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Should You Eat Raisins For Their Benefits Or Avoid Them For Their Sugar Content?

Posted on 2/29/2020 by Dr. J. Derek Tieken
Should You Eat Raisins For Their Benefits Or Avoid Them For Their Sugar Content?We all love raisins, at least most people do. Raisins are a snack that is both sweet with just a tinge of sour, more like plant based gummy bears.

For a long time, raisins have fallen into the category of “bad for the teeth” snacks because of their perceived sugar content as well as their stickiness. Recent research, however, may work to demystify this long-held belief that raisins are bad for oral health.

The Study That Looked at the Benefits

In a study done by Christine D, Wu, a professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago Department of Dentistry, raisins were found to be good for oral health. In the study funded by the California Raisin Marketing Board, raisins were found to contain certain chemicals which are good for the gums and the teeth.

Raisins contain several different phytochemicals. Among them is oleanolic acid, a plant-based antioxidant, which works to hinder the growth of bacteria that cause gum disease. In the research, it was found that the phytochemicals in raisins prevent the growth and multiplication of streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis, both associated with cavities and dental caries.

According to the research, raisins when taken in moderate amount, serve to clear the oral cavity of the ability to grow these two strains of oral bacteria.

Should You Then Binge-Eat Raisins for Oral Health?

While the study does not give us the limit cap on how much is too much, we know that everything in abnormal amounts can be detrimental. As such, it is important to approach raisins just like any other sugary food with moderation.

Keep in mind that sugar is still bad for your teeth and when allowed to grow and multiply, dental caries will be unavoidable. Always take just enough of the raisins and remember to floss regularly, brush your teeth at least twice a day and attend routine dental checkups here at our offices.
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