Do you know that raisins are the best natural sweeteners around? As kids our moms would always make sure that all the cookies, cakes, granola bars, pies or puddings were loaded with raisins? No doubt, raisins are our favourite snack since childhood days. Raisins also known as kismis are a versatile kitchen ingredient and have been included in our meals for a long time now.
Raisins look crinkly and are usually golden or black in colour. Traditionally raisins are sun-dried, but may also be water-dipped and dehydrated at times. During the natural sun-drying process, the oxidation and caramelization of sugars gives then dark brown or black colour.
There are several health benefits of raisins. They are nutritious and a great source of energy. Raisins are rich in B vitamins, minerals like Iron and potassium and also electrolytes. Daily consumption of raisins also adds to your recommended fruit servings. These help to maintain a good heart health and lowers blood pressure. Selenium and phosphorus in raisins help the body to absorb vitamins and proteins from food. Raisins have a considerable amount of phenolic compounds which helps in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
Health Benefits of Raisins
Raisins are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols which are beneficial for our overall health. Eating raisins not only decreases the chances of cavities, but also protects against gum diseases. Raisins are rich nutrients that are beneficial for our overall health. They reduce the risk of stroke, lower blood pressure, prevent cancer, aids digestion and help to manage diabetes. Some of the benefits of raisins are mentioned below:
#1. Prevents Constipation:
Raisins are high-fibre food and aid indigestion. The fibres in raisins swell by absorbing water and provide effective relief from constipation. Regular consumption of raisins helps to regularize bowel movement and clears the gastrointestinal tract of the wastes and toxins.
#2. Maintains Dental Health:
Raisins are found to improve oral health. They contain antimicrobial phytochemicals which suppress the oral bacterial growth responsible for gum disease and dental cavities. Raisins are known to naturally reserve the cavities in the teeth and heal tooth decay.
#3. Reduce Risk of Stroke:
Other benefits of raisins are that the daily consumption of raisins significantly lowers blood than snaking on other foods. Raisins have high potassium content. Potassium is an electrolyte which is extremely healthy for our heart. It is an important mineral required for proper functioning of cells and tissues in our body. Including raisins in the diet help to reduce the risk of stroke.
#4. Helps to Prevent Cancer:
Studies reveal that due to high content of phenolic compounds, raisins have strong antioxidant properties. Antioxidants prevent free radicals from causing cellular damage. Free radicals are primarily responsible for spontaneous growth of cancer cells and spread cancer. Therefore, raisins are high- antioxidant foods which are great natural treatments for cancer.
#5. Helps in Diabetes Management:
Eating raisins helps to manage diabetes naturally. Raisins are a healthy choice of snacks for type II diabetes patients. The fibre content in raisins helps the body to process the natural sugars in raisins, which in turn prevents increase in insulin levels.
#6. Prevents Anaemia:
Raisins are a great source of minerals Iron and Copper as well as rich in B vitamins. These minerals are important for red blood cells formation. Regularly including raisins in your diet helps to treat iron deficiency anaemia. It also promotes the clotting of blood during the healing of wound.
#7. Reduces Acidity:
Potassium and magnesium in raisins help to reduce acidity. These two minerals in raisins are an important component of antacids. The basic properties of potassium and magnesium help to neutralize the acids and prevent acidosis.
#8. Prevents Premature Ageing:
Black raisins are dense in antioxidants and also essential phytochemicals. Hence regular consumption of black raisins protects the skin form damage due to environmental. The antioxidants prevent the disintegration of DNA due to free radicals. They also boost our immunity and elasticity of muscle fibres, thus effectively preventing premature aging.
#9. Fights Bad Cholesterol/LDL:
Black raisins as such do not contain any cholesterol but contain plenty of soluble fibre. They limit the adverse effects of Low Density Lipoproteins or LDL, which is the so called bad cholesterol in our body. The soluble fibre transfers LDL from blood to the liver and facilitates the elimination of LDL from the body. Polyphenols in the raisins also helps to lower the cholesterol levels in our body.
