Benefits of Raisins for Digestive Health
Raisins are simply dried grapes coming in a few varieties; but, most are either deep purple to black or golden green in color. The majority of the raisin is made up from sugar thus their sweet and delightful taste, but the benefits of raisins go beyond their sugary flavor. They are also a good source of antioxidants, which help the body to fight off cell damaging free radicals. And, they also have vitamins and nutrients that the body needs such as thiamine, vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and riboflavin. In terms of good source of potassium, phosphorus and manganese, few options are better than raisins, and iron is also abundant in the small and sweet dried fruits. However, aside from abounding nutritional value, there is another element to the body benefiting nature of moisture less grapes and that is their potential multiple roles in aiding digestive health as these high fiber snacks are worth much more than their weight in providing gastrointestinal support.
Dried fruits have been used as a digestive system supporting snack for a very long time. The benefits of raisins and other dried fruits such as prunes and apricots have been heralded for their abilities to promote health of the colon and contribute to gastrointestinal goodness for centuries. Typically, dried fruits work to keep the digestive system running smoothing by adding in a heaping dose of healthy dietary fiber. This helps to add both bulk and moisture to the bowels with can promote rapid and gentle movement. Dried fruits high in fiber have all different amounts of it and Dr. Oz notes specific choices of dried fruits’ fiber content on his list of favorites; with prunes boasting 12 grams per cup, snuggling in behind figs at 14 grams per cup. With numbers like those, it is easy to wonder where all that fiber comes from, and the answer is simple. The reason why fruits like prunes and figs that have been dried are so high in nutrients like beneficial fiber is because they lose so little of them during the drying process. This means that once the fruits have had their excess water removed, the plentiful nutrients that existed in the fresh fruit remain in the smaller, compact and concentrated versions.
Luckily for raisin lovers, the health benefits of raisins also include a nice sized doze of fiber in each 3.5 ounce serving at 3.7 grams. In terms of constipation relief, raisins can provide same because of the way that they make stool easier to pass. Essentially, when stool hangs about for too long in the colon, it can lose precious water, making for a dry and hard consistency. Stool that has lost its lubricating water can result in straining and discomfort and of course, constipation.
Most foods high in fiber can promote regularity and colon health, but raisins have another trick up their tiny sleeves in terms of dietary fiber benefits. Unlike other foods rich in fiber which boast little more than varying amounts of soluble and insoluble forms, the benefits of raisins include the content of a special type of fiber known as fructans, according to PRNewswire.com. Why these are special is because they are ‘prebiotics’ and, are thought to improve the condition of the colon. Wikipedia also mentions another special compound found in raisins, and that is tartaric acid. Tartaric acid is thought to help to keep the digestive system healthy and may work right alongside the fiber found in fiber rich foods in order to achieve this. These additional benefits of raisins in terms of extra dietary fiber perks set them apart from other fruity fiber sources.
Raisins are a sweet treat that are packed with nutritional value that much more potent than their unassuming size would suggest. They help the digestive system in multiple ways by providing fiber which can contribute to regularity and reduce the recurrence of constipation and its symptoms by acting as anti indigestion and anti bloating foods, and the contribute to overall colon health in multiple ways such as employing the use of organic acids and prebiotics. The benefits of raisins seem too numerous to be contained within their small sized selves, but their surprisingly big flavor provides some indication of the size of the hidden goodness of raisins.