Raisins are obtained by drying grapes either in the sun or in driers. On drying, they turn into green, golden or black gems. They are naturally sweet in flavour and are widely used in cooking all over the world especially as dessert toppings. These may be tiny in size but they hold a bunch of nutritional value. The health benefits of raisins are, it aids digestion, treats constipation, improves bone health & increases iron levels in the body. It also helps to treat bloating, anaemia, fever, & erectile dysfunction. Raisins also have a positive impact on the eyes, hair, dental, heart, and bone health. It also helps in healthy weight gain.
Raisins are considered as dry fruits that boost energy that is added to health tonics, snacks, and high energy food supplements for backpackers, campers, and mountaineers. Raisins are high in calories and it is recommended that you eat ¼ cup of raisins a day.
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THE HIDDEN NUTRITIONAL VALUE:
Raisins are rich in antioxidants and vitamins like riboflavin, niacin,thiamin, and vitamin C, K, and B6. It is also high in sugar and calories. It contains minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and boron. A ¼ cup of raisins is said to have 4% proteins, 1% fat & 95% carbohydrates.
POWERFUL HEALTH BENEFITS OF RAISINS:
- Relieve Constipation: Raisins are rich in fibre (insoluble fibre) which absorbs all the water and natural fluids in the body. This adds bulk to the food moving through the intestinal tract. This ultimately provides relief from constipation.
- Promotes Weight Gain: They are rich sources of fructose & glucose and thus helps weight gain in a healthy way. It forms an ideal part of the diet for bodybuilders and athletes who require boosts of energy. It can be consumed by those who want to gain weight without accumulating unhealthy cholesterol.
- Treats erectile Dysfunction: It has been a custom in India to make the bride and the groom drink a glass of milk boiled with raisin & a pinch of saffron on their wedding. Any idea why this custom is been followed for years and years? Here it is. Raisins have been known to stimulate libido and thereby induce arousal. This is because it contains an amino acid called arginine which helps to treat erectile dysfunction. Raisins have the ability to increase sperm count. Consuming these dry fruits on a daily basis helps in sexual endurance.
- Aids Digestion: The fibres present in raisins help to flush out the toxins and harmful materials from the digestive tract. This prevents bacterial growth, intestinal diseases & difficulty in bloating.
- Prevents Cancer: Catechin is polyphenols antioxidants that are present in the blood which removes the free radicals present in the body. These free radicals are the underlying reasons for the spontaneous growth of cancerous cells. Raisins are rich in high levels of catechins that removes free radicals thereby preventing cancer. The fiber content in the raisins also promotes the excretion of bile from the body which also flushes out the toxins that cause cancer.
- Reduce Hypertension: The hight amount of potassium in raisins play a very important role in reducing hypertension. Potassium is mineral that reduces the tension of blood vessels and also decreases blood pressure. The dietary fibre in raisins also affect the blood vessels in the body and also help to reduce hypertension.
- Dental care: The phytochemical called oleanolic acid present in raisins play a crucial role in protecting your teeth against cavities, decay, and brittleness. It also prevents bacterial growth that is responsible for cavities. The calcium present in raisins helps in strengthening and demineralizing tooth enamels. The boron content in raisins promotes the growth of oral gums thereby ensuring strong teeth. It might be surprising to know that while eating raisins, the longer it gets stuck to the teeth, the better it is, as it increases the preventive powers of bacterial growth.
- Cardiac Health: The high levels of potassium, fibre, boron, polyphenols, antioxidants, and phenolic acids help to burn cholesterol as well as lowers hypertension thereby promoting good cardiac health.
- Controls Diabetes: Raisins have the ability to lower postprandial insulin response. This means raisins have the ability to control the insulin production after the intake of the certain meal which is otherwise dangerous to a diabetic patient. They also help release leptin & ghrelin, the hormones which indicate us that we are hungry.
- Treat Anemia: Raisins are abundant sources of iron which helps treat anaemia. It also contains vitamin B complex that helps in the formation of new blood. The high copper content in raisins also helps in the production of red blood cells.
- Good for Eyes: Raisins are rich in antioxidant-rich polyphenolic phytonutrients that are excellent for ocular health. They protect the eyes from the damages caused by radicals such as macular degeneration, age-related weakening of vision, and cataracts.
- Prevents acidosis: Raisins being rich in potassium & magnesium are a natural remedy for acidosis. Potassium & magnesium help prevent acidosis as they are the common components of antacids and are considered basic on the pH scale. Acidosis is the state of increased acidity of the blood also known as toxicity of the blood. Sometimes the gases in our respiratory system may cause boils, skin damage, damage to the internal organs, & renal calculi. Consuming raisins can help prevent all this.
- Promote bone health: Calcium the important component of our bones is abundantly present in the raisins. Boron, which is required by our body in very small quantities is a very efficient calcium absorber. It helps to prevent menopause induced osteoporosis in women and is very important for the bones and joints. Potassium is another nutrient present in high levels and can help strengthen bones & promote bone growth thereby reducing the chances of osteoporosis.
- Reduce arthritis pain: Raisins have strong anti-inflammatory properties. It helps relieve chronic pain especially arthritis pain. One can either eat the soaked raisins or even drink the soaking water and see a drastic improvement in their health condition.
- Promotes kidney health: The high amount of potassium in raisins help prevent the formation & re-occurrence of kidney stones.
- Treats insomnia: Insomnia trouble may be due to deficiency of iron in your body. The intake of raisins which are rich in iron content can help overcome the iron deficiency. This also ensures good night sleep.
- Increase nutrient uptake: Raisins are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids such as phosphorus & selenium. These nutrients are a good absorber of other nutrients and proteins in the body. including this in your diet can help improve your overall energy & strengthen your immune system.
- Improves Liver health: dry fruits are rich in bioflavonoids that protect your body from the free radical activity. Over-night soaked raisins and raisin water act as liver cleansers. The raisin water helps to improve liver health which in turn purifies the blood.
- Rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin C : Raisin is rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin C which keep the skin radiant, taut & youthful. It also prevents acne as it has germicidal properties.
- Hair health: The rich amount of vitamin C prevents cell damage. Daily intake of raisins can help hair growth, make it shinier and grow even thicker. The anti-inflammatory property can prevent dandruff, scalp irritation & flakiness
How to store?
Raisins once opened should be stored in the cool & dry area. It can be stored in airtight containers for about 6 months but still retains its flavour, colour & nutritional value. It can also be refrigerated for a year. You can also use it by steaming and boiling it in water for 10 minutes.
Raisins Preparation: Way to Prepare your own Raisin at Home
- Get some fresh grapes
- Remove the large stem
- Wash it in cool water
- Place it on a tray and dry well under the sun. it is even better if the tray has holes for air circulation
- Rotate the tray to ensure even sun exposure.
Hope these benefits of Raisins makes you add them to your daily dose of nutrition. Have a Healthy Life!
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