We all have a habit of snacking in between meal hours. We usually tend to munch on cookies, chips, or some easy-to-make sandwiches. If you munch on these regularly, you probably notice that you’ve gained a couple of extra pounds.
Do you want to shed those extra pounds but can’t stop snacking? If the answer is yes, then all you need to do is substitute your unhealthy snacks with a healthier choice. Substitute your unhealthy snacks with a “fruitful” healthier one – raisins.
Reasons Why You Should Snack On Raisins
Raisins are beneficial to the body in a lot of ways. Here are a few reasons why you should start snacking on raisins:
1. They Improve Oral Health
Raisins may be sweet and sticky, but they can improve oral health. Raisins have antimicrobial properties that can reduce the growth of oral bacteria that can cause cavities and other gum diseases. Studies have shown that raisins can act against two pathogens – Streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis – that can harm dental health.1
Snacking on raisins can satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time protect the teeth from cavities.
2. They Aid Digestion
Raisins are rich sources of fiber. One cup of seedless raisins (approximately 165 grams) contains about 6.1 grams of dietary fiber.2
Dietary fiber is essential for digesting food and lowering cholesterol. Dietary fiber also promotes regular bowel movements. Therefore, a couple of raisins for snacks or having them with cereals helps with better digestion.
3. They Can Keep Your Heart Healthy
Studies suggest if you have a slightly higher than normal blood pressure, then eating a handful of raisins every day can lower it. The result of the study involving 46 men and women with prehypertension (slightly higher than normal blood pressure) showed a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure.3
Raisins are also rich in potassium. About a 100 grams of raisins contain 749 mg of the potassium mineral, which is a high value for a single snack.4
Potassium is required by the body to maintain the electrical balance of the heart and to metabolize carbohydrates and build muscle.5
4. They Are A Good Snack For Diabetics
Studies have proved that raisins are a good snack for patients with type 2 diabetes.6 The results of the study showed that the routine consumption of dark raisins by diabetics showed a significant decrease in fasting glucose levels.
In addition, the results also showed that there was a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure of those who consumed raisins when compared with those who had other processed snacks. Therefore, raisins are a healthy snack to munch on even if you have diabetes.
5. They May Prevent Cancer
Raisins contain high polyphenolic components that act as antioxidants.7 Antioxidants are essential for the body as they prevent free radicals from causing cellular damage.
Studies show that raisins may be helpful in treating cancer and preventing it.8 Therefore, having raisins for snacks not only increases the antioxidants in your body but may also help prevent cancer.
You’re probably surprised by the health benefits these tiny dried fruits can offer. Here are a few ideas to help you add them to your everyday diet.
Quick Ideas To Use Raisins In Your Dish
- Raisins enhance the flavor of homemade granola or you can sprinkle them on your breakfast cereals, hot or cold.
- You can add raisins as a topping to plain yogurt.
- Raisins are also a great addition to baked goods. You can add them to muffins, bread, and cookies.
- You can mix raisins and your favorite nuts (almonds, pistachio, and others) and have them for your evening snack.
|↑1||Rivero-Cruz, J. Fausto, Min Zhu, A. Douglas Kinghorn, and Christine D. Wu. “Antimicrobial constituents of Thompson seedless raisins (Vitis vinifera) against selected oral pathogens.” Phytochemistry Letters 1, no. 3 (2008): 151-154.|
|↑2, ↑4||Basic Report: 09298, Raisins, seedless. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑3||Snacking on Raisins May Offer a Heart-Healthy Way to Lower Blood Pressure. American College of Cardiology.|
|↑5||Heart failure and potassium. Harvard Medical School.|
|↑6||Bays, Harold, Kathy Weiter, and James Anderson. “A randomized study of raisins versus alternative snacks on glycemic control and other cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” The Physician and sportsmedicine 43, no. 1 (2015): 37-43.|
|↑7||Williamson, Gary, and Arianna Carughi. “Polyphenol content and health benefits of raisins.” Nutrition Research 30, no. 8 (2010): 511-519.|
|↑8||Liu, Juan, Yihai Wang, Rui Hai Liu, and Xiangjiu He. “Novel triterpenoids isolated from raisins exert potent antiproliferative activities by targeting mitochondrial and Ras/Raf/ERK signaling in human breast cancer cells.” Food & function 7, no. 7 (2016): 3244-3251.|