Raisins provide you with several essential nutrients, and eating them daily may provide you with some health benefits. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 suggest consuming 2 cups of fruit daily when eating 2,000 calories a day. A 1-cup equivalent from the fruits group equals 1 cup of fresh fruit or 100-percent fruit juice, or 1/2 cup of dried fruit -- such as raisins.
Because raisins are rich in carbs, especially natural sugars, they give you a quick boost of energy when you're feeling sluggish -- without weighing you down. For this reason, raisins make an excellent pre- or post-workout snack. Raisins contain about 130 calories and 31 grams of carbs in each 1/4 cup portion. A 2011 study published in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" reports that raisins are a feasible energy-boosting alternative to sports jelly beans during high-intensity endurance exercise.
Eating raisins regularly can help ease or prevent constipation, according to MedlinePlus. Raisins are a good source of dietary fiber, which is beneficial when you're constipated. The authors of a review published in 2009 in "Nutrition Reviews" suggest consuming 14 grams of dietary fiber for each 1,000 calories you eat, or 28 grams daily when following a 2,000-calorie diet. A 1/4-cup portion of raisins provides about 2 grams of dietary fiber.
Rich in Nutrients
Raisins are nutrient-dense foods. They are one of the few plant-based foods rich in dietary iron, an essential mineral your body requires daily to make proteins that transport oxygen to your body's cells. Eating raisins daily can help you meet your iron recommended dietary allowance, which is 8 milligrams for men and women over 50, 18 milligrams daily for women of childbearing age, 27 milligrams during pregnancy and 9 milligrams daily for lactating women. Raisins are also rich in potassium, phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Reduced Disease Risks
A daily dose of raisins may also reduce your chronic disease risks. A 2013 review in the "Journal of Food Science" reports that eating raisins regularly is associated with lower blood glucose levels, reduced blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, reduced triglycerides, increased satiety and lower overall food consumption. Therefore, authors of this review suggest that raisin consumption has the potential to decrease your risk for developing heart disease, diabetes and possibly overweight and obesity.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
- Livestrong.com: MyPlate
- MedlinePlus: Constipation – Self Care
- Nutrition Reviews: Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Iron
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Sun-Dried Raisins Are a Cost Effective Alternative to Sports Jelly Beans in Prolonged Cycling
- Journal of Food Science: Raisin Consumption by Humans: Effects on Glycemia and Insulinemia and Cardiovascular Risk Factors