Hidden Health Benefits of Raisins
Raisins are dehydrated grapes with wrinkled, fleshy and sugary skin. They are easy to carry, easy to store and easy to eat with exceptionally high nutritional qualities. This high energy – low fat dried fruits have been consumed extensively since prehistoric times. Available throughout the year raisins are used to complement food preparations by way of garnishing or decorating. They are used alone or in combination with almonds, cashews and pistachios in a variety of sweets, bakery products, confectionaries and other delicacies.
1. Nutrient Rich
Raisins contain many health beneficial nutrients. They are considered to be high energy food chiefly because of the high sugar content which is comparatively more than in fresh grapes. ‘Raisin cure’ is considered a popular treatment for patients suffering from chronic and debilitating diseases.They can be made a part of the diet in febrile conditions like fever. Serving as high energy sources they can incorporate during recovery from illnesses (convalescence) or in weight increasing diets. Raisins with their high energy density can indeed be made a part of nutrient rich snack especially for children. They are also rich sources of potassium and dietary fiber. The potential health benefit of raisins is due to the presence of antioxidants called flavonols. They help prevent cell damage in the body.
2. Reduces Risk of Diabetes
Recent research focused on the effect of raisin intake on blood glucose and insulin response suggests potential health benefits of raisins. On comparison with other foods or snacks, raisins seem to have a low glycemic and insulinemic index. Low post-prandial blood glucose levels on raisin consumption significantly reduce the risk of diabetes.
3. Reduces Risk of Heart Diseases
Documents of clinical studies on raisin intake point out marked reductions in bad cholesterol or LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and serum triglycerides. Intake of low-fat raisins over a period of time decreases the blood pressure significantly and thereby the risk of heart diseases. ( Also read: Reduce Risk of Heart Attack )
4. Prevention of Dental caries
Low oral pH, sticking of food particles to the teeth and growth of bacteria are the factors responsible for dental caries. Research on raisin strikes out presence of the above factors on raisin intake. In fact the antioxidant rich raisins inhibit the growth of streptococcus mutans, the primary bacteria leading to caries.
5. Relief From Constipation
High dietary fiber content of raisins make them useful in the treatment of constipation. Naturopathy recommends the intake of raisins soaked in water overnight to facilitate bowel movement. Following this schedule every morning for a period of time will be beneficial in relieving constipation.
6. Reduces Acidosis
Raisins with their high alkalinity help maintain acid balance in the body. Production of excess acid in the body leads to acidosis. Raisin intake can reduced the Chronic acidosis caused due to excessive consumption of meat.
7. Prevention Of Cancer
Raisins have high quantity of catechins. They are antioxidants which eat up the free radicals found in the body, thereby stopping the destruction of organ systems and cells. Upon including raisins in your diet, you help in the growth of catechins in the body, thereby preventing cancer from forming in the first place, and halting its progress (in case your body has started to show signs of this deadly disease).
8. Balance high blood pressure
Raisins can also help to reduce a high blood pressure. Raisins contain lots of potassium which means they are able to relax the blood vessels and reduce the pressure. This is why raisins also benefit those suffering from coronary diseases.
9. Bone Health
The potassium in raisins is also important for our bones by strengthening them. Raisins also contain boron, a mineral that stimulates bone growth and development. If you have a shortage of soron, it usually leads to osteoporosis – So, try and give your children a portion of raisins instead of candy!
10. Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Raisins contain arginine which stimulates the libido and also helps men with potency problems. It can even improve fertility problems by increasing the motility of the sperm cell, granting a higher chance of conception.