Looking for a healthy food that can satisfy your craving for a snack? Try raisins! Not only do they serve as a snack but also give you countless health benefits. These tiny dry fruits are packed with tremendous amount of energy to keep you going throughout the day. Only a dozen can do the magic.
You may find raisins in many deserts, cookies and chocolates, but above all they can be consumed as a natural candy! So say NO to jelly beans and give your child raisins to eat.When it comes to nutritional value, raisins are considered number 1 dried fruits all over the world. The ancient Israelites used raisins for the settlement of their debts.
How are these candies produced? They are a dried form of grapes obtained either by the heat of the sun or just by heating in an oven. During the heating process the fructose contents present in the grapes begin to concentrate and what we get as an end product are Raisins. These natural candies do not upset your sugar levels the way HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) does. Their 70% pure fructose contents are easily digestible as compared to HFCS and sugar cane.
The nutrients found in grapes include phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, fluoride, potassium, folate, niacin, coline, Vitamin B6, C and K and riboflavin.
So we are just getting started with its health benefits. Here we go!
Promotes oral health
Unlike sweet candies that stick to your teeth and cause cavities, raisins are good for your oral health. The phtyonutrient present in raisins also known as oleanolic acid destroys the cavity causing bacteria and as a result promotes good oral health.
Iron deficiency can cause fatigue, weakness, disrupt immune system and can even cause depression. Raisins are extremely beneficial for anemic patients because of their high iron contents. The other important nutrients required for blood formation and red cell formation such as vitamin-B complex and copper are also found in raisins. A cup of raisins can provide you with 6mg of iron that makes 17% of your daily iron requirement.
Promotes Bone Health
Osteoporosis is a common problem now a days. An essential mineral called Boron found in raisins is helpful in its prevention. How does boron work? For the proper absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium boron can be of great help. Boron also helps to regulate testosterone and estrogen levels in the body.
Too much acidity or toxicity of the blood causes a state called Acidosis, which may cause other problems such as arthritis, skin disease, heart disease and cancer. The two well known antacids called magnesium and potassium are very helpful in neutralizing the acids in the body that cause acidosis.
High in Dietary Fiber
People who have a fiber rich diet are at a lower risk of colorectal cancer. One tablespoon of raisins can give you 1 gram of dietary fiber. This is the reason why they are considered as the best source of fiber. The health promoting tartaric acid found in raisins works with the fiber to maintain a healthy digestive system. When raisins are ingested, the fiber absorbs water and makes the raisins swell. This is how raisins work to relieve constipation.
Good for healthy Eyesight
Did you know that consuming raisins daily may protect you from blindness in the old age? It prevents macular degeneration with the help of anti-oxidants found in them. The polyphenols are also very helpful in destroying the harmful free radicals and therefore protects from eye disease.
Raisin as an Anti-cholesterol component
Raisins have zero cholesterol. That’s not it, they also contain anti-cholesterol components that reduces the bad cholesterol in your body. The soluble fibers dispose of the bad cholesterol from the liver. A cup of raisins can give you 4g of these soluble fibers.
The anti-oxidants called polyphenols also help to suppress the cholesterol absorbing enzymes in the body.
Food for your brain
The boron found in raisins also serves as a food for your brain. It is essential for the proper functioning of the brain. What else can boron do to your brain? It helps to improve concentration, enhances hand and eye coordination and sharpens memory. You can get 2.2 mg of boron from 100mg of raisins. Raisins have also been found effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease.
Control Blood Pressure
Not only raisins purify blood by eliminating toxics but they also help in the reduction of the blood pressure. The potassium is the key component in raisins that is helpful in lowering the blood pressure. High levels of sodium in the body causes blood pressure to rise, raisin also regulate the sodium levels in the body.
Raisins vs Grapes
- Half a cup of raisins can give you 250 calories whereas the same quantity of grapes would give you only about 30 calories
- An ounce of raisins can give you 3 times more antioxidants than the similar amount of grapes
How to select raisins?
The most common and best types of raisins are the purple or dark brown ones that are produced by Thompson seedless grapes. The golden raisins are made from sultana or Muscat grapes. The color of the golden ones is usually preserved with the help of sulfur. Do look for labels saying “organic” or “sulphite-free” on the packed raisins as they are the healthiest option.