The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that one-third of American adults have prehypertension, or slightly elevated blood pressure, – defined as exhibiting systolic pressure in the range of 120 to 139 and diastolic pressure in the range of 80 to 89.
Without positive life changes to actively lower blood pressure, experts agree that prehypertension has a high possibility of turning into hypertension (high blood pressure).
Raisins are a surprisingly underrated natural food for lowering your blood pressure. This ancient and once popular lunch-box treat, has fallen out of popularity as a snack – replaced by cookies, crackers and potato chips.
Energy Boosting Raisins Strengthen Your Cardiovascular System
Researchers with the American College of Cardiology discovered that prehypertension subjects given raisins three times each day saw a measurable drop in systolic/diastolic blood pressure in 12 weeks – as much as 7%!
The other subjects, given cookies or crackers with the equivalent calories of the raisins, saw no change. A previous clinical trial found that raisins caused a drop in LDL “bad” cholesterol of more than 9%!
Harold Bays, MD and lead investigator, explained, “[Raisins] are a good source of antioxidant dietary fiber that may favorably alter the biochemistry of blood vessels, causing them to be less stiff, which in turn, may reduce blood pressure,” Bays added.
One ounce of raisins, three times each day will help lower blood pressure. Add raisins to oatmeal and the soluble fiber in oatmeal helps you boost the efficacy!
Raisins are an excellent source of nutrition for those with blood pressure in the normal range, too.
They are a “smart” snack choice for children and a helpful boost for athletes, and are especially beneficial to women who are pregnant or nursing.
Top 5 Health Benefits of Raisins
#1- Safe and Effective Energy Boost
Raisins provide natural sugars – unlike most “energy” bars – and help your body absorb other vitamins and minerals more efficiently while building up your immune system.
In fact, according to a study done by the University of California at Davis, raisins provide athletes everything they need for best performance during strenuous activity.
#2- Regular is Better
The high fiber content in raisins keeps you “regular” by absorbing water and gently cleansing your system of toxins. Research has proven that a diet which includes plenty of fiber-rich foods prevents colorectal cancer.
#3- Sweetness without Tooth Decay
As sticky and sweet as raisins are, it might surprise you to learn they actually contribute to good oral hygiene. A compound found in raisins – oleanolic acid – has been proven to prevent cavities and tooth decay by killing gum disease-causing bacteria and by strengthening teeth.
The natural sugars – glucose and fructose – satisfy sweet cravings without the junk found in candy.
#4- Building Strong Bones
Research has shown that children who receive an abundance of calcium have far less risk of osteoporosis later in life. Raisins are a rich source of both calcium and boron – a mineral that aids in calcium absorption and bone cell growth.
#5- Fight Fatigue with Raisins
Anemia – a condition that arises when your blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells – affects more than 3.5 million Americans. Common symptoms are fatigue, rapid heart rate, weakness, difficulty concentrating, muscle cramps and shortness of breath.
Raisins are rich in iron and copper, two minerals that are critical to the formation of red blood cells. Iron is also used to transport oxygen to your cells.
Raisins are a sweet treat that lower blood pressure and so much more! Pick some up today and start snacking!