20 Incredible Benefits of Raisins for Health, Skin & Hair
By Refadoc, Posted on : Monday, 29 June 2015 - 3:18 pm IST
Raisins have emerged to become an irreplaceable member of the dry fruit category. These small delicacies are well known all over the world and are added openly to desserts, snacks and even food in order to provide a high energy meal. Raisins are often obtained by drying up grapes, either naturally in the sun or in dryers until they have turned golden brown or black in color. Raisins are quite simple and have a dry texture on the outside, but are one of the best alternatives to sugar produced and factory made alternatives. Raisins have also been found to be very beneficial for the gastrointestinal problems and constipation. Some of the other health benefits of consuming Raisins are relief from constipation, anemia, fever as well as sexual dysfunction. Raisins are also known to help you gain weight as well as have a positive impact on your eye sight and dental health.
Major Health Benefits of Raisins:
1) Prevents Constipation:
When they have been ingested, the Raisins are known to swell on their own due to the fiber which is present in them. Upon swelling, Raisins are known to add bulk to the food which is moving through the intestinal tract as well as provides relief from constipation. The fiber present in Raisins are insoluble in nature and help to stop down the passing of loose stools by absorbing the liquid present in them and reducing the occurrence of diarrhea.
2) Helps in Gaining Body Weight:
Raisins, just like dried fruits, are known to be a great source of gaining healthy body weight. They are a great source of Fructose and Glucose, thus providing you with immense energy. This is one of the major reasons why Raisins are added to the diet of athletes and sports persons. The amounts of Vitamins, Amino Acids as well as Minerals found in Raisins are known to help in the absorption of nutrients in the body.
3) Prevents Cancer:
Raisins are known to contain a high level of Catechins which are a rich source of Polyphenolic Acid. The antioxidants found in Raisins are known to search for the free radicals in the blood. Free radicals are known to be one of the primary factors which lead to the growth of the cancer cells within the body. By including Raisins in your diet, you would be increasing the amount of the powerful antioxidants in the system, thereby preventing cancer in the longer run.
4) Reduces Hypertension:
It is believed that Raisins have the power to cut down the blood pressure and protect the heart from diseases. Recent research studies have proven that there is a co relation between reduced hypertension and consumption of raisins. Due to the number of nutrients which have been packed into raisins, it is believed that Potassium is known to cut down the tension in the blood vessels and therefore, decreases blood pressure to a great extent.
5) Helps in the Management of Diabetes:
A lot of research studies have shown that Raisins are known to cut down the rate of Postprandial Insulin Response, which is great in case of people suffering from Diabetes. Raisins are known to regulate the amount of sugar absorption in the body, making it even more stable and reducing the rate of health complications and emergencies in case of people suffering from the disease.
6) Treats Anemia:
Raisins are known to contain a sufficient amount of Iron which helps in the direct treatment of Anemia. It also contains many Vitamins belonging to the family of B complex, thereby helping in the formation of new blood cells. The high amounts of Copper found in Raisins are again known to help in the formation of red blood cells.
7) Cures Fever:
The Phenolic Phytonutrients found in Raisins are well known for their germicidal, antibiotic as well as antioxidant properties. These help to cut down the rate of fever in many cases.
8) Great for the Eye Care:
Raisins are a rich source of Polyphenolic Phytonutrients which contain anti oxidant properties. These phytonutrients are great for the eye health and they protect the eyes from the damage caused by the free radicals in the bloodstream. Along with the antioxidant properties, Raisins are also known to contain a good amount of Vitamin A, A Beta Carotene and A Carotenoids, which is essential for the health of the eyes.
9) Cures Sexual Dysfunction:
Raisins have been long known to help in the stimulation of Libido and arousal. This is due to the presence of the amino acid Arginine in them which helps in the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction. Arginine is also known to increase the levels of sperm motility which increases the chances of conception.
10) Regulates the Bone Health:
Calcium, which is known to be the major element building up the bones, is present in abundance in Raisins. These dried fruits are also a rich source of Boron which is important for the formation of the bone structure and helps in the proper absorption of calcium. Boron is also known to cut down the chances of Osteoporosis in women after hitting Menopause.
11) Promotes Dental Care:
Oleanolic Acid, which is one of the major Phytochemicals found in Raisins, is known to play a major role in protecting your teeth against decay and cavities. It prevents the buildup of the bacteria around your teeth and gums and cuts down the chances of brittleness.
12) Helps in the Proper Digestion of Food:
Raisins are great for your stomach. They contain fibers which are known to start swelling in the presence of water. This provides your stomach with a laxative effect and helps to relieve the chances of constipation. Regularly taking in Raisins is known to promote a regular bowel movement and keeps the toxins out of your system.
13) Reduces the chances of Acidity:
Raisins are also a rich source of Potassium and Magnesium. Therefore, they help in cutting down the chances of acidity and helps to remove the toxins from the system. It also helps to cut down the risk of diseases such as Arthritis, Gout, Kidney Stones and Heart Disease.
Health Benefits of Raisins for Skin:
14) Guards Cells from Damage:
Unlike the topical creams, Raisins are known to protect the skin by guarding the cells from any damage. Since they are packed with Phenols, an antioxidant which prevents the cells from the free radicals, Raisins are also known to delay the signs of aging, wrinkles and blemishes.
15) Repairs the Skin:
The antioxidants found in Raisins are known to help repair the skin by plumping out the skin and preventing it from damage. It rejuvenates the skin cells and prevents sagging.
16) Prevents Against Sun Damage:
Raisins are known to protect the skin against sun damage. The Phytochemicals present in the Raisins are known to protect our skin cell from the damage caused by the sun. The amino acids found in Raisins protect the skin by forming a protective barrier against the sun. It also helps in cutting down the risk of skin cancer.