#10. Treats Sexual Dysfunction:
Some of the kismis health benefits also include stimulating sexual libido. Amino acid Arginine in raisins induces arousal and helps in treating erectile dysfunction. Arginine also enhances the sperm motility and boosts the chances of conception during sexual intercourse. Regular consumption of raisins is recommended for individuals suffering from sexual endurance issues. It improves the conjugal life and provides immediate boost of energy.
#11. Strengthens Bones:
Calcium in raisins helps to strengthen and promote the growth of bones. Raisins also contain a micronutrient called Boron. This is important for formation of bones and efficient absorption of calcium. Boron is known to prevent osteoporosis induced by menopause in women. Daily consumption of raisins is also beneficial for bones and joints. Potassium in raisins is also found to strengthen bones and promotes bone growth, thus reducing the chances of osteoporosis.
#12. Treats Infections:
Treating infections is another benefit of raisins. Phenolic compounds in raisins are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These help to fight various viral and bacterial infections related ailments. Regular consumption of raisins helps to lower the risk of fever and also keeps infections such as cold and flu at bay.
#13. Eye Health:
Raisins are known contain dense polyphenolic phytonutrients which are good for healthy eyes. Their antioxidant properties protect the eyes from damage caused by free radicals. This can be related to macular degeneration, cataract and weak vision caused due to aging. Raisins contain Carotenoids and Beta Carotene which are essential for healthy eyes.
Minerals such as Iron and Potassium in raisins along with B Vitamins help to maintain normal blood pressure. Dietary fibres in raisins help to reduce the stiffness of blood vessels which in turn lowers the blood pressure. The high level of potassium in raisins is found to reduce the blood pressure naturally making it an excellent food for healthy heart.
Consumption of raisins improves the quality of sleep in an individual. Raisins contain Iron which is beneficial in treating insomnia.
#16. Weight Management:
Raisins can be proportionately included in the diet for weight management along with physical exercise. Since they are high in fibre content, eating raisins keep you fuller for a long time. Raisins are excellent for weight gain also. They are rich in natural sugars which can help to gain weight without any impact on cholesterol level.
Some other health benefits of raisins are for skin and hair. Raisins also help to maintain a healthy glowing and clear skin. The antioxidants and B complex vitamins plays an important role in keeping your hair shiny healthy and nourished. Raisins helps to reduce hair-fall and prevent baldness as well.
Raisins Nutrition Facts
Following are the Nutritional Value of raisins for 100 g of seedless raisins:
- Energy: 299 Kcal (15% RDA)
- Carbohydrates: 79.18 g (61% RDA)
- Proteins: 3.07 g (5.5% RDA)
- Total Fat: 0.46 g (1.5% RDA)
- Cholesterol: 0 mg (0%)
- Dietary Fibre: 3.7 g (10% RDA)
- Folates: 5 ug (1% RDA)
- Niacin: 0.766 mg (5% RDA)
- Vitamin C: 2.3 mg (4% RDA)
- Pantothenic Acid: 0.095 mg (2% RDA)
- Vitamin E: 0.12mg (1% RDA)
- Pyridoxine: 0.0174 mg (13% RDA)
- Riboflavin: 0.125 mg (10% RDA)
- Vitamin K: 3.5 ug (3% RDA)
- Potassium: 749 mg (16% RDA)
- Sodium: 1 mg (11% RDA)
- Iron: 1.88mg (23% RDA)
- Magnesium: 7 mg (2% RDA)
- Calcium: 50 mg (5% RDA)
- Phosphorus: 101mg (15% RDA)
- Selenium: 0.6ug (1% RDA)
- Zinc: 0.22 mg (2% RDA)
- Manganese: 0.299 mg (12% RDA)
Raisins are a packed with minerals like iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, zinc and copper. They are dense in electrolytes which are healthy for heart such as potassium. It lowers heart rate, blood pressure, thus preventing against stroke and peripheral vascular diseases.
Raisins contain a phytochemical compound resveratrol, which is a polyphenol anti-oxidant. It has anti-inflammatory, blood cholesterol lowering and anti-cancer properties.
Raisins are also rich in other minerals such as Selenium, Phosphorus, Manganese, Copper and Zinc. They are a good source of B vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine and pantothenic acid. Raisins also have a good amount of other vitamins such as Vitamins A, C, E and K.