Benefits of Eating Raisins
Raisins not only provide a delicious and healthy snack but also contain various essential nutrients that offer various health benefits. These nutritious dried grapes can help prevent certain conditions and diseases such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney stones. They are also rich in antioxidants which protect the body against cell damage caused by free radicals. Furthermore, they contain significant amounts of potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron.
Raisins are also ideal for those who are attempting to lose weight. They contain high levels of dietary fiber which helps the body feel fuller for longer periods after eating it. Eating raisins will help reduce your caloric intake because you’re consuming fewer calories in each serving of dried fruit. These health benefits make it beneficial for both children and adults to eat raisins on a regular basis.
What are raisins?
Raisins are dried grapes that are enjoyed around the world as a nutritious, healthy snack. They are produced by drying whole grapes in hot air after they have been harvested from the vine. When grapes are dried, the water is removed from them which preserves their shape and size.
However, they now have a crunchier texture with concentrated natural sugars that provide a sweet flavor profile after being dried. Raisins can be eaten as is or added to baked goods, cereals, trail mixes, yogurt, oatmeal, salads, and many other dishes.
What are the health benefits of eating raisins?
Raisins can help prevent certain conditions and diseases such as UTIs, kidney stones, and osteoporosis. They are also rich in antioxidants which protect the body against cell damage caused by free radicals. The nutrients found in raisins provide various health benefits including:
1. Prevents urinary tract infections (UTIs):
Raisins contain significant amounts of dietary fiber which can help prevent UTIs. Dietary fiber increases the volume of stool which decreases the concentration of harmful bacteria in the urine. These beneficial bacteria are responsible for causing UTIs and eliminating them from the body.
Other components in raisins, such as phenolic acids, have been shown to possess antibacterial activity. This means that they can help kill bacteria that cause UTIs. Consuming raisins regularly helps prevent the recurrence of these infections by regulating bowel movements and preventing them from becoming constipated.
2. Prevents kidney stones:
Raisins can be beneficial in preventing kidney stones because they contain high levels of potassium. Potassium has been shown to reduce the formation of calcium oxalate stones which are responsible for 95% of kidney stones. Raisins are approximately 73% water and 27% organic matter, including potassium.
This makes it an effective dietary strategy that will help prevent kidney stones from forming. Other potassium-rich foods include bananas, prunes, oranges, fruit juices, dried beans, and potatoes.
3. Aids in weight loss:
Eating raisins regularly helps reduce caloric intake because it is a low-energy food that contains few calories per serving. Dried fruits are approximately 60% of their original weight after being dried.
Therefore, raisins are approximately 40% water and 20% sugar. The high levels of dietary fiber in raisins also help maintain a feeling of fullness for several hours. This allows individuals to reduce the number of calories they consume each day without feeling hungry quickly.
4. Prevents osteoporosis:
Raisins are rich in minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. These minerals help prevent conditions such as osteoporosis which is a condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile due to low bone mass. It can occur when the body does not produce enough new bone tissue or reabsorbs too much of the existing bone tissue over time. Raisins contribute to a healthy bone structure because they provide the nutrients needed to maintain strong bones.
5. Protects against cell damage caused by free radicals:
Free radicals are atoms or molecules that have an odd number of electrons which causes them to be unstable and highly reactive to other substances. They can damage cells in different parts of the body including organs, tissues, and DNA. The damage caused by free radicals is cumulative over time which increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases, and other conditions that can affect overall health.
Eating raisins regularly provides protection against cell damage caused by free radicals because they contain high levels of antioxidants which are nutrients that protect cells from this damage by neutralizing free radicals. Antioxidants interact with free radicals and eliminate them from the body before they can cause significant damage to cells.
Antioxidant-rich foods include raisins, prunes, apricots, oranges, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, plums, chili peppers, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
6. Reduces inflammation:
Raisins contain high amounts of resveratrol which is a chemical found in red grapes and other fruits such as mulberries, peanuts, and peanut butter. Resveratrol has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body by inhibiting enzymes known as cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 (COX-1 and COX-2).
By reducing inflammation in the body, resveratrol helps individuals maintain optimal health by preventing conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and other conditions.
7. Improves oral hygiene:
Raisins contain some antibacterial properties due to the presence of ellagic acid. This helps prevent tooth decay by preventing some types of bacteria from sticking to teeth and gums. Other foods that help prevent bacterial growth on teeth include cranberries, prunes, apricots, plums, oranges, lemons, limes.
8. Provides dietary fiber:
Raisins are rich in dietary fiber that helps maintain digestive health by adding bulk to stools which facilitates their passage through the colon. Dietary fiber also helps reduce constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, and other conditions related to digestion. Other foods with high amounts of dietary fiber include apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, oranges, lemons, limes.
9. Helps reduce obesity:
According to a study published in the “Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry,” raisins may help treat obesity by influencing weight gain and insulin resistance. In this study, scientists compared the effects of consuming water or drinking grape juice on weight gain, body composition, and insulin resistance. They found that when mice were fed a high-fat diet with raisins they gained less fat mass than those not consuming grapes.
Raisins are high in fiber which helps promote weight loss by adding bulk to the food people eat meaning they feel fuller for longer. They are also high in water content which helps promote weight loss by making the body more efficient at processing food so it expends more energy than storing it as fat.
10. Treats canker sores:
According to a study published in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition,” raisins are beneficial for individuals who suffer from recurring canker sores because they are high in useful antioxidants.
Individuals with this condition often find it difficult to eat, making them susceptible to nutritional deficiencies. The antioxidant content of raisins helps prevent these deficiencies by providing the body with essential vitamins and minerals.