Raisins health benefits and side effects

Introduction

Raisins are traditional dried fruits scientifically known as Vitis vinifera L. These are widely consumed across the globe because of their unique nutrient profile and health benefits (1). Raisin’s health benefits are mainly due to the presence of polyphenols such as flavonols (quercetin and kaempferol derivatives) and phenolic acids (mainly caftaric and coutaric acid). Most of the phenol compounds present in raisins derive from the fresh grapes, but other compounds increase during processing, such as caffeoyl tartaric acid and some quercetin and kaempferol derivatives (2).

Nutritional value of Raisins

According to USDA, raisins are rich in potassium, magnesium, boron, sugars, soluble (fructooligosaccharides and inulin), and insoluble fibers (3).

CompoundAmounts per 100 g.
Energy301 kcal
Protein3.28 g
Total lipid ( Fat)s0.20 g
Carbohydrates88.02 g
Dietary Fiber3.3 g
Sugar65.70 g
Vitamins
Niacin1.14 g
Riboflavin0.19
Folates3 µg
Vitamin A0 IU
Vitamin C3.2 mg
Vitamin E0.12 mg
Vitamin K3.5 µg
Minerals
Calcium64 mg
Iron0.98 mg
Magnesium35 mg
Phosphorous101 mg
Zinc0.37 mg
Sodium24 mg
Potassium746 mg

Raisins health benefits 

1. Healthy heart

Raisins are a rich source of dietary fiber and polyphenols due to which raisins health benefit emerges were it in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) (4).

2. Protects against Anemia

Raisins are rich in vitamin C, B-12, and iron, which has a significant role in the treatment of anemia by increasing the numbers of RBCs. Therefore, the inclusion of raisins in a well-balanced diet can contribute to promoting human health (5).

3. Anticancer properties

The high content of phenolic compounds exhibits anti-radical and cancer preventive efficacy. Such as inhibition of cell proliferation, induction of apoptosis, and inhibition of inflammation on colon cancer cells (6,7).

4. Improve oral hygiene

Antimicrobial phytochemicals present in raisins like oleanolic acid that suppress the growth of oral bacteria associated with dental diseases (8,9).

5. Antioxidant properties

The raisin has high phenolic compound levels, such as catechin and epicatechin which acts as an antioxidant (11). Antioxidants are an important dietary component to scavenge free radicals, which arise from metabolism in the body and exogenously from environmental stresses like air pollution and smoking (10).

6. Antidiabetic 

Raisins are high in fiber, fructose, polyphenols, phenolic acid, tannins, antioxidants, flavonoids (such as quercetin), resveratrol constituents, and potassium. These compounds significantly decrease postprandial glucose levels and systolic blood pressure. Also helps in the reduction of fasting glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin. Therefore acts as an antidiabetic agent for Type 2 diabetes mellitus (12, 13).

7. Anti-inflammatory

Research studies supported that the consumption of raisins contains phenol compounds that can reduce gastric inflammation (14).

8. Lowers cholesterol

Raisin is rich in polyphenol which decreases fasting serum low‐density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and oxidized low‐density cholesterol values (15).

9. Weight loss

Raisin consumption helps in better nutrient intake, diet quality, weight management in overweight or obese persons, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome (16).

10. Reduce hypertension

A researcher discovered that consumption of more than 4 raisins per week helps in the reduction of high blood pressure. Raisins are rich in potassium thus maintain the BP level and decreases hypertension (17).

11. Prevents Alzheimer’s

Essential nutrients present in raisins like polyphenols, flavonoids, and resveratrol have great potential in delaying the onset of age-related normal alterations and prevent Alzheimer’s disease (18).

12. Increase fertility

Arginine is present in raisins, which is beneficial in sperm motility and treating erectile dysfunction (19).

13. Improves digestion

Studies supported that intake of two raisins or 84 grams per day can cause beneficial changes in colon function (20).

Side effects of Raisins

Although there are very few known side effects of raisin as there are fewer human studies done on the same. However, over-consumption makes you gain weight and increase blood sugar levels in the body.

Healthy recipes

1. Raisin Juice

Raisin (8-10) can be consumed by just soak in water overnight. Blend it well in the morning and then drink it on an empty stomach.

2. Snack

Raisins can be eating in the form of snacks with oats, yogurt, and cereals.

3. Salads

Raisin can be eaten as a salad with other dry fruits, fruits like pineapple and with a vegetable like a carrot, broccoli.

Know more about Superfoods 

Black Raisins health Benefits

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