Are Raisins good for you? Raisins look very simple and unpalatable with their aged appearance and dry texture but they are one of nature’s healthier alternatives to those sugar-rich manufactured candies and sweet products! Raisins, also known as ‘Kishmish’ in Hindi, ‘Yendu Dhraksha‘ in Telugu, ‘Ular Dhraakshai/Kaintha Thratchai‘ in Tamil, ‘Kismis/Unakku Munthiringa‘ in Malayalam, ‘Ona Drakshi/Vonadraakshe‘ in Kannada, ‘Lal Draksh/Khismis‘ in Gujarati, ‘Bedane/Manuka‘ in Marathi, ‘Khishmish‘ in Punjabi and ‘Kash/Kishmish‘ in Bengali. Raisins are beneficial not only for gastrointestinal problems but also for constipation.
Raisins are really a healthy alternative to your unhealthy snacks! Don’t believe us?
Here are the health benefits of raisins:
1. Help In Digestion:
Having a few raisins every day is good for your stomach. Raisins contain fibres that start to swell in the presence of water. These give a laxative effect to the stomach and help in relieving constipation. Also, daily intake of raisins keeps the bowel movement regular and the fibers help to keep toxins and waste products out of the system (1).
2. Reduce Acidity:
Raisins contain potassium and magnesium in good levels. These help reduce acidity and help remove the toxins from the system, preventing diseases like arthritis, gout, kidney stones and heart diseases (2).
3. Help Against Anaemia:
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4. Help Prevent Cancer:
An antioxidant named cateching present in raisins helps in protecting the body against the free radical activity that can cause tumours and colon cancer (4).
5. Help Treat Infections:
Raisins contain polyphenolic phytonutrients, which are well known as anti-inflammatory antioxidants (5). They exhibit antibacterial properties that help lower the risk of fever and kill the bacteria. Thus, having a few raisins a day can keep you safe from cold and other such infections.
6. Help Reduce Sexual Weakness:
Consumption of raisins is also good for your sex life. Raisins contain an amino acid named Arginine which increases libido and induces arousal. It is good for men and is used to treat erectile dysfunction (6). Also, the added energy of the raisins helps your conjugal life. Remember the tradition in India where the new bride and groom are given a glass of milk boiled with raisins and saffron? This is an age-old practice that validates the effectiveness of raisins.
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7. For The Eyes:
Raisins are found to be rich in polyphenolic phytonutrients which are antioxidants that help in keeping your eyesight strong. The antioxidants in raisins help in protecting the eyes by reducing the free radical action that weakens the vision and causes muscular degeneration as well as cataract. Also, as raisins have vitamin A, beta carotene and A-Carotenoid and they are super good for the eyes (7).
8. For Your Mouth And Dental Care:
Raisins contain oleanolic acid which is one of the phytochemicals which is essential to keep your teeth safe from decay, cavities as well as brittle teeth. Raisins prevent the growth of bacteria in the mouth to keep the teeth in good shape. As they contain calcium in good quantities, they also prevent the teeth from peeling away or breakage. The boron present in raisins is good for keeping germ build-up in the mouth low (8).
9. For Your Weight Management:
If you are desperately trying to gain weight, then these raisins are your best friends. Raisins are rich in fructose and glucose and give you loads of energy. They will help you gain weight without accumulating bad cholesterol (9).
[ Read: Raisins For Weight Loss ]
10. For Good Bones:
Raisins also contain good amounts of calcium which is good for bone health (10). They help you from arthritis and gout.
Raisins For The Skin:
Raisins are nutritious, give high energy and contain low-fat food. These help in keeping the skin healthy and beautiful. Following are some benefits of raisins for the skin:
- Unlike topical creams, raisins protect the skin from inside by guarding the cells from any damage. They are packed with phenol, an antioxidant that prevents the free radicals from damaging the skin cells, collagen and elastin. This helps delay the appearance of the signs of aging (11) like wrinkles, fine lines and blemishes.
- The antioxidants in raisins speed up the skin repair system, plump out the skin and prevent it from damage. They also rejuvenate the skin cells and prevent sagging of the skin.
- Raisins contain resveratrol, a substance which is highly beneficial for maintaining the health of the skin (12). It removes the toxic and black cells from the blood to purify the blood. It also helps improve the production of red cells in the body. This, in turn, makes the skin clear, shiny and nourished.
- Blood toxicity, also known as acidosis, is a condition that increases the acidity in the body. This can lead to skin complications like boils, pimples and psoriasis. The high amounts of magnesium and potassium in raisins neutralizes the stomach acid. This helps cure acidosis and keeps the skin healthy and problem-free (13).
- Consumption of black raisins accelerates the functions of the liver to detoxify the body (14). This helps flush out the toxins from the body to get a clean and glowing skin.
- Raisins also help to protect the skin against sun damage. The phytochemicals in them protect our skin cells from the damage caused by the exposure to the sun. The amino acids in raisins boost skin renewal and form a protective barrier against sun damage. This is useful to prevent skin cancer (15).
- The antioxidants in the raisins combat the free radicals in the body (16). This slows down the oxidation process and prevents the disintegration of the DNA of our skin.
- Raisins contain vitamins A and E that help stimulate the development of new cells in the skin’s outer layers. They improve the hydration of the skin to make it supple and younger looking. Regular consumption of raisins also makes the skin glowing and beautiful (17).
