Country of origin: Chile
Raisins are dried grapes. However, unlike fresh grapes, they indeed are rich and concentrated sources of energy, vitamins, electrolytes, and minerals. On a weight per weight comparison basis, 100 g of dried grapes hold 249 calories, several times more fiber, vitamins, minerals and polyphenol antioxidants than the fresh grapes. Raisins, however, contain fewer amounts of vitamin-C, folic acid, carotenes, lutein and xanthins than fresh grapes.
Health benefits of raisins
- Raisins, like dried apricots, figs, and prunes, are dense sources of energy, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Additionally, they packed with many health benefiting polyphenolics antioxidants, dietary fiber, and other phytonutrients.
- The total measured antioxidant strength (ORAC value) of 100 g raisin is 3037 µmol Trolox Equivalents (TE), while that of fresh grapes 1118 µmol TE/100 g.
- As in grapes, raisins also contain phytochemical compound resveratrol. Resveratrol, a polyphenol antioxidant, has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, blood cholesterol lowering activities. Studies suggest that resveratrol has been found to have protective action against cancers like melanoma, colon, and prostate, and diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD), degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer's disease and viral/ fungal infections.
- Also, resveratrol reduces stroke risk by altering at the cell molecular level inside the blood vessels. It does so firstly by reducing the susceptibility of blood vessels damage by decreasing the activity of angiotensin (a systemic hormone causing blood vessel constriction that would elevate blood pressure) and secondly, through increased production of the vasodilator substance, nitric oxide (a beneficial compound that causes relaxation of blood vessels).
- Like in grapes they, especially those derived from red/purple grapes, are very high inanthocyanins, another class of polyphenolic anti-oxidants. Anthocyanins have been found to have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-cancer activities.
- 100 g raisins provide 3.7 g or 10% of daily required levels of dietary fiber. Studies suggest moderate fiber in the diet help lower body weight, cholesterol concentrations in the blood, and colon and breast cancer incidence. Additionally, it helps relieve constipation episodes by decreasing gut transit time of food. Furthermore, they are also abundant in flavonoid compounds such as tartaric acid, tannins, catechins, etc. Together with inulin and fiber, these compounds aid in smooth bowel movements through their laxative function.
- They are free of gluten protein and can be safely consumed as an alternative healthy food by people who are intolerant gluten.
- Raisins are dense sources of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium copper, fluoride, and zinc. Copper and manganese are an essential cofactor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. 100 g provides 23% daily requirement levels of iron.
- Further, they are rich in a heart-healthy electrolyte, potassium. 100 grams hold 749 mg of potassium. By countering pressing effects of sodium, it reduces heart rate, blood pressure and thereby helps prevent stroke, CHD, and peripheral vascular diseases.
- Furthermore, they are also a good source of some B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid.
Read more on www.nutrition-and-you.com