Every year, Americans consume more than 205,000 metric tons of raisins!
When most people think of raisins, they think of the darker colored raisins used in oatmeal raisin cookies or added to their cereal.
There’s nothing wrong with these raisins, but there are also plenty of benefits that come with branching out and enjoying their golden cousins. This little snack packs quite the healthy punch.
Read on to learn all about golden raisins and why you ought to start eating them on a regular basis.
Golden Raisins Nutrition Profile
Before we get into the specific health benefits these raisins have to offer, let’s go over the basic nutrition profile of a golden raisin.
One hundred grams of golden raisins contains 302 calories, 3.4 grams of protein, 79.5 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.5 grams of fat.
If you’re looking for an easy way to add more carbohydrates to your diet (such as before a workout when you need some extra energy), these raisins are a good option to consider.
With a serving of these raisins, you also get to enjoy some important vitamins and minerals.
A 100-gram serving contains 11 percent of your daily riboflavin and 21 percent of your daily potassium. It also contains 16 percent of your daily vitamin B6, 18 percent of your daily copper, and 15 percent of your daily manganese.
Reasons to Go for the Gold
You can get quite a few different vitamins and minerals from adding this type of raisin to your diet. There are several other health benefits that come with consuming them on a regular basis, though, including the following:
A 100-gram serving of raisins provides you with a good amount of fiber (about four grams). Eating adequate fiber can help to reduce bloating and improve your ability to digest food well.
Raisins are a good source of magnesium and potassium. Both of these minerals play an important role in preventing a condition known as acidosis. They can also act as a natural antacid when you’re struggling with issues like heartburn or reflux.
Fight Against Anemia
Because they contain vitamin B6, copper, and iron, golden raisins can help you to avoid becoming anemic. Anemia occurs when you lack adequate amounts of healthy red blood cells.
Promote Good Oral Health
Thanks to their calcium content, raisins can promote good oral health, too. They contain boron as well, which further helps to prevent oral germ growth.
Prevent Oxidative Damage
Golden raisins are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help to prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals. This keeps your cells healthy and slows down signs of aging (internal and external).
Promote Bone Health
Raisins’ calcium content makes them a good option for those looking to promote bone health as well. If you’re hoping to reduce your risk of osteoporosis, adding some raisins to your diet can help.
Raisins contain an amino acid known as L-arginine. This amino acid is helpful to men suffering from reduced sperm motility. It’s also a natural aphrodisiac and can improve sexual endurance.
Reduce Blood Pressure
There’s a connection between raisin consumption and healthier blood pressure levels, likely due to their potassium content. Individuals who struggle with high blood pressure can benefit from adding them to their diet.
Control Blood Sugar
Raisins do a good job of helping to control blood sugar levels and prevent dramatic postprandial insulin spikes as well. They can also help control hunger hormone levels and prevent people from overeating.
Improve Kidney Health
Eating raisins can also improve the health of your kidneys and minimize your risk of developing kidney stones. This is likely due to the high amount of potassium they contain.
Ways to Eat Golden Raisins
Okay, you can see that the consumption of these raisins comes with a lot of health benefits. You might be wondering how to eat more of them, though.
The good news is that these raisins are very versatile.
You can sprinkle them on top of your morning oatmeal, in your bowl of cereal, or on top of a salad. You can bake them into some low-sugar cookies or granola bars.
They also taste great cooked in with foods like chicken. They add a bit of sweetness to balance out the other savory flavors.
There’s also nothing wrong with eating a handful of raisins by themselves. They can give you a quick burst of energy before a workout, or you could pair them with a fat or protein source like peanut butter or a protein shake to give them some extra staying power.
How to Choose the Best Raisins
As with most foods, not all raisins (golden or otherwise) are created equal.
It’s important to know more about what to look for when shopping for raisins to make sure you’re buying high-quality ones that will give you the most bang for your buck.
Start by making sure the bag or box that they’re packaged in is tightly sealed. If it’s torn in any way, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with dirty, tough, or stale raisins. Avoid buying raisins from uncovered bins, too.
It’s a good idea to buy organic raisins whenever you can, too.
Grapes, as well as the products made from them, are on the “dirty dozen” list, meaning they test higher for pesticides than a lot of other fruits and vegetables. Buying organic will help you minimize pesticide exposure and the health risks that accompany it.
Time to Eat More Golden Raisins!
As you can see, there are tons of reasons why golden raisins ought to be in your regular food rotation. They provide a lot of impressive health benefits and they’re easy to add to a variety of recipes.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to head out and buy yourself some delicious raisins! Just keep our shopping tips in mind to ensure you’re buying the best ones possible.
Are you looking for more healthy foods and snacks to add to your meals? If so, check out the Health section of our site today for some other great ideas.