Wrapped in a wrinkled skin, the tiny raisin packs a powerful nutritional punch. It is a dense source of many necessary nutrients and energy. Raisins are produced by dehydrating grapes, either by a mechanical process or by allowing them to dry naturally on the vines. The drying process causes the grapes to lose their water content and the nutrients become even more concentrated. So, the same weight in raisins provides more nutrition than the same weight in grapes. Raisins also contain many chemical compounds which work in various ways to help almost every system in our bodies function well.
Some benefits of raisins
1. Provides relief from constipation and loose motions: Raisins contain a lot of fibre. This is insoluble fibre. So, when raisins are eaten they absorb water and other fluids from the intestine and swell up. This adds bulk and has a laxative effect, easing the movement of food through the intestines and providing relief from constipation. Conversely, raisins also help reduce the frequency of loose motions in a similar manner, by absorbing excess water from the intestines.
2. Gives instant energy: Raisins have been called “Nature’s Candy” because of their sweet taste. This sweetness comes from the fructose that forms almost sixty percent of the composition of raisins. Fructose is easy for the body to digest and convert to energy. Raisins aid in the efficient absorption of other nutrients that are gained from food, increasing energy. Raisins can be a great post-workout energy source.
3. Helps in correcting iron deficiency (anaemia) and increase production of blood cells: Raisins are an excellent source of iron and vitamin B. A substantial portion of the daily requirement of iron may be had from raisins which make it a very good addition to the diet for anyone, but specially those who are suffering from iron deficiency. Raisins also contain copper that is needed for producing red blood cells.
4. Good for gaining weight: For people that are looking to gain weight, eating raisins are a healthy way of reaching their objective. Raisins are full of fructose and glucose which help in weight gain without accumulation of cholesterol. Raisins are good for athletes and bodybuilders who want to add bulk as well as people recovering from an illness and who want to gain back weight.
5. Reduces acidity: Sometimes the stomach may produce acid in excess causing increased acidity in the blood. This increase in acidity in the body can lead to many harmful conditions such as skin disease, organ damage, renal calculi and many others. Raisins contain significant amounts of calcium and magnesium which are the main ingredients of antacids. Taking raisins in case of increased acidity in the body can be very effective in neutralizing the acids and prevent damage due to acidosis.
6. Improves bone health: As mentioned earlier, there is a good amount of calcium present in raisins. Raisins also contain boron, which is an important micronutrient required by our body for absorption of calcium and formation and maintenance of our bones. Boron is also helpful in preventing osteoporosis and beneficial for the joints. Consuming raisins regularly can help in keeping the bones in good condition.
7. Acts as an anti-carcinogen: Raisins have a large quantity of an antioxidant called “catechins”. These antioxidants destroy the free radicals present in our body which attack the organs and cells and are a primary cause of the growth of cancer cells. Therefore, we can increase the level of this powerful antioxidant in our bodies and protect ourselves from cancer by adding raisins to our diet.
8. Prevents hypertension: For years, it was believed that raisins are good for people who suffer from high blood pressure and heart disease. Experts who have been researching on this believe that there is a correlation between the consumption of raisins and decreased blood pressure. Although this has not been proven, but the high potassium content of raisins may be the reason that makes them effective in reducing hypertension and decreasing tension of the blood vessels. The high fibre content of raisins may also be responsible for decreasing cholesterol and is, therefore, beneficial for the health of the heart.
9. Good for diabetics: Raisins can regulate insulin levels in the body. Raisins can control the sugar absorption by the body and keep the insulin level stable, not allowing it to spike or plunge, thereby reducing the chances of health complications. Raisins may also help in regulating the body’s production of hormones which make the body feel the sensations of being hungry or full. So, people who take raisins are able to maintain a healthy diet and avoid overeating, which is really important for people with diabetes.
10. Fights viral and bacterial infections: There are certain compounds in raisins, called phenolic phytonutrients, which are known to be germicidal and antioxidant. These compounds fight against viral and bacterial infections and can help cure fevers caused by these infections.
11. Good for eye care: The antioxidants present in raisins protect the eyes from damage by free radicals and keeps eyesight strong. The free radicals in the body can cause cataract and age related weakening of vision. Raisins also contain a good amount of vitamin A, A-Beta Carotene and other vitamins, all of which are essential for good eye health.
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