Nutritional Information for Raisins

Raisins are just dried grapes and make for a delicious snack. They are often thought to be unhealthy because they are a dried fruit high in “sugar”, but they are actually super healthful and contain the right kind of sugars and carbohydrates that fuel muscle and brain cells. Golden raisins seem to have more antioxidants than the common sun-dried red raisins. Raisins are super high in fiber and polyphenols, both of which have been known to help reduce the risk of heart disease.  

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Benefits of Raisins

Cancer Prevention Benefits

Click for research on grapes and cancer risk.

Men's Health Benefits

Eating raisins as fuel for physical activity may help boost one’s performance during their exercise. Many products are specially designed to help athletes, but the concern is, how much of it is marketing hype and how much is based on research? Raisins are much cheaper than some fancy gel, which is essentially pure sugar, and there is enough research to support eating raisins. It’s safe and delicious, so why not try eating raisins before the next workout?  Research suggests athletes exercising for long periods of time might consider using raisins as a form of carbohydrates (energy) over sports gels or other sports enhancing products. This helps them not only potentially enhance exercise performance, but may also help prevent chronic diseases. That’s right, raisins are full of nutrients like potassium that help lower blood pressure. Raisins have also been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. They are satiating and keep the body full.
For kids, the reason why raisins might be such a good snack are because compared to the other kinds of junk food kids eat, filling up on raisins reduces the chance they’ll eat even more junk! And that is exactly what one study found. Kids eating raisins as a pre-meal snack reduced the amount of calories they ate during their meal (in this case pizza was the meal), yet didn’t increase the total amount of calories eaten for the entire day. In other words, snacking on raisins may help kids from overeating pizza.

Ways to Use Raisins

+ Add to homemade trail mix with nuts and nuts.

+ Toss on top of salads or cook with oatmeal.

+ Ants on a Log! Add peanut-butter or almond butter to celery sticks and add raisins. Ta-da! This snack is highly underrated and an all-time Kid favorite. Adults, don’t be shy, try them yourself, as a great way to add healthful carbohydrates into the diet.

+ Add to cereal or even Blue Cure Overnight Oats 

Resources for Raisins

American Institute for Cancer Research: www.aicr.org

Nutrition Facts: www.nutritionfacts.org

Physicians Committee: www.pcrm.org

USDA Nutrient Database: Raisins

Citations
  1. Anderson JW, Waters AR. Raisin consumption by humans: effects on glycemia and insulinemia and cardiovascular risk factors. J Food Sci. 2013;78 Suppl 1:A11-7.
  2. Kern M, Heslin CJ, Rezende RS. Metabolic and performance effects of raisins versus sports gel as pre-exercise feedings in cyclists. J Strength Cond Res. 2007;21(4):1204-7.
  3. Painter JE, Waters AR. A review of the health benefits of raisins. J Food Sci. 2013;78 Suppl 1:ii-iii.
  4. Puglisi M, Vaishnav U,Sudeep Shrestha S. Raisins and additional walking have distinct effects on plasma lipids and inflammatory cytokines. Lipids Health Dis. 2008;7-14.
  5. Rietschier HL, Henagan TM, Earnest CP, Baker BL, Cortez CC, Stewart LK. Sun-dried raisins are a cost-effective alternative to Sports Jelly Beans in prolonged cycling. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(11):3150-6.
  6. Patel BP, Luhovyy B, Mollard R, Painter JE, Anderson GH. A premeal snack of raisins decreases mealtime food intake more than grapes in young children. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2013;38(4):382-9.
  7. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2010. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page: http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata/orac.
  8. Wong A, Young DA, Emmanouil DE, Wong LM, Waters AR, Booth MT. Raisins and oral health. J Food Sci. 2013;78 Suppl 1:A26-9.

 

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