Raisins are an extremely delicious and widely popular variety of dry fruits. They are obtained by drying grapes either in the sun or in driers such that they turn golden, green or black in colour. Their crinkly look might not appear pleasing to many, but they are one of the healthiest snacks around. In fact, they are a suitable alternative to candies and chocolates because of their delicious sweet taste. They can be eaten raw or used in cooking, baking and brewing. They are widely used in cultural cooking in desserts, cookies, pies, puddings as well as savoury dishes. They are a valuable source of energy and are used in health tonics and high energy food supplements for athletes, mountaineers and others.
Raisins are also called ‘little gems’ because of their numerous skin, hair and health benefits.
Raisin Health Benefits:
Raisins are loaded with fibres, which swells when they absorb water and effectively provide relief from constipation. Regular intake of raisins help regularize bowel movement as the fibres remove the toxins and wastes from the gastrointestinal tract.
Raisins are a rich source of iron and copper as well as B complex vitamins which are vital for the formation of red blood cells. Regular consumption of raisins helps cure iron deficiency anemia and promotes blood clotting during wound healing.
Raisins are abundant in phenolic phytochemicals, which are known for their germicidal, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. They can help cure fever by fighting viral and bacterial infections.
Raisins contain high levels of polyphenolic antioxidants called catechins. These antioxidants scavenge the free radicals that cause the development of tumours, especially colon cancer. Thus, including raisins in your diet is an effective way of preventing the formation of cancer cells.
Raisins contain potassium and magnesium, which help reduce acidity. Acidosis is an abnormal metabolic condition characterized by toxicity of blood which, often gives rise to gases in the respiratory system. This condition is harmful as it can lead to health problems like boils, skin diseases, arthritis, gout, renal calculi, hair loss, heart disease and even cancer. Potassium and magnesium are important components of antacids. Being considered bases on the pH scale, they help in neutralizing the acids, thus preventing acidosis.
6. Eye Health:
The polyphenolic phytonutrients contained in raisins are good for ocular health as they protect your eyes from damage by free radicals, thus preventing macular degeneration, cataracts and age related weakening of vision. They also contain significant amounts of beta carotene, vitamin A and carotenoids which improve eyesight and keep your eyes pure and sharp.
7. Dental Health:
Raisins contain a phytochemical called oleanolic acid which provides protection against tooth decay, cavities and teeth brittleness. It inhibits the growth of bacterial species Streptococcus Mutans and Porphyromonas Gingivalis which cause cavities and other dental problems. Besides, raisins are rich in calcium which prevents breaking or peeling away of teeth and enamel and makes them stronger. Boron present in raisins prevents the growth of germs as well as whitens the teeth.
8. Energy Booster:
Being loaded with carbs, particularly natural sugars like fructose and glucose, raisins are a good source of energy. They facilitate efficient absorption of vitamins, proteins and other nutrients in the body. They are often consumed by body builders and athletes to provide a quick boost of energy.
Iron in raisins is beneficial in treating insomnia as it improves the quality of sleep in an individual.
Raisins are rich in iron, potassium, antioxidants and B-complex vitamins, which help to maintain normal blood pressure. The high level of potassium, in particular, reduces the tension of blood vessels and decreases blood pressure naturally while the dietary fibre affects the biochemistry of blood vessels and reduces their stiffness, thus lowering hypertension. The high level of potassium and absence of sodium make raisins ideal food for a heart-healthy diet.
11. Bone Health:
Raisins contain calcium, which is the main element of our bones. It helps strengthen bones and promotes bone growth. They are also one of the best sources of boron, a micronutrient that is required by the body in small amounts. This micronutrient is vital for bone formation and calcium absorption. It is particularly beneficial in preventing menopause induced osteoporosis in women as well as strengthens bones and joints.
12. Heart Health:
Regular consumption of raisins provides protection against heart disease. By lowering cholesterol as well as triglyceride levels, raisins improve the overall condition of your heart, thus lowering the risk of strokes, hypertension and heart attack.
13. Kidney Health:
Since raisins are rich in potassium, consuming them regularly prevents the formation as well as recurrence of kidney stones.
Raisins, when eaten in proportion and combined with physical exercise, can aid in weight loss. The high fibre content in raisins keeps you full for a longer time. Raisins are particularly beneficial for underweight people who wish to gain weight in a healthy way. They are high in natural sugars, fructose and glucose, which can help in weight gain without raising the cholesterol levels.
15. Sexual Dysfunction:
Raisins are known to stimulate sexuality. This natural aphrodisiac property is attributed to the presence of an amino acid called arginine, which can stimulate the libido and induce arousal. It is also beneficial in treating erectile dysfunction as well as increasing sperm motility and chances of conception. Regular consumption of raisins can cure issues of sexual endurance.
Skin Benefits of Raisin
16. Clear Skin:
Being loaded with antioxidants, raisins help to maintain healthy and glowing skin. They contain resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that slows down the ageing of the skin cells. Raisins purify your blood by eliminating toxic and black cells; and improve the formation of red blood cells by supplying oxygen to your skin. These blood purifying properties of raisins make your skin clear, radiant, nourished, and beautiful.
Hair Benefits of Raisin:
17. Healthy Hair:
Raisins are a good source of iron, vitamin B complex, potassium and antioxidant, which play an important role in making your hair healthy, shiny and nourished. Consuming raisins regularly can also help reduce hair fall and prevent baldness.
Raisins can be a nutritious alternative to processed foods like candies, chips. Though they are delicious alone, they can be effectively combined with other nutritious food items in salads. One such salad is carrot raisin salad which is a wonderful combination of crunchy texture and slightly sweet flavor.
- ¾ cups raisins
- 4 cups shredded carrots
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 -3 tablespoons 2% milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Combine the raisins and carrots in a large bowl. In another bowl, prepare the dressing by mixing mayonnaise, sugar and milk. Pour this dressing over the carrot mixture and toss it to coat completely.
Raisin Nutritional Value:
Raisins are loaded with an array of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are particularly rich in a phytochemical called resveratrol, which is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and cholesterol lowering properties.
Like most dried fruits, raisins are considered a dense source of energy. They are particularly high in calories with 100 grams serving providing 249 calories. They contain several health benefitting nutrients as mentioned in the table given below.
|See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:Raisins seedless (Vitis vinifera),|
Nutritive Value per 100 g,
ORAC Value 3037,
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.46 g||1.5%|
|Dietary Fiber||3.7 g||10%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.095 mg||2%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin C||2.3 mg||4%|
|Vitamin E||0.12 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||3.5 µg||3%|
So, if you are looking for a combination of nutrition and crunchy taste, then you can definitely go for raisins. This tiny storehouse of goodness and health not only tastes yummy but also gives your health an added boost.