Raisins are not naturally occuring, they are formed when grapes are dehydrating applying heat of the sun or a process of oven drying. Some of the most popular types of raisins include Sultana, Monukka, Zante Currant, Malaga, and Thompson seedless. Sized as small pebbles, raisins don wrinkled skins surrounded with chewable flesh that tastes like sugary sweetness. Scientifically raisin (grape) is known as Vitus vinifera.
Health Benefits of Raisins
Health benefits of raisins include an array of carbohydrates, nutrients, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamins, sodium, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and much more. Raisins have been the major subject of phytonutrient research for its phenol content, but in addition, these delicacies are also one of the great sources of the boron, trace mineral in the diet of US.
Antioxidant Protection from Phenols : The phenols, which are in high quantity in raisins, act as an antioxidant and combats oxygen-based damage done to body cells. The flavonols (a kind of phenol hailing from the flavonoid family) found in raisins are not much affected by drying process of grapes thus retains all nutritional values.
Raisins have Boron which promote Better Bone Health : Although not much awareness is found regarding boron, it is a mineral that plays an important role in the overall health of our body. It is especially good for women as it strengthens the health of bones and fights osteoporosis (bone softening) which is due to menopause. It changes estrogen and vitamin D to their aggressive active forms.
Raisins Protects against Macular Degeneration : Data published during a study in the Archives of Ophthalmology discloses that consuming 3 or more servings of fruit every day can lower the risk of age-driven macular degeneration (ARMD), which is the major cause behind vision loss in elderly people. You should add a handful of raisin to your cereal; lunch time salad; fruit, green salads and vegetable to lead a healthy life. Virtually adding raisins and other nuts can enhance the nutritional values of any grain dish.
Aids Digestion : On consumption, fibers of raisins gets swelled up as it soaks water, and hence triggers a laxative effect which is helpful in relieving from constipation. Daily intake of raisins can enable you maintain regular bowel movement, as the fibers will sweep off the toxins and waste substances from the gastrointestinal tract of our body.
Body Acidity Reduction : The magnesium and potassium found in raisins can cut down the acidity (an abnormal metabolic situation called acidosis) and discards toxins from the body, which may become a cause for multiple disorders like gout, arthritis, heart disorders and kidney stones.
Treats Infections : Raisins are coupled with elements like polyphenolic phytonutrients having anti-inflammatory and antibacterial characteristics. These polyphenols are instrumental in cutting down the temperature level by eliminating the bacteria that is the key to existing infections.
Raisins help in Treats Anemia : Raisins are equipped with copper and iron content, which are essential in the production of red blood cells. Raisins are also helpful in treating iron deficiency – anemia and stimulates blood clotting if you have undergone a surgery or trying to heal a wound.
Prevents Cancer : The polyphenolic antioxidant, found in raisins, is more prominently termed as catechin, which offers protective shield against free radicals, which may result in the promotion of tumors, particularly colon cancer.
Stimulates Sexuality : Regular consumption of raisins can work as natural stimulator and improves sexuality due to an element found in raisins called arginine, a type of amino acid that helps to trigger the libido.
Triggers Weight Gain : This is a unique health benefit of raisins. They are great if you are planning to pile up some extra pounds of weight. These are full of glucose and fructose and provide a great amount of energy. Thus, raisins can be a part of your daily diet if you’re an athlete or body builder who require lot of energy or who are thin and want to increase weight, without amassing cholesterol.
Triggers Bone Health : Raisins are rich in calcium, which is the major constituent of bones. It is one of the ideal sources of Boron, which is required for right bone formation and consumption of calcium. Boron is especially great in warding off osteoporosis, which is the result of menopause in women and raisins can help fighting this disease.
Include Eye Care : Raisins is coupled with polyphenolic phytonutrients which are equipped with anti oxidant properties – great for ocular health, as they combat eye from getting damage due to free radicals (oxidants). Free radicals may promote macular degeneration, age-based vision impairment, cataract and host of others.
How to Select and Store Rasins
Salad of Sweet Potatoes and Raisins
You should purchase raisins available in bulk or opt for raisins available in transparent containers as it will be easier for you to judge the quality of raisin. If you are buying raisins in a packed opaque container, ensure that the container is properly sealed and that they are product of some reputable company.
You can store raisins in the refrigerator packed in airtight container which will enhance their freshness and inhibit them from becoming drying further. Raisins should be consumed within six months to avail the health benefits of raisins.
Precautions while Using Raisins
It is not suggested to eat raisin if you drink or suffer from gout or any other disease that suggest abstinence from alcohol.
Safe Raisin Dosage Per Day : You can eat nine raisins per day. You should consume them any time during the day but it is reported that they are especially tasty and healthy in morning time with cereal or oatmeal.
Raisins are great in taste as well as in terms of health. You can enjoy the sweetening taste and health benefits of raisins by incorporating this wonderful nut, dried fruit into your regular diet. Rasins rarely have side effects for normal body but in case of any doubts, just take advice of your physician.