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What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Raisins

Sprinkle them on top of your oatmeal—STAT!
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

When you make your grocery list, you likely include milk (or a milk alternative), eggs, bread, fresh vegetables, and…a box of raisins?

OK, chances are that the last item isn't at the top of your mind when you're mentally preparing for your weekly grocery haul. However, the little dried grapes boast a lot of nutrients that make them, well, unforgettable.

Below, we list five things that could happen to your body when you eat raisins, so you know you know what you could be missing out on. And then, don't miss The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now!

When you eat raisins, you could experience…

1

Elevated blood sugar levels.

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Unfortunately, raisins are high in sugar, with 1/4 cup clocking in at 26 grams of sugar. For people with diabetes, primarily those living with type 2 diabetes, eating too many raisins (and regularly) could increase their risk of hyperglycemia—the state in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are too high. If left untreated, this can lead to serious health complications later down the road.

Bottom line: If you have diabetes, consider limiting your intake of raisins because of how many carbohydrates they contain per serving.

2

Constipation relief.

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This is likely the most well-known health benefit tied to eating raisins. Did your parents ever tell you to eat Raisin Bran cereal if you were feeling, for lack of better words, backed up? This may have to do with the fact that just 1/4 cup of raisins boasts about 2 grams of fiber, which is about 7% of the daily value for most people. However, your individual requirements for fiber depend on both your age and gender. For example, women up to age 50 should strive to get 25 grams of fiber each day whereas men in the same age range should have 38 grams daily.

Bottom line: Sprinkle some raisins on top of your cereal or yogurt in the morning if you're due for a bathroom trip. And also, be sure to check out 43 Best High-Fiber Foods For a Healthy Diet for tips on how to incorporate even more fiber into your diet.

3

Reduced risk of anemia.

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Anemia, which is caused by iron deficiency, is one of the most common mineral deficiencies in the world, with over a quarter of the global population being affected by it. Anemia occurs when the number of red blood cells and your blood's ability to carry oxygen plummets, which can leave you feeling tired and weak. In some cases, it can even impair brain function.

Aside from taking an iron supplement, you can boost your iron levels through diet. While raisins aren't the richest source of iron, 1/2 cup serving of the dried fruit does contain about 7% of the recommended daily amount for women ages 19-50 (18 milligrams)—who are more at risk of iron deficiency largely because of menstruation.

Bottom line: If you have an iron deficiency, you should talk to your doctor about taking a supplement. However, if you don't, eating raisins may help you keep your iron levels in check.

4

A boost of energy.

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Since raisins contain quite a bit of sugar, eating a handful may be a great way to get a little boost of energy before you do your workout. This may be especially helpful if you're busting a sweat first thing in the morning—and on an empty stomach.

Bottom line: Don't shy away from raisins as a pre-workout snack!

5

A lower risk of heart disease.

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Another perk to raisins? They're loaded in antioxidants, as they are rich in phytonutrients known as phenols and polyphenols. These antioxidants can help to remove free radicals from your blood, which is important seeing as they can damage your cells and DNA. This can lead to major health complications including heart disease and even cancer.

Bottom line: We're not suggesting eating raisins alone can help to prevent chronic disease, however, eating them will provide your body with healthful antioxidants.

For more tips, be sure to check out This Food May Help Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease, Study Finds.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of <Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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