April 30 is National Raisin Day! Who knew?
There’s something about rooting for the underdog and in our opinion, the raisin falls in that category. After all, don’t most of us reach for an apple or some carrots before popping a handful of raisins? When we’re invited over someone’s home for a meal, it’s not common that bowls of raisins grace the countertops. So it goes. Sigh. The life of a poor little raisin. But we’re here to change that!
Raisins have tons of health benefits that’ll make you want to start eating more of them.
The health benefits of raisins
Interestingly, raisins may be able to fight cavities. Wait, they’re sticky and sweet (Def Leppard 1980s reference, but we digress) and have typically been considered a food to avoid since they may cause cavities. But fight them? It’s been found that raisins have beneficial polyphenols and flavonoids that may ward off oral bacteria that leads to cavities.
Beverly Hills, CA dentist Shawn Frawley, says “. . . we must consider whether the cavity-fighting properties of the phenolics outweigh the cavity-causing properties of the sugar.” However, studies have shown that the content of it in raisins is not as cavity-causing as standard table sugar.
Still, we’re not saying to chew on raisins in lieu of flossing, but just knowing that they’re loaded with great compounds is wonderful. If they’re helping our teeth, as it looks like they might, all the better. For more about their role in oral health, check out this article.
Speaking of sugar, raisins are high in natural sugars, making them an ideal snack for when you’re in need of an energy boost. They’re especially beneficial after an intense workout. Does cleaning the house count? : )
Another surprise is that raisins are a good source of iron, which is typically not the case for a plant-based food. Our bodies need iron so cells get proper amounts of oxygen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency and the leading cause of anemia in the United States.” Eat up!
They may even have something to do with boosting our libido. Raisins contain the amino acid Arginine, which is known to help with erectile dysfunction and to increase sperm count. We think this cycle could be interesting. . . eat them for the energy boost as we mentioned above. . . which leads to something else (ahem), which leads to needing that energy boost all over again : ) Well, are we complaining? Read about this and many of the other benefits of raisins here.
Finally, the Journal of Food Science found that daily consumption of raisins is connected with lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
So celebrate National Raisin Day today and every day by incorporating more of them in your diet. They’re great as a snack, as a topping in soaked oatmeal/muesli recipes and in salads!
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