17) Stimulates the production of New Cells:
Raisins contain Vitamins A and E, which helps in the stimulation and production of new cells in the outer layers of the skin. It also improves the hydration of the skin and makes it supple looking and younger! Regular consumption of Raisins also makes your skin glowing and beautiful.
Health Benefits for Hair:
18) Maintains the Hair Health:
Raisins come packed with Iron, which helps to maintain the health of the hair. Deficiency of Iron can lead to full hair and leads to hair loss. Iron tends to improve the circulation of the blood around the scalp which stimulates the cells of the hair follicles. It makes your hair healthy and shiny.
19) Maintains the color of the Hair:
Raisins contain a high amount of Vitamin C which helps in the absorption of the minerals and provides nourishment to the hair. This helps to maintain the color of your hair
20) Prevents Dandruff:
Consuming Raisins regularly is known to strengthen your blood vessels which in turn help to reduce the risk of Dandruff. The Resveratrol in Raisins helps to cut down the chance of Scalp inflammation and prevents hair loss.
Types of Raisins:
Raisins are made from dried grapes and in general, there are two major kinds of grapes – either seedless or the ones with seeds that belong to the Vinifera Species. These grapes are often subjected to dry under the sunlight or by using mechanical drying techniques. In some cases, the whole bunch of grapes is allowed to dry while they are on the vine itself. When producing raisins, attention is paid to the fact that their moisture content should not exceed to more than 16% of their total dry weight. After this, the raisins are allowed to stemmed, cap stemmed, sorted and cleaned in order to produce high quality and dried berries. Here are some of the major varieties of processed raisins:
Type I – Seedless
Type II – Golden Seedless
Type III – Raisins with seeds
Type IV – Sultana
Type V – Zante Current
Type VI – Mixed Type
Selecting and Storing Raisins:
Though Raisins are a well known wonder food, there is a certain protocol which needs to be followed when it comes to selecting and storing the raisins of your choice. We bring to you these following steps which will guide you to choose the raisins properly and to store them in an efficient way as well:
- Packed and canned raisins are available all over the stores throughout the year. There are many different brands available as well, so you can always choose the best out of the lot.
- Raisins are available in different sized containers and boxes. Try to choose ones which are either available in transparent boxes or are sold loose. This way, you would be able to check and make sure that the quality is the best. While going for boxes which are packed, make sure that the box has not been tampered with and ensure that the seal is intact.
- Substandard quality of raisins often can be checked due to their thin flesh and poor taste. Make sure that you buy the raisins which are plump in appearance and are not very shriveled.
- Try avoiding buying stocks of old raisins as there are chances of the development of molds in them. Due to the presence of excessive moisture, they can often become rotten and it affects both their taste and appearance.
- Shake the box of raisins before buying in order to make it rattle loudly. This will help you to check if the raisins have dried out.
- Raisins should be consumed within six months after buying them.
- Proper storage is very important in order to make sure that they remain fresh and retain their original quality.
- Try storing them in a cool and dry place. Keep them in an airtight container or in a refrigerator for longer shelf life.
- Refrigeration is only recommended if you are trying to save the raisins for a longer period or later consumption. In refrigerator, they can retain their edibility for about a year.
- In order to prevent the crystallization of the raisins, transfer them from a container to an airtight bag for longer storage. Also make sure to press as much air as you can. Seal the bag properly and place it in a refrigerator or a kitchen cabinet. It will prolong the shelf life and will prevent crystallization or staling.
Adding Raisins to Your Everyday Diet:
Raisins are multipurpose foods which can be used in a variety of dishes all over the world. They can be added in deserts and even in baking cakes. So, here are some of the major ways through which you can add Raisins to your diet:
- When used fresh and stored properly, they do not require any attention before consuming them or using them in a dish.
- They can be enjoyed alone or could be even added along with other dry fruits such as dates, almonds, walnuts, apricots etc. to make a healthy snack.
- Their best taste can be brought out when they are taken with warm milk.
- You can add Raisins to your breakfast cereals, homemade cakes and bars or could even add them your every morning bowl of oatmeal.
- Take them along with you while you are going outside and pop them anytime when you are feeling hungry.
- In case the raisins have been stored for a long time and have dried now, they can be added to a bowl of hot water for a couple of minutes. This can bring in the water from the bowl to the raisins. This soaked raisin can even be added to a desert to enhance the taste of the dish. The sweetness and the texture of the raisins can enhance the taste of your dish manifold.
- Raisins can be added on to salads and curries.
- They even go amazingly well along with baked foods. You can add raisins to your muffins, cookies, biscuits, pies and cakes. They can also be used in the preparation of jams, jellies and puddings.
Risk Factors and Precautions:
Everything being said and done, there are some risk factors which are involved when it comes to an excessive consumption of raisins. Raisins are found to be very high in calories, which can cause you to gain an excessive amount of weight in a short span of time. There is no point in adding extra calories to your body weight, regardless of the fact that raisins are a storehouse of vital nutrients and minerals.
Raisins are also known to be high in their levels of triglycerides due to the presence of a high amount of fructose. A high amount of triglyceride levels in Raisins is known to increase your chance of developing diabetes, coronary heart disease as well as fatty liver cancer. In case you are suffering from any other health problem or risk, it is recommended to cut down on your daily intake of raisins.
How safe are Raisins:
With excessive testing, it has been found out that there is only a very small trace of pesticides in raisins; therefore, they do not pose any harm to your body and well being. Often commercially grown raisins are known to be treated with sulfur dioxide in order to enhance their shelf life and to prevent their oxidation and losing their color. However, this can cause an adverse reaction to the people who are sensitive and suffer from asthma. It is therefore, recommended to buy organic raisins in case you suffer from Sulfer sensitivity.