine.
Folate: Forms red blood cells and important in blood circulation around the body.
Niacin : Aids normal functioning of tissues especially the gastrointestinal tract and the skin tissues.
Riboflavin : Aids in releasing energy to body cells and enables break down of fats
Choline : Keeps cellular membranes functioning properly.
Vitamin C: Important for the formation of collagen and is necessary for absorption of iron into the body.
Vitamin B-6: Prevents water retention and enables conversion of carbohydrates to energy
Vitamin K: Necessary for normal blood clotting and synthesis of proteins found in plasma, bone, and kidneys.
Raisins as a Snack
Being high in fiber and having considerably low calories, raisins are a better snack than most. They are also a great source of energy as they are packed with natural sugars and glucose. It's better to consume moderate amounts of raisins to avoid extra calories but if you're an active or athletic person, this needn't be much of a worry. While snacking on them, remember to keep in mind the great health benefits of raisins. Adding raisins to your diet may offer more benefits than you may think.
Raisins health benefits: Anti-Cholesterol
Did you know that raisins are completely cholesterol-free? In fact, raisins are known to have anti-cholesterol compounds that help combat the bad cholesterol in the body. A cup of raisins is said to contain about 4g of soluble fiber. It is this soluble fiber that fights the bad cholesterol and disposes of it in the liver to be eliminated. Raisins also contain anti-oxidants known as polyphenols that suppress the enzymes responsible for absorbing cholesterol into the body. In so doing, raisins help lower total cholesterol levels in the body.
Raisins health benefits:Brain Food
One of the interesting health benefits of raisins is that it is a great brain food. Raisins contain high amounts of boron that is an essential mineral for a well-functioning brain. 100mg of raisins contains 2.2mg of boron, which is a potent brain-boosting mineral. Boron improves concentration, hand-eye co-ordination and enhances memory. Additionally, boron also helps promote the functioning of important minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
Raisins health benefits and Blood Pressure
Raisins not only help purify blood and eliminate toxins but they also help reduce high levels of blood pressure. There is a significant amount of Potassium, a potent mineral said to be able to help lower blood pressure, in raisins. Potassium also helps keep in check the sodium levels in our body. Too much sodium in the body is one of the root causes of high blood pressure.
Raisin health benefits for Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is simply a disease that affects the bones, causing them to become weak and unhealthy. Most women above the age of 40 are likely to suffer from osteoporosis. Adding raisins to your diet may offer more benefits than you may think. Since raisins contain a significant amount of calcium, they may help keep the bones strong and deflect bone disease and osteoporosis.
Raisins health benefits for Acidiosis
Acidiosis is defined as an excessively acid condition of the body fluid and tissues. Studies show that eating raisins regularly may naturally help check your body levels of acidity and prevent them from rising. This is because raisins contain alkaline compounds that help neutralize the high levels of acidity in the body.
Raisin health benefits for Constipation
The high fiber in raisins are very beneficial and help your system function smoothly because they promote regular bowel movement. A cup of raisins contains about 10 g of dietary fiber. Granted, dietary fiber is not nutritious but it is important to help keep our bodies free from harmful toxic substances by cleansing the bowels. Regular bowel movement is very important for healthy living and also prevents various health problems from acne to colon cancer.
Raisins health benefits for Dental Health
Contrary to the saying that raisins give you cavities, the chewy texture and rich fiber in raisins actually helps cleanse your teeth and promote strong gums. Oleanolic acid, an active phytochemical in raisins helps destroy and suppress growth of streptococcus mutans, a type of bacteria responsible for causing tooth decays.
Raisins health benefits for Anemia
When it comes to anemia, the best foods to eat up on are those rich in iron namely, rich red meats and dark leafy vegetables. But did you know that raisins may actually contain more iron than some of the iron rich vegetables? A half cup of iron contains 2 mg of iron and this is more than 5% of the recommended dietary allowance in both men and women. Additionally, raisins contain powerful anti-oxidants that help detoxify blood and exterminate harmful toxins that are responsible for many health ailments.
Raisins health benefits for Eyesight
Various research conducted on raisins have noted that raisins may save you from going blind in old age. The powerful anti-oxidants found in raisins may help prevent macular degeneration in old age. The macular is gradually worn out throughout life by constantly being exposed to oxygen free radicals present in the air. It slowly weakens and eventually fails to function normally. Studies have shown how raisins can reverse the negative effects that free radicals on the macular. The polyphenols contained in raisins are very powerful in defeating oxygen stealing free radicals and thereby protect your eyes from disease.