Brilliant superfood: If you hate raisins, you can go home!

Some hate them, others love them and can’t nibble enough raisins and appreciate, in addition to the taste, their digestive effect. Studies show other health benefits – and show they’re better than expensive energy bars.

Raisins are healthy – rich in B vitamins, minerals and fiber, among other things. FITBOOK has gathered from studies what advantages there are apart from the digestive effect and why you can save on expensive energy bars with raisins.

How are raisins made?

Before the grapes are dried, they are sprayed with a solution of potash and olive oil. This process makes the shell more permeable to water, which then dries faster. The water content is thus reduced from 95 to around 15 percent. Raisins are actually quite well preserved when they are preserved – but sultanas, especially in conventional cultivation, are often treated with sulfur for this purpose (must be labeled on the packaging).

Sultanas (golden raisins)

Unlike raisins, sultanas are made from green grapes. Like most raisins, sultanas are sprayed with an oil solution before drying in the oven or in the air.


Currants are a type of raisin made exclusively from the Greek grape variety Korinthiaki. Currants are now grown worldwide and are slightly smaller than normal sultanas. They are also darker (black to purple) and less sticky than sultanas. This eliminates the need to oil currants after harvesting!

Nutrients included

Raisins are high in fiber, iron, potassium, and contain several B vitamins, particularly B1, B3, B5, and B6. They are free of saturated fat and, unlike many other dried fruits, have no added sugar. Raisins also contain a whole range of secondary plant substances that have a positive effect on health. A look at the nutritional content reveals that raisins are quite high in natural sugars – making them a sweet that should always be enjoyed in moderation. We will see later how the sugar contained is to be classified (and what effect it has on the blood). First, the nutrients contained in 100 grams of raisins:1

Effect on energy metabolism: raisins vs. energy bars

Due to the high sugar content, raisins are ideal for an energy boost – which also makes the dried delicacies a popular snack for athletes. Are they possibly the better energy bars? In 2012, the University of California, Davis, studied the effects of energy bars, raisins, and water on the body during exercise.2 Eleven men either ate conventional energy bars (30 grams), a small handful of raisins (31 grams), or drank them before their exercise session Water. The subjects then ran for 80 minutes at a time and then rode their bikes for another five kilometers.

The medical review found that the water had no effect on the men’s energy metabolism and performance. After consuming energy bars or raisins, insulin levels rose; as well as values ​​that speak for an active energy metabolism. Interestingly, the values ​​for raisins and energy bars were so similar that the scientists concluded: raisins «give» just as much energy as energy bars – but are healthier with almost the same calorie content. The reason is obvious: no artificial sugar is added. Energy bars also contain many B vitamins – but also sugar alternatives such as rice syrup – has a high glycemic load and low sweetening power, which is why we want «more» of it.

Also interesting: Glucose, fructose, sucrose: is there even healthy sugar?

Beneficial effect on insulin levels and high blood pressure

Raisins may also lower the risk of diabetes. Canadian and American researchers from the University of Kentucky were able to show that the insulin levels of type 2 diabetes patients rose less drastically when they consumed raisins. The sugar contained in raisins does not get into the blood as quickly. This avoids insulin spikes – which can lead to diabetes. According to another study by the Harvard School of Public Health, eating raisins can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 12 percent daily consumption of raisins could be sustainably reduced. The reason for this is the contained potassium and nutrient combinations with antioxidants.4

Also interesting: Symptoms that can indicate diabetes

digestive effect

Like any dried fruit, raisins swell up in the intestines. Thanks to the high proportion of healthy fiber, raisins are a small miracle cure for constipation or a sluggish intestine. The polysaccharide pectin, which is contained in large quantities in raisins, has a water-binding effect.

Also interesting: When does constipation become dangerous?


  • 1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Raisins, dark, seedless (Includes foods for USDA’s Food Distribution Program). (2019, retrieved 08/05/2021)
  • 2. Too BW, Cicau S, Hockett KR, Applegate E, Davis BA, Casazza GA Natural versus commercial carbohydrate supplementation and endurance running performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. (2012, retrieved on 09.08.2021)
  • 3. Anderson, JW, Waters, AR Raisin Consumption by Humans: Effects on Glycemia and Insulinemia and Cardiovascular Risk Factors (2013, accessed 2021-08-05).
  • 3. Roeder, A. Skip the juice, go for whole fruit. (2013, accessed 2021-08-05)
  • 4. Bays H, Weiter K, Anderson J A randomized study of raisins versus alternative snacks on glycemic control and other cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The Physician and sports medicine. (2015, retrieved 09.08.2021)