As kids, many of us might have snacked on raisins, albeit at times by raiding the kitchen! Dried grapes that come in golden yellow, purple, brown colour is what raisins are, and it is counted among the dry fruits category. The mildly sweet taste is what makes it an appealing snack for kids, and it turns out that it is a tasty snack for all ages as well. They look wrinkled, but are soft and usually come with a long shelf life.
It is mostly the seedless variety of grapes that are used in the sun drying process to make the raisins. In India, raisins are used mainly in all kinds of sweet and dessert preparation, and it is also part of the Diwali gift box. In India, they are commonly called as kishmish. However, what is interesting is the fact that raisins have some health benefits, and are considered to be a mid-meal snack. Even diabetics can have it, provided they do so in moderation, just like how they eat most other fruits. It is an instant energy booster food and athletes are known to consume this.
Though small in size, raisins pack quite a punch of nutrition in them; yes, they are high not just in nutrition, but in sugar as well as calories. Hence, the word of caution about not overdoing it as a snack. But, they are the perfect answer to your sweet craving and are better than any sweet or dessert any day.
They contain fibre, which is good for digestion and raisins are known to prevent constipation. Besides, the fibre content also keeps your stomach full and so, just a handful of raisins can keep you from snacking on unwanted junk food. The kind of dietary fibres in raisins is also known to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL).
Raisins are a good source of Potassium and Magnesium that help reduce the acidity in the body. They are good detoxifiers and help prevent diseases like arthritis, kidney stones, gout, and even heart diseases.
Helps fight anaemia
Most people with anaemia are advised to eat raisins as they help improve the iron content in the body. It is not just iron, but they also contain B-complex Vitamins which are also usually prescribed to treat anaemia. Besides, raisins also contain copper that helps produce red blood cells. Thus, overall, raisins come packed with stuff that helps fight anaemia.
Antioxidants are those components that help our body to fight cancerous infections. It is the free radicals in the body that cause tumours and inflammation that lead to cancer. Antioxidants prevent free radicals from forming in our body, and also help eliminate them.
The polyphenolic phytonutrients contained in raisins are known as anti-inflammatory antioxidants. These help our body to reduce fever due to the anti-bacterial properties they have. Thus, a handful of raisins a day can keep cancer at bay.
The same properties are also said to help with good eyesight also. The reason being that it is free radicals that cause macular degeneration and cataract as well. Apart from this, Vitamin A, beta carotene and A-Carotenoid in raisins are known to do a world of good for eye health.
The anti-bacterial properties of the phytonutrients in raisins are good for oral health. Oleanolic acid present in raisins protects our teeth from decay due to cavities. More importantly, they also contain Calcium that helps keep the teeth healthy. The Calcium, as you know, also helps with bone health, in general.
Raisins help our body fight cell damage which helps keep the skin healthy, and signs of ageing like wrinkles, sagging, etc. are kept away. Raisins are also said to help with a skin condition called acidosis caused by blood toxicity. Being rich in Magnesium and Potassium, raisins help neutralize the acidity in the stomach, thus helping with acidosis. It even helps in liver detoxification and skin hydration, thus overall leading to healthy skin in many ways.
Storing and consumption
Raisins can be easily purchased in India from local grocery stores, supermarkets, dry fruit specialists and more. Most raisins have a good shelf life and can be easily stored in an airtight container for a couple of months. They don’t need refrigeration. They can be consumed as is as a snack, or you could mix it up with cereals for a breakfast. They could also be included in the cooking and baking, and desserts and salads. They can also be had soaked with warm milk, or some even soak it overnight in water and consume the next day.