From childhood, we all know about these three natural candies – raisins, dates, and prunes. However, we forgot about it and taking a lot of artificial sweets instead.
“A lot of people like lollipops. I don’t like lollipops. To me, a lollipop is hard candy plus garbage. Just give me the candy.” (Demetri Martin, American Comedian)
Most candies are defined as a food of minimal nutritional value, empty calories, and a long list of harmful ingredients: artificial colours, dyes, flavours, preservatives, sweeteners, and genetically engineered ingredients that have never been thoroughly tested for safety in humans.
Mother Nature gave us natural candies not only to satisfy a sweet tooth, but to have healthiest treats that provide a wide range of essential nutrients. You’ll have all the fun without the funny stuff!
“Sometimes I think that the one thing I love most about being an adult is the right to buy candy whenever and wherever I want.” ~ Ryan Gosling
Raisins are sweet due to their high natural content of sugars. However, they have a moderate glycemic index. They even can be consumed in small amounts by diabetic patients instead of sweets. Replacing unhealthy snacks with raisins as a dietary habit has shown positive benefits in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Among dried fruits and nuts, raisins have one of the highest concentrations of boron. Raisins are rich in potassium and low in sodium. They also contain 3% protein, decent amounts of B vitamins, copper and iron, and no cholesterol.
Raisins are common natural candies that offer plenty of health benefits. Raisins may:
- lower blood pressure
- reduce stroke risk
- prevent cancer
- treat sexual dysfunction
- improve oral health
- improve testosterone production
This natural candy is:
- A great source of dietary fiber: that helps keeping our digestive system healthy and maintaining blood sugar levels.
- An energy booster: A 50-gram serving of dates contains 37 grams of carbohydrates, making these dried fruits a powerhouse of energy. Dates can boost your mood too!
- One of the best sources of potassium: Dates are one of the best natural sources of potassium that maintains heart muscle contractions and nervous system healthy. Dates have more potassium than bananas!
- Rich in magnesium: Magnesium is an essential mineral that is present in every cell of your body. Over 300 enzymes require the presence of magnesium ions for their catalytic action.
- Good in vitamins B: Dates contain a variety of B-group that are responsible for brain function, carbohydrates and fatty acids metabolism, hemoglobin and red blood cells production, fetal development and more.
- Rich in selenium: Dates are one of the best plant sources of selenium, which is good for thyroid health, may reduce the risk of certain cancers, and increases testosterone production.
- Good in iron: Iron is an active part of haemoglobin, which is responsible for the transport and storage of oxygen.
- Good in copper: Copper is responsible for the absorption and utilization of iron. Dietary copper and iron improve red blood cells and hemoglobin production.
- Good in phosphorus: Phosphorus is responsible for production of phospholipids which are the main structural components of all cellular membranes and DNA and RNA.
- Good in zinc: Zinc is required for the function of over three hundred enzymes and plays a crucial role in the serotonin production in the human body, one of four hormones of happiness
Having a wonderful flavour and great taste, this wrinkly dried plum is so naturally sweet that you’d never believe there is no sugar added. Prunes are very healthy too: free of fat, cholesterol, sodium, and gluten, but rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin K, boron, and phytochemicals.
- The laxative action of prunes could be explained by their high sorbitol content – 14.7g/100.
- Prunes are good source of energy in the form of simple sugars, but do not mediate a rapid rise in blood sugar concentration, possibly because of high fiber, fructose, and sorbitol content.
- Prunes contain large amounts of phenolic compounds (184 mg/100 g), which may aid in the laxative action and delay glucose absorption.
- High potassium content of prunes (745 mg/100 g) might be beneficial for cardiovascular health.
- Dried prunes are an important source of boron, which is postulated to play a role in prevention of osteoporosis. A 100g serving of prunes fulfills the daily requirement for boron (2 to 3 mg).
- Vitamin K, boron, and phytochemicals in prunes play an important role in bone and calcium metabolism preventing osteoporosis and bone loss. High amounts of vitamin K improve bone health by regulating calcium balance and promoting normal bone mineralization.
Raisins, dates and prunes are wonderful and healthy natural candies that help regulate your blood pressure, potassium-sodium balance, carbohydrates metabolism, digestive system functioning, sexual drive, bone and joint health and much more. It’s really hard to find an excuse not to include them in your daily menu.
“All I really need is love, but a little candy now and then doesn’t hurt!” ~ Charles Schulz