Raisins are dried grapes, with dark-colored raisins getting their color from drying in the sun and golden raisins maintaining a light color due to treatment with sulfur dioxide and indoor drying. These dried fruits are a nutritious source of energy, providing a number of essential nutrients as well as some other health benefits.
A 1.5-ounce box of raisins provides 129 calories, 1.3 grams of protein, 0.2 gram of fat and 34 grams of carbohydrate, including 1.6 grams of fiber. This is about 6 percent of the daily value of 25 grams of fiber you need per day. Since raisins and other dried fruit take up less space than fresh fruit, it is a concentrated source of energy and relatively high in calories. Stick with the serving size and eat raisins in moderation to avoid excess calories.
Raisins are not a particularly good source of essential vitamins, but they do provide small amounts of vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin E and vitamin K. They are a better source of minerals; each 1.5-ounce box provides 322 milligrams of potassium, or 15 percent of the daily value; 0.8 milligram of iron, or 5 percent of the DV; 43 milligrams of phosphorus, or 4 percent of the DV; and small amounts of calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Phytochemicals are plant chemicals, some of which have beneficial health effects. Raisins contain phytochemicals called polyphenols, which include flavonols and quercetin, as well as phenolic acids. These chemicals act as antioxidants and help limit damage to your cells from molecules called free radicals, potentially limiting your risk for heart disease and cancer. However, more research is needed to determine whether raisins can provide the same health benefits as grapes and wine.
Raisins may help lower your after-meal blood glucose levels and promote feelings of fullness, according to a study published in “Nutrition Research” in August 2010. They are also an inexpensive way to get the energy you need during intense exercise sessions, providing similar effects to Sports Jelly Beans, including maintaining appropriate blood glucose levels during exercise, note the authors of a study published in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” in November 2011.