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Nutritional Notes

There’s no better time than the present to share with you why I am a big fan of the tiny, but mighty raisin.Why the raisin you ask? Why not? It’s tasty, nutritious, versatile, and kinda cute, wrinkles and all.

Of course raisins are a great snack, but they’re also chock full of fiber and antioxidants. This time of year especially, raisins are used in cookie and other baked goods recipes, as well as stuffings and hearty salads. So while you’re enjoying their great taste, be aware that the mighty raisin is also doing your body good.

They cut your risk of colon cancer by helping to move waste through your intestines faster, they also have the power to wipe out microbes like bacteria and viruses. And the phytochemicals in raisins fend off bacteria in the mouth, the kind that can cause cavities and gum disease.

As with all fruits, raisins do contain natural sugars, however you’ll find mostly fructose and glucose in raisins, not sucrose which can cause tooth decay. Do keep in mind that dried fruits can be higher in calories, so watch your portions, one-quarter cup of raisins equals about 130 calories.

While moderation is key, enjoy a handful of raisins for a healthy snack, and find ways to incorporate some into your everyday meals, including your hot and cold cereals, (they’re great in oatmeal!)

Janet Zappala/Certified Nutritional Consultant/Author/Award-Winning Journalist