Raisins For The Hair:
Raisins contain plenty of hair-friendly nutrients like vitamin B, iron, potassium, and antioxidants which are required for improving the condition of the hair. Some of the benefits of raisins for the hair include the following:
- These tiny treats are packed with iron, a nutrient that is required for maintaining the health of the hair. A deficiency in iron can cause a dull and lifeless mane and severe hair loss. Iron improves the blood circulation in the body and stimulates the hair follicle cells. This makes the hair healthy and strong. So munch a handful of raisins daily to get your dose of iron (18).
- Raisins contain a large amount of vitamin C which facilitates the absorption of minerals and provides nourishment. This helps maintain the natural colour of the hair.
- Consuming a handful of raisins daily will strengthen the blood vessels. This, in turn, will reduce flakiness, dandruff and itchiness of the scalp. The resveratrol present in raisins inhibits scalp inflammation and cell deaths to prevent hair loss. Raisins also fight hair loss caused by environmental damage.
- Consuming foods rich in antioxidants can prevent hair loss to a great extent. The antioxidants in raisins prevent hair damage by stimulating healthy hair follicles. They also promote healthy cells essential for hair growth.
- Raisins contain several essential nutrients that promote the health of the hair. Vitamin C in raisins maintains the follicle’s connective tissue, also known as collagen. This promotes hair growth. Vitamin E further strengthens the cell membranes and prevents the free radicals from attacking the hair follicles.
[ Read: Benefits Of Dates ]
Selection And Storage:
- Packed or canned raisins are available in the local grocery store throughout the year. Several brands and grades of raisins are available, so always buy raisins of good quality.
- Raisins are available in small serving-size boxes and large containers. Try to purchase raisins that are sold in transparent containers, or loose, so that you can check their quality. While buying packaged raisins, make sure that the container is properly sealed and is not tampered.
- Substandard and low quality raisins have thin flesh and very poor taste. Buy raisins that are plump in appearance and are not very shriveled.
- Avoid buying old stocks and those that have molds, excess moisture or are rotten as this will affect their appearance and edibility.
- Shake the box or container and avoid buying boxes that rattle loudly as this indicates that the raisins have dried out.
- Raisins are best consumed within six months from the date of purchase.
- Proper storage is very important for maintaining the freshness and the quality of raisins.
- Raisins are ideally kept in a cool and dry place. They stay fresh for more than two months if kept in an airtight container and will last even more if stored in a refrigerator.
- Refrigeration is recommended if you are preserving the raisins for later consumption. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to one year and in the freezer for up to two years. Prolonged cold storage may result in the crystallization of the sugar content of raisins.
- To prevent the crystallization, transfer the raisins from the container to an airtight storage bag and press out the air as much as possible. Seal the bag properly and place it in the refrigerator or the kitchen cabinet. This will prevent the raisins from crystallizing or turning stale. You can even soak them in warm water to dissolve their crystals.
Uses Of Raisins:
- Fresh and properly stored raisins do not require any special attention before eating or using them in a recipe.
- Raisins can be enjoyed alone or can be combined with other dry fruits like dates, almonds, apricots and prunes for a healthy snack.
- They taste best when taken with warm milk.
- You can add raisins to your breakfast cereals, homemade granola or sprinkle on a bowl of oatmeal.
- You can also keep them in your purse or bag for a healthy on-the-go snack.
- If the raisins have dried out, place them in a bowl filled with hot water for a few minutes. You can use this raisin-infused liquid for preparing a side dish. Use soaked raisin on top of a chicken dish or layer it with plain yoghurt to make a dessert parfait. Their sweetness and texture makes them a great addition to poultry stuffing.
- Raisins are used extensively in salads and are added to curries in some cuisines.
- They go well with most of the baked foods and are a sought after item in the confectioneries. They are added in muffins, cookies, biscuits, pies, and cakes. They are also used in the preparation of jams, jellies and puddings.
Raisins Nutrition Facts:
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA Energy 299 Kcal 15% Carbohydrates 79.18 g 61% Protein 3.07 g 5.5% Total Fat 0.46 g 1.5% Cholesterol 0 mg 0% Dietary Fiber 3.7 g 10% Vitamins Folates 5 µg 1% Niacin 0.766 mg 5% Pantothenic acid 0.095 mg 2% Pyridoxine 0.0174 mg 13% Riboflavin 0.125 mg 10% Thiamin 0.106 mg 9% Vitamin A 0 IU 0% Vitamin C 2.3 mg 4% Vitamin E 0.12 mg 1% Vitamin K 3.5 µg 3% Electrolytes Sodium 11% 1 mg Potassium 749 mg 16% Minerals Calcium 50 mg 5% Copper 0.318 mg 35% Iron 1.88 mg 23% Magnesium 7 mg 2% Manganese 0.299 mg 12% Phosphorus 101 mg 15% Selenium 0.6 µg 1% Zinc 0.22 mg 2% Phyto-nutrients Carotene-a 0 µg — Carotene-ß 0 µg — Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 µg — Lutein-zeaxanthin 0 µg —
Even though there are relatively small traces of pesticides in raisins, their impact on health is well-documented. They tamper the liver’s ability to process other toxins, inhibiting the cell’s ability to produce energy.
[ Read: Benefits Of Dry Figs ]
Commercially grown raisins are even treated with sulfur dioxides to extend their shelf life and prevent oxidation and bleaching of colors. This can cause adverse reactions, especially in people who suffer from asthma and are sulfite sensitive. So, consider buying organic raisins if you’re sulfite sensitive.
I hope this article on the benefits of raisins makes you add them in your daily dose of nutrition. Hope you liked the article. Do leave your comments below.
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