Raisins are a wonderful addition to your diet in any season as they are full of antioxidants more than any other dried fruit. They are high on fibre and potassium and studies have shown how eating them regularly can reduce risk of heart disease, high blood sugar levels and also lower bad cholesterol.
While dried fruits are a convenient source of getting the required nutrients, at times people continue to prefer them over fresh fruit which is in the season.
In case of raisins, many health experts advise people to soak them for multiplying their benefits and in order to have better nutrient absorption.
But soaked or otherwise, are they healthier than fresh grapes? If given a choice, should one go for fresh grapes or soaked raisins?
Nutritionist Bhuvan Rastogi in his recent Instagram post shares why raisins should be eaten only when the fresh grapes are not in season and benefits of the fresh fruit must be reaped.
"In India there is this belief floating around that soaked raisins are superfoods. It's a very common nutritional advice to have soaked raisins or raisin water even when fresh grapes are in season," says Rastogi.
He adds that raisins are just dehydrated grapes and there is no major benefit of rehydrating raisins.
"I was unable to find a proper research on the topic. All articles about the benefits of soaked raisins or raisin water talk about the benefits of raisins, not the added advantage of soaking. If there is, it's nothing more than the usual better absorption of nutrients (same as soaking nuts)," adds the nutritionist.
Why we must choose fresh grapes over raisins
Rastogi says raisins are inferior to grapes considering they have lost vitamins in the process of dehydration.
The nutritionist adds that by comparing USDA nutrition database for raisins and grapes (of same variety) it comes out that grapes have 15 times more vitamin K, 6 times more vitamin E and C, 2 times more vitamin B1 and B2.
"This may vary from variety to variety and level of dehydration, but still all this can be used to just understand that there is a major loss of vitamins and hence antioxidants when having a dehydrated grape over fresh one," says Rastogi.
The nutritionist advises one to have raisins only when grapes are unavailable. He says that raisins should be treated as just another dried fruit which should be taken when fresh is not available.