Are Raisins Good For You?
Are raisins good for you? Although many people avoid them because of their high sugar content, raisins are actually very good for you and can have a positive impact on your entire body. This YouTube video provides a brief overview of some of the health benefits of raisins.
History of Raisins
Raisins were accidentally discovered around 2000 BC when they were found as dessicated grapes on the grapevine. However, they weren't widely known until the 11th century when crusading knights brought this succulent treat home with them.
Types and Usages of Raisins
According to Berkeley Wellness, seven varieties of raisins are produced in the U.S. They are:
2. Flame seedless
3. Golden seedless
6. Natural seedless
Some raisins are best for cooking, some for eating: the flavor, size, and individual preference largely determine the best raisin to use.
Health Benefits of Raisins
Raisins are very good for you, even if you're diabetic. Their high fiber content helps to offset the glycemic impact on your system so they can be safely consumed in moderation by almost anyone. Allergies to raisins are extremely rare, but if you experience allergic symptoms, then don't eat them.
Raisins have been shown to positively impact many ailments in the body as well as many systems in the body. Those include, but are not limited to, the following:
Raisins are high in iron and copper as well as many B-complex vitamins, all of which are essential for the formation of red blood cells. Low levels of these elements can result in anemia.
2. Appetite suppressant
The high fiber levels in raisins generate a feeling of satiety and can cause you to eat less. Children who were given a raisin snack a half-hour befoe a meal of pizza ate more than 20 percent less pizza than those who did not have the raisin snack.
3. Blood pressure
Raisins contain high levels of potassium. That, combined with the high fiber content, work proactively to relax blood vessels, which will help reduce blood pressure.
4. Cancer prevention
Raisins contain high levels of catechins, which are polyphenolic antioxidants that attack the free radicals in your body and help to prevent formation of cancer cell or fight the ones that are already there. Consumption of raisins will increase the level of antioxidants in your blood and may thereby help your body fight against cancer.
5. Cardiovascular disease
Raisins have been shown to decrease the inflammation markers that are associated with both cardiovascular disease and diabetes in a study involving elderly men and women.
Pectin, a soluble fiber contained in raisins, binds with cholesterol in your body and may help lower your LDL levels. LDL, or low density lipoproteins, are the fluffy molecules of cholesterol that are bad for you. When the pectin attaches to them, they are excreted from your body as waste and not absorbed into your system.
7. Colon health
A diet high in fiber can contribute to a healthy colon because the fiber will cause harmful substances and toxins to exit the body as waste.
When consumed, raisins absorb moisture from the digestive tract, which makes them bulkier and full of moisture. When they pass through the intestinal tract, they provide moisture to the intestines and thereby help alleviate constipation.
Since raisins absorb moisture from the digestive tract, they can help alleviate diarrhea by reducing the moisture that accompanies this unpleasant ailment.
Although raisins are high in sugar, their high fiber content allays the negative impact on their glycemic load, which makes them an excellent snack for diabetics. Numerous studies have shown raisins to help prevent insulin spikes common in diabetics after they have eaten a meal.
11. Energy levels
The "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition" published research indicating that a small box of raisins provided the same benefit as sports chews for those who participated in endurance sport activities.
12. Eye Health
Your eyes benefit from eating raisins. The antioxidants in raisins help protect eyes from such ravaging diseases as age related deterioration, cataracts, macular degeneration, and sun damage. Their high levels of vitamin A, beta carotene, and carotenoids help prevent cellular damage and maintain good ocular health.
13. Oral health
Surprisingly, raisins are good for your oral health. Research conducted at the University of Illinois in Chicago, found that the phytochemicals in raisins suppress the type of bacteria that causes gum disease and cavities.
Additionally, the sugar level in raisins will help allay the craving for sweets such as candy, cookies, and cake, which can provide additional health benefits.
14. Sexual dysfunction
Arginine, an amino acid in raisins, has been proven to stimulate libido, increase sperm motility, and improve erectile dysfunction. Ancient cultures were known to serve raisins to newlyweds in order to increase the likelihood of conception.
Raisins contain high levels of resveratrol, which has been shown to reduce the risk of a stroke. Resveratrol decreases blood vessel constriction and relaxes blood vessels, which results in a lowered risk of a stroke.
Resveratrol also has a positive impact on colon, melanoma, and prostate cancers, as well as heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.
16. Weight control
Numerous studies and substantial research have indicated that daily consumption of raisins can help achieve weight loss. When eaten a half-hour before a meal, food consumption is substantially reduced when the subject eats only until satiated. Since raisins are known to provide an energy boost, the dieter can maintain energy levels and feel satisfied and yet lose weight.
Conversely, raisins can be used to gain weight. Their high levels of glucose, fructose, vitamins, and minerals provide a excellent method of adding healthy weight without unhealthy side effects such as cholesterol.
No matter how or why you eat them, raisins taste good and are good for you. They can satisfy your sweet tooth in a very healthy manner and contribute to the overall health of almost every organ in your body.