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What Are The Raisin Nutritional Facts and Its Health Benefits?

Dec 24, 2023 By Madison Evans

Healthy eating doesn't have to be dull or unappetizing. Nature offers a bounty of delicious, nutrient-rich superfoods you can enjoy without remorse. Raisins, known as kishmish, are a prime example of a superfood, brimming with nutritional benefits. Raisins are dehydrated grapes and are a rich source of various nutrients. They are rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, plant-based nutrients, polyphenols, and fibers. Raisins are good for health-conscious persons due to their nutritious profile. They're among the most popular dried fruits. Raisins contain a higher sugar concentration than whole fruits, but they are also fiber-rich and have several health benefits. They are a frugal and long-lived way of incorporating fruit into your diet.

The most common variety available is the dark, seedless raisin, typically produced from seedless red or purple grapes. Another popular type is the golden raisin, also known as a sultana. You might occasionally encounter seeded raisins with a higher fiber content than the seedless versions. Currants, which resemble small raisins, are also sold in dried form but originate from a distinct type of fruit. On the other hand, Craisins are a specific brand of dried cranberries, usually sweetened, and are different from grapes and, thus, not the same as raisins.

Raisin Nutritional Information

Based on the data from the USDA, let's explore the nutrition details for a serving of 14 grams (or half an ounce) of dark, seedless raisins, which is roughly the amount in a small box. In this serving size, you'll find:

  1. 42 Calories
  2. 0 grams Fats
  3. 3.6 milligrams Sodium
  4. 11 grams Carbs
  5. 0.6 grams Fiber
  6. 9.1 grams Sugars
  7. 0.5 grams Protein

Carbohydrates

A half-ounce of raisins contains 11 grams of carbs. This contrasts with fresh American-type grapes, which have about 2.5 grams of carbs for a similar weight (approximately 6 grapes or 14.4 grams). Grapes typically have fewer calories and less fiber than raisins. The carbohydrate, calorie, and fiber content in golden raisins is quite similar to that of dark raisins. Seeded raisins offer more fiber while maintaining comparable carbohydrate and calorie levels.

Raisins are predominantly high in fructose, a sugar with a lower glycemic index, meaning it has a lesser impact on blood sugar levels compared to glucose. The glycemic index measures how a food raises blood sugar compared to pure glucose, rated at 100. The impact on blood sugar depends on the food's glycemic index, consumed quantity, and other foods eaten concurrently. Some diets consider the glycemic load, which factors in these aspects, for dietary planning.

The glycemic index of raisins varies, generally falling in the low to moderate range. However, individual responses to foods can differ. For those with diabetes, consuming too many raisins can lead to significant blood sugar spikes due to their high carbohydrate content per serving.

Fats and Protein

Raisins are almost fat-free due to their low unsaturated fat content. Raisins have less than 1 gram of protein per ounce.

Vitamins and Minerals

A one-ounce of raisins supplies approximately 4 % of the daily potassium allowance. Raisins also provide beneficial amounts of iron, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and magnesium. Calcium levels are low, however.

Health Advantages of Raisins

Easing Digestion

Struggling with constipation can greatly impact overall health. Maintaining a clear digestive tract is crucial, and raisins can greatly aid. They are rich in insoluble dietary fibers, acting as a natural laxative. This helps improve bowel movements and ensures the smooth passage of stool, promoting digestive health.

Weight Gain Aid

While many focus on weight loss, some aim to gain weight healthily. Raisins are beneficial for this purpose. They are packed with fructose and glucose, providing a significant energy boost. Consuming raisins can help gain healthy weight without contributing to bad cholesterol levels.

Blood Pressure Regulation

Modern lifestyles, including stress and dietary habits, often lead to blood pressure fluctuations. Raisins offer a natural solution to help manage this. Their potassium concentration relaxes blood vessels, improves circulation, and lowers hypertension. Raisins' dietary fiber softens blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and hypertension risk.

Boosting Immunity

Full of essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, polyphenols, etc., Raisins strengthen our immune system. These elements fight free radicals in the body, locking them permanently and protecting cells from oxidative damage. White blood cells are especially important for a robust immune response.

Enhancing Sleep Quality

A lack of restful sleep can adversely affect both mental and physical health. Incorporating tasty foods like raisins into your diet might help address sleep disturbances. Raisins are effective in combating insomnia, partly due to their iron content. Iron is crucial for several bodily functions—it boosts hemoglobin production, enhances metabolism, supports the immune system, and is linked to improved sleep quality.

Boosting Energy Levels

Endurance athletes often seek quick, portable sources of carbohydrates during prolonged training or competitions. While many opt for sports chews and gels, raisins are an excellent alternative. A small study indicated that raisins were as effective as specialized sports jelly beans in enhancing performance during moderate to high-intensity exercise. This makes them a natural and convenient energy source.

Promoting Gut Health

In addition to being a rich source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers, raisins also contain prebiotic substances such as inulin. These prebiotics raisins benefit the gut microbiome, stimulating beneficial bacteria growth. A healthy gut flora can raise cholesterol levels and increase metabolism, at the same time strengthening immunity.

Storing and Using Raisins

Raisins, like other dried fruits, are particularly convenient because of their long shelf life. They should be stored in an airtight container, at room temperature, and out of the sun for up to one month. For extended storage, refrigerating them is advisable.

Raisins are versatile in the kitchen. They're a staple in baked goods, cereals, and trail mixes. They can be scattered over salads for a sweet touch or added to savory dishes like rice pilafs and other grain-based foods as ingredients with their unique texture. The sugar content of your recipes will go down if you opt for unsweetened raisins.

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