18 Health Benefits Of Raisins You Never Knew
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. Continue reading on the next page to know more! 12. Promotes mouth hygiene: Raisins contain an acid called oleanolic acid, which helps in preventing tooth decay and brittle teeth. The germicidal components of raisins prevent the growth of bacteria in the mouth and the calcium and boron present in raisins keep the teeth strong and prevent breaking or chipping of teeth. 13. Good for the skin: Consuming raisins is good for the skin as it is full of antioxidants. They stop damage by protecting the skin cells from inside and delay the appearance of age marks, like fine lines and wrinkles. They reduce and protect skin from sun damage and also repair skin cells and plump out the wrinkled skin. They contain vitamins A and E which stimulate the outer layers of the skin to make new cells and improve hydration of the skin making it supple and younger looking. 14. Makes hair strong and healthy: The nutrients and antioxidants present in raisins are beneficial to hair. Lack of iron in the body makes hair lifeless and thin. Raisins, by correcting the iron deficiency in the body, help to make hair healthy and strong. Antioxidants, too, can reduce hair loss. Vitamin C and E present in raisins maintain the connective tissues of the hair follicle, which is known as collagen, and strengthens the cell membranes promoting hair growth and protecting hair from damage. 15. Keeps blood vessels strong and elastic: Raisins contain a compound called “resveratrol” which has amazing properties making it highly beneficial to our bodies. It is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer and cholesterol lowering agent. It also lowers the chances of stroke by altering the blood vessels at the molecular level. It decreases the action of substances that cause constriction of the blood vessels leading to strokes. It also stimulates production of nitric oxide in the body, a compound that causes the blood vessels to relax and retain their elasticity. 16. Helps in correcting sexual dysfunction: Raisins contain arginine, which is a compound that is good for the health of the sexual organs. Arginine is beneficial for treatment of erectile dysfunction and related conditions. It also increases sperm motility which improves chances of conception. 17. Combats Alzheimer’s disease: Recent research shows that consuming raisins may prevent development of Alzheimer’s disease. Raisins have been found to inhibit the formation of “beta amyloid fibril” which is one of the main causes of occurrence of Alzheimer’s. 18. Substitute for candy: Raisins can be a very good substitute for candy and chocolate. The natural sugars present in raisins are easy to digest and they do not have any fat or cholesterol. They are gluten-free and can be taken by people who have an intolerance to gluten as well. But, watch how much you eat Raisins are almost a superfood. However, they should be consumed in reasonable amounts as the high sugar content may cause excess weight gain and do more harm than good if taken in excess. Raisins are dried grapes and grapes are said to contain the highest amount of pesticides among fruits. So, raisins also would have a lot of pesticides. It is important to choose high quality products from a reliable source and wash them thoroughly before eating. Raisins should be full-fleshed and plump. They should not have excess moisture, be affected by fungus, sunburn, insect or mechanical injury. A casual inspection while buying should be enough to avoid raisins with such problems. Raisins have a long shelf life if they are stored properly. It is best to store them in an airtight container away from moisture, sunlight and high temperatures. They can be eaten either as a snack by themselves or as a combination with other dried fruits and nuts. They are a very popular addition to confectionary and baked goods and enhance the flavours of these foods. Download the Grow Fit app on Google Play or App Store today for a free consultation with our specialists.
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