Yes, Raisins are Paleo but…
Consume Raisins in Moderation
Raisins are dried grapes that contain no refined sugar, cholesterol and gluten. They are produced in the majority of the regions around the world and have consumed raw, as snack, toppings in salad or ingredients in cooking and baking. They have been a favorite snack by many, especially kids.
Like grapes, raisins are Paleo but should be consumed in moderation as they are high in calories amongst the dried fruits. Foods that are high in calories can quickly increase weight and therefore it is not good for people who are trying to maintain or lose weight. Raisins also have high levels of triglycerides because of their high fructose content. High levels of triglycerides can increase the chances of developing diabetes and heart disease.
The bottom line is, while raisins are Paleo, they should be eaten sparingly to be able to control overall caloric intake and decrease chances of health conditions associated with high fructose levels. If you are one of those who have other risk factors, make sure to lessen consumption of raisins.
Nutrition Facts of Raisins
While it is mentioned above that raisins are high in calories and triglycerides, they are also cholesterol free, fat free and low in sodium content. They also contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other essential nutrients that can be beneficial to the body. Raisins contain significant amounts of B vitamins specifically thiamine and B6 , dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron and calcium. They are also rich in phytonutrient phenolic acid which plays an important role in the treatment and prevention of cancer.
Health Benefits of Raisins
Although raisins have high sugar content, they are still considered as irreplaceable healthy dried fruits. Here are the benefits of eating raisins:
Raisins contain high levels of catechins which polyphenols which are essential antioxidants that can fight the damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants can also slow down progress of several deadly diseases including cancer formation.
Raisins are rich in dietary fiber and it helps in improving bowel movement and provides relief from constipation. The amount of fiber present in raisins help in sweeping out the toxins and harmful materials in the digestive tract, therefore protecting the body from intestinal diseases and bacterial growth.
Recent studies show that raisins have the ability to reduce blood pressure and protect the heart. The high levels of potassium found in raisins aid in reducing tension in the blood vessels, thus, decreasing blood pressure. The dietary fiber in raisins also reduces hypertension.
Raisins contain significant amounts of calcium and boron which are essential in proper bone formation. Boron is a micronutrient that is vital in the efficient absorption of calcium in the body and maintaining healthy bones and joints. It also helps in preventing osteoporosis. Potassium is another essential nutrient in raisins that are helpful in bone growth.
Oleanolic acid is a phytochemical found in raisins that play a vital role in protecting the teeth against decay and cavities by preventing the growth of bacteria that is causing it. Calcium is essential in making the teeth stronger.
The polyphenols present in raisins have antioxidant properties that protect the eyes from macular degeneration. Raisins also contain significant amounts of vitamin A and beta carotene which are good for eye sight.
Because raisins are rich in natural sugars, they can provide quick boost of energy. Raisins make an excellent pre and post work out snack.
What Experts Say About Raisins
“I think a few servings a week of dried fruits is not a big deal at all – fruit is a natural, fiber-rich, vitamin-loaded food source.” – Mark Sisson
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Did we miss anything?
Comment below and let us know what you think. Do you agree with our conclusion?
photo credit: jimmywayne “Real” Raisins