Raisins are a delicious on the go snack and are also great topped on cereals and yogurts. A raisin is essentially a dried grape. The health benefits of raisins include digestive health, heart disease prevention and prevention of brain ageing.
Raisins are a good source of vitamin C, B complex vitamins (especially vitamin B6) and vitamin K as well as manganese, copper, potassium and iron.
Raisins contain the antioxidants anthocyanins as well as a phenolic compound called resveratrol, which are responsible for many of the health benefits of raisins.
Raisins for Heart Disease Prevention
The link between heart disease and grapes was first identified through something called the French Paradox, in which the French have low heart disease risk despite consuming very high fat diets. The link may have something to do with the high concentration of wine in the French diet. Drinking grape juice or wine can raise levels of a compound called nitric oxide, which helps prevent blood from clotting. Antioxidants in grapes can also help prevent heart disease by protecting LDL from oxidative damage. In addition, wine drinking is associated with a raised level of antioxidant vitamins, like vitamin E, in the blood. Raisins do contain some resveratrol, however, the levels are much lower than that of wine or grape juice.
Raisins and Brain Ageing
Resveratrol may also help delay and prevent brain ageing and associated diseases, like Alzheimer’s.
Raisins for Digestive Health
100g of raisins give us about 4g dietary fibre or 15% of the daily value. Eating raisins can help boost digestive health by improving regularity.
Raisins for Sports Recovery
Just 100g of raisins contains as much as 130g of carbohydrate energy. Eating a handful or two of raisins after a heavy workout or athletic practice can help boost blood glucose levels back to normal.