For those of us who wish to shed a few pounds, the key may lie in a single raisin. At least that’s what mental health nutrition expert Leslie Korn, Ph.D, is saying.
Korn, who is the author of a new cookbook, The Good Mood Kitchen, swears that chewing on a single portion of the dried fruit for several minutes can help snack deprived adults short-circuit their cravings for the sweet and salty.
So how does it work? Well according to Korn, you’re to start by picking up a raisin and observing it. Notice its grooves and wrinkles and even give it a sniff. At the same time, note your body’s physical state.
Place the raisin in your mouth, turn it around and explore the surface of the fruit with your tongue. Then slowly and deliberately chew the raisin, noting its complexity of flavor and soft center. Remaining still, swallow the dried fruit, imagining it traveling down to your stomach.
Then ask yourself, “What does my body really need?”
In other words, by focusing on what you consume, down to the texture, you have more control of what and how much you eat. It’s mental.
“The raisin exercise couples our awareness with our ability to exert control over our ‘automatic’ reactions,” Korn told The Post.
She also said the new process of consuming raisins spurs a chemical relaxation response called parasympathetic dominance. When in this state and heart rate and breathing rate slows, and an anti-anxiety neurotransmitter called GABA rises, thus stabilizing the appetite.
The response also improves digestion when you eventually do consume an appropriately sized meal or snack, she said.
Korn recommends raisins due to its “dynamic” taste and texture, but says a small bite of anything can do the job, including chocolate.