The health benefits of raisins include relief from constipation, acidosis, anemia, fever, and sexual weakness. Raisins also help in weight gain, eye care, dental care, and bone health.
Raisins are indispensable when it comes to dry fruits. Those golden, green, or black colored delicacies are favorites of almost everybody, especially children. Raisins are widely used worldwide in cuisines (especially in desserts), health tonics, as snacks, and also as food for mountaineers, trekkers, etc.
Raisins are obtained by drying grapes (green or black), either in sun or in driers, and look like golden, green, or black gems. Indeed they are like gems when their nutritional values and health benefits are considered.
Let us watch their brilliance.
Constipation: When ingested, raisins swell as the fiber present in them in dried form absorbs water. This helps giving relief in constipation.
Weight Gain: Raisins, like all dry fruits, are very good for gaining weight, as they are full of fructose and glucose and give a lot of energy. Thus, they form an ideal part of the diet for either athletes or bodybuilders who need a lot of energy or those who want to put on weight, without accumulating cholesterol. This is further boosted due to the presence of many vitamins, amino acids, and minerals (such as selenium, phosphorus etc.) in raisins which facilitate absorption of other nutrients and proteins in the body.
Acidosis: Acidosis is a state of increased acidity of the blood (also known as toxicity of the blood) or of the gases in our respiratory system, the source of acids for both being our stomach. This is very harmful to the body as it may give rise to a number of problems like boils, skin diseases and damage to the internal organs, arthritis, gout, renal calculi, hair loss, heart diseases, tumors, and even cancer. Raisins are a good source of potassium and magnesium (two of the most popular constituents of antacids, being basic in nature) both of which are very effective in reducing acidity. They neutralize the acids and thus help check acidosis.
Anemia: Raisins contain a considerable amount of iron which directly helps to treat anemia. It also contains many members of the vitamin-B complex which are essential for the formation of blood. Copper in them also helps the formation of red blood cells.
Fever: Phenolic Phytonutrients, well known for their germicidal, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties, are present in abundance in raisins and help cure fever by fighting viral and bacterial infections.
Sexual Weakness: Raisins are known to stimulate libido and induce arousal, primarily due to the presence of an amino acid called Arginine, which is beneficial in treating problems in erection. It has been a common practice in India to make the bride and the groom drink a glass of milk each, boiled with raisins, and added with a pinch of saffron. It is also recommended for those suffering from sexual weakness, to consume raisins regularly. This effect is aided with the presence of a lot of energy in raisins.
Bone Health: While Calcium, which is the main constituent of bones, is present in raisins, it is one of the best sources of Boron, a micronutrient (a nutrient required by the body in very small amount as compared to other nutrients) which is very necessary for proper bone formation and absorption of calcium. Boron is particularly helpful in preventing osteoporosis induced by menopause in women and is very beneficial for bones and joints.
Eye Care: Raisins contain polyphenolic phytonutrients that have antioxidant properties that are very good for ocular health, as they protect eyes from damages caused by free radicals (oxidants), such as macular degeneration, age-related weakening of vision, cataract, etc. In addition, it contains a very good amount of vitamin-A, A-Beta Carotene, and A-Carotenoid, all of which are essential for good ocular health.
Dental Care: Oleanolic Acid, one of the phytochemicals present in raisins, plays a crucial role in protecting your teeth against tooth decay, cavities, brittleness of teeth, etc. It effectively prevents the growth of Streptococcus Mutans and Porphyromonas Gingivalis, two of the species of bacteria which are most responsible for cavities and other dental problems. In addition, it is rich in calcium which is very good for promoting dental health, as it prevents breaking or peeling away from teeth and enamel and makes them strong. One more interesting thing about raisins is that the longer they stick to your teeth, the better, as it ensures longer contact of Oleanolic Acid with the teeth preventing the growth of bacteria. In addition to the above, boron present in raisins plays a very important role in checking the growth of germs in the mouth as well promotes the health of bones and teeth.
Other Benefits: Catechin, a phenolic antioxidant present in raisins, is very effective for the prevention of tumors and cancer of the colon. The fibers in it help excretion of bile from the body, burning of cholesterol and thereby ensuring good cardiac health.