Raisins are the dried form of grapes and are available in golden, green and black colours. They are a favourite delicacy for almost everybody, especially for children and can be considered nature’s healthy alternative to candies. Mountaineers and trekkers too prefer to have raisins as they are a healthy food.
Raisins are used in various cuisines like cookies, cakes, snacks and in many other food items all over the world. They have been in medicinal use for very long as they contain nutrients like natural sugar and potassium. Studies on raisins have confirmed that certain substances in raisins have beneficial effects on practically every part of our body. Further research in the last 20 years has revealed that they contain anti-oxidant factors which have an important place in medicine and nutrition. This shows how important raisins are in our diets.
Raisins have the following health benefits
A source of energy: Packed together with natural sugar, fiber and nutrients, raisins are a great source of energy.
Digestive health: The fiber in raisins combined with other acids help regulate intestinal functions and proper digestion .Raisins are one of the few fruits that contain reasonable level of tartaric acids which work together with fiber content present in raisins to help ensure proper bowel movement and throw away the toxins and the waste material from the gastronomical tract.
Regulates blood pressure: Including raisins in the diet regularly helps control blood pressure. Since raisins are high in potassium and low in sodium they ensure a very heart healthy diet.
Treats Anaemia: Raisins contain a very high amount of iron which helps in treating anaemia. Raisins also helps in the formation of blood because it contains many members of B Complex and also contains copper which helps in formation of red blood cells.
Treats fever: Anti- bacterial and anti-oxidant properties are present in abundance in raisins. They help cure fever by fighting bacterial and viral infections in the body.
Bone health: Raisins are a rich source of calcium which is vital for the strengthening of bones. It is also a very good source of Boron, a micro-nutrient which is necessary for proper absorption of calcium. It is particularly helpful in preventing osteoporosis induced by menopause in women.
Eye care: Raisins contain large quantities of polyphenolic phytonutrients which have anti-oxidant properties and are good for our eyes. They protect the eyes from damage caused by free radicals like macular degeneration and weakening of vision, cataract etc. They also contain a good amount of Vitamin A, A Beta carotene and A carotenoid which are all essential for good ocular health.
Reduces acidity: The potassium and magnesium contents in raisins help reduce acidity. They remove toxins from the body which causes diseases like arthritis, gout, kidney stones and other heart diseases.
Enhances mouth health: Raisins contain Oleanolic acid which provides protection against tooth decay and cavities. They also prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that causes other dental diseases. The interesting fact about raisins is that, the longer they stick to your teeth the better it is, as it ensures longer contact of Oleanolic acid to the teeth that heals and prevents the growth of bacteria. Boron present in raisins plays a very important role in checking the growth of germs in the mouth.
Help relieve constipation: The fiber in raisins puffs up and absorbs water, which in turn helps give relief from constipation.
Other health benefits of raisins: The anti-oxidants present in raisins are very effective in preventing tumors and colon cancer. These anti-oxidants help keep the blood clean and flowing. The fiber in raisins helps in the excretion of bile from the body, burning of cholesterol thereby ensuring good cardiac health.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna