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Which Varieties of Raisins Are the Healthiest?

Jun 10, 2010

There is a lot more to raisins besides the individually boxed portions that end up in a lunch box or Halloween basket. The word raisin is derived from the Latin word, 'racemus' which means 'cluster of grapes or berries'. It is believed that the first people to harvest raisins were the Romans, Greeks, Armenians and Phoenicians. Half of the world's supply of raisins are grown in California and the city of Fresno is considered the raisin capital of the world.

Raisins are fat free, cholesterol free and low in sodium. They are fortified with iron and potassium which work in conjunction to maintain muscle health. Raisins are seventy percent pure fructose. Although this may seem like a high amount of sugar, it is simple sugar which is alot easier for the body to break down. Several different varieties of raisins are available each with its own, unique quality. If you are not a raisin fan, you may want to re-think your variety of choices available. Like fine wine, it is most probable that you may be missing out on a delectable, nourishing treat. Below are some species of raisins that are the most popular and most healthy.

Thompson Raisins

Surpassing the 'Muscat of Alexandria' raisin in 1925, Thompson offered not only a more adaptable growing reputation when it came to soil, weather and pesticide durability, but the thing that put Thompson raisins at the top was that they were seedless. Known internationally as Sultan raisin, Thompson is the most popular and widely available variety. Many people have not had the various choices of raisins out there simply because Thompson dominates the market, however, it does surpass the other choices when it comes to its health factor.

Although the organic market has become very popular, not everything produced organically is better than non-organic production. Raisins are the exception. Given their harvesting vulnerability, Thompson grapes can be inundated with harsh production methods such as gas excelerated drying techniques, as well as pesticide residue. While Thompson is the most durable grape, it still is a grape nonetheless and grapes have a specific growth window. Therefore, Thompson Organic Jumbo raisins by far surpass conventionally produced Thompson's. They are a large, juicy, sweet fruit worth the extra money, especially for their pesticide free production rendering them much more accepted by the body.

Flame Raisins

Flame raisins seem to be coming back into popular demand. Considered the sweetest raisin on the market, Flame raisins are second in healthiest to Thompson. They are usually not as plump as Thompson's, but make up for their size in sweetness. They have just as much  iron and potassium and are found in many stores, usually bagged instead of boxed.

Other Varieties of Raisins

  • Goldens - average size, however, many golden raisins are treated with preservatives such as, sulfur dioxide, to help retain their color
  • Seeded Muscat - this is the same raisin surpassed by Thompson in the nineteen twenties, however, this brand has been seeded
  • Zante Currants - these are tart, mini raisins mostly used in baking

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