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10 reasons to include raisins or dried grapes in your diet

Grab some raisins and brace yourself for a long lucky night. The amino acid arginine in raisins can stimulate libido and induce sexual arousal.

Raisins are obtained by the process of dehydration of grapes, which causes nutrients in them to get concentrated. They are one of the most widely consumed dried fruits not just because of their refreshing and sugary taste but also because of the numerous health benefits they have stored in the form of concentrated nutrients.

1# Good for diabetes patients: Despite being sweet in taste and rich in simple sugars, raisins are considered good for diabetics because of their low-to-moderate glycemic index. Studies suggest the consuming raisin can lower postprandial insulin response in diabetics and help regulate sugar absorption [1]. Plus, raisins are also packed with dietary fibre that prevents sudden spike in sugar levels. This property gives them the potential to lower the risk of diabetes in healthy individuals [2].

2# Helps prevent heart disease: Raisin intake has been associated with lowered oxidative stress and reduced level of oxidative biomarkers that increase in those heart disease. Studies suggest that consumption of raisins can lower the levels of serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, risk factors for development of heart disease. The polyphenolic, phenolic, and tannin (PPT) compounds like lavonols, caftaric and coutaric acid, quercetin and kaempferol acts as antioxidants and prevents oxidation of LDL [1].

3# Helps promote weight loss: Although there is no direct evidence suggesting that raisins help weight loss, they promote satiety or a feeling of fullness via regulation of leptin and ghrelin hormones associated with hunger. Therefore those wanting to lose weight can substitute unhealthy evening snacks with raisins to prevent weight gain. Raisins are also considered as a healthy after-school snack for kids to curb calorie intake.

4# Excellent source of energy: Raisins are the one of the best instant sources of energy, packed with simple sugars like fructose and glucose in them. They contain sugars like fructose and glucose and promote the efficient absorption of nutrients in your body.

5# Good for your oral health: Unlike candies which are notorious for causing cavities, raisins contain oleanolic acid which prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth. This in turn helps in keeping oral health problems like tooth decay and cavities at bay [3].

6# Strengthens your bones: Raisins are a good source of calcium. One cup of raisins meet 8% of your daily recommended intake of calcium, helping prevention of arthritis and osteoporosis. Additionally, raisins also contain a micronutrient called boron that aids in the absorption of calcium.

7# Acts as an aphrodisiac: Eating raisins is a great way to rev up your love life as it contains an amino acid called arginine that raises your libido. Along with raisins, you could also eat foods like walnuts and pomegranate to boost your sex life.

8# Treats infections: Raisins can be an effective home remedy to treat infections as they have polyphenols with anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties.

9# Helps keep cancer at bay: Raisins are rich in antioxidants which prevent your cells from suffering from free radical damage which helps in preventing cancer. In particular, a polyphenolic antioxidant called catechin present in raisins has been found to protect against cancer.

10# Helps treat constipation: Raisins can be considered as natural laxatives that keep your digestive system healthy. and Constipation can be an extremely unpleasant condition to have. Raisins are rich in fibre which helps clear the food stuck in your bowel [4].

All of these properties ensure that you stock up on raisins the next time you go to the supermarket.

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References

  1. Williamson G, Carughi A. Polyphenol content and health benefits of raisins. Nutr Res. 2010 Aug;30(8):511-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2010.07.005. Review. PubMed PMID: 20851304.
  2. Anderson JW, Waters AR. Raisin consumption by humans: effects on glycemia and insulinemia and cardiovascular risk factors. J Food Sci. 2013 Jun;78 Suppl1:A11-7. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12071. Review. PubMed PMID: 23789931.
  3. Wong A, Young DA, Emmanouil DE, Wong LM, Waters AR, Booth MT. Raisins and oral health. J Food Sci. 2013 Jun;78 Suppl 1:A26-9. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12152. Review. PubMed PMID: 23789933.
  4. Bell SJ. A review of dietary fiber and health: focus on raisins. J Med Food. 2011 Sep;14(9):877-83. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2010.0215. Epub 2011 Apr 10. Review. PubMed PMID: 21476884.

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