More often than not snacks are an Achilles heel for a lot of people who get a great breakfast in, then a healthy lunch, up until then it’s been a great day. Then 3 pm comes, and with the energy dropping we start to look for faster fuel and then the biscuits come out, and you find that you just can’t resist that coffee to go with it, and we think well just once a day isn’t going to matter.

But snacking can be healthy, good for you, and you can use food as your medicine at the same time. Recently I bought some of those little boxes of raisins and they’ve sat in the cupboard because no one sees how great they really are. So, of course, I’m eating them because I want the benefits that they bring.

Did you know that research shows they can help to reduce blood pressure and reduce glycemic loads on the body! Also, children who snacked on raisins had a lower consumption of other snack foods and they reduced the appetite of the children for other foods, so they were more satiating.

The great thing about raisins is that they contain phytonutrients, and of course that all important fibre. These are a great snack to have in the car for when the blood sugars start to drop because they will quickly raise them again. Unlike a biscuit or packet of sweets, these little powerhouses also contain vitamin K, B’s, and some Omega 3’s, as well as magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, copper, potassium, and manganese. I know and all from the humble and rather understated raisin.

References

Patel BP, Luhovyy B, Mollard R, Painter JE, Anderson GH. A premeal snack of raisins decreases mealtime food intake more than grapes in young children. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2013 Apr;38(4):382-9. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2012-0309.

Patel BP, Bellissimo N, Luhovyy B, Bennett LJ, Hurton E, Painter JE, Anderson GH. An after-school snack of raisins lowers cumulative food intake in young children. J Food Sci. 2013 Jun;78 Suppl 1:A5-A10. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12070.

Anderson JW, Weiter KM, Christian AL, Ritchey MB, Bays HE. Raisins compared with other snack effects on glycemia and blood pressure: a randomized, controlled trial. Postgrad Med. 2014 Jan;126(1):37-43. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2014.01.2723.

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