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Raisins: Nutritional Health Benefits, Risks & Ways To Eat

Raisins, also known as 'kishmish' in India, are the dried form of raw grapes. They are the most common natural sweeteners, which do not contain any added sugars.

Raisins are produced by laying grapes on brown craft paper trays between the vineyard rows and allowed to dry in the sun when harvested. During this process, the oxidation and caramelization of natural sugar give raisins their dark brown to black colour.

Types Of Raisins

1. Sun-dried (natural)

2. Artificially dried (water-dipped)

3. Sulfur dioxide-treated raisins

Nutritional Value Of Raisins

100 g of raisins contain 299 calories and they also contain:

  • 3.1 g protein
  • 79.2 g carbohydrate
  • 3.7 g fibre
  • 59.2 g sugar
  • 2.3 mg vitamin C
  • 0.1 mg vitamin E
  • 3.5 mcg vitamin K
  • 0.1 mg thiamine
  • 0.1 mg riboflavin
  • 0.8 mg niacin
  • 0.2 mg vitamin B6
  • 5.0 mcg folate
  • 50.0 mg calcium
  • 1.9 mg iron
  • 32.0 mg magnesium
  • 101 mg phosphorus
  • 749 mg potassium
  • 11.0 mg sodium
  • 0.2 mg zinc
  • 0.3 mg copper
  • 0.3 mg manganese

Health Benefits Of Raisins

1. Promote heart health

Raisins are an excellent source of antioxidants and phytonutrients which prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and stroke. According to the American College of Cardiology, daily consumption of raisins lowers blood pressure.

2. Prevent cancer

Dried raisins are considered a very healthy snack choice for type 2 diabetes patients. A study showed that consumption of raisins reduced glucose levels after a meal by 23% and reduced systolic blood pressure [1] .

3. Reduce diabetes risk

The high antioxidant content in raisins prevents free radicals from causing cellular damage. Free radicals cause the growth of cancer cells, which is why eating raisins can ward away cancer [2] .

4. Aid in digestion

Raisins contain dietary fibre that has a laxative effect on the stomach and relieves constipation. Daily consumption of raisins helps in regular bowel movements and aids in digestion [3] .

5. Prevent anaemia

Raisins are a good source of iron, which is required for the production of red blood cells and help them carry oxygen to different parts of the body. Eating raisins will prevent iron-deficiency anaemia.

6. Decreases cavities

Raisins contain phytochemicals that have been linked to oral health. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that, the phytochemicals in raisins assist in healthy teeth and gums by fighting the bacteria in your mouth and lowering the chances of developing cavities.

7. Prevent osteoporosis

Raisins have a good amount of calcium, an essential mineral required for healthy, strong bones and teeth. Post-menopausal women should consume more of raisins to prevent the development of osteoporosis [4] .

8. Protect eye health

Raisins contain polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that protects the eyes from free radical damage. This reduces the likelihood of eye disorders, like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

9. Prevent excess acidity

Raisins contain substantial amounts of iron, copper, potassium, and magnesium that aids in balancing the acidity levels in the stomach. The next time you have acidity, eat raisins to reduce the acidity levels in the stomach.

10. Enhance skin health

The presence of various antioxidants and important nutrients in raisins like zinc, and vitamin C help keep the skin cells young and delay the ageing process. Raisins contain resveratrol, a substance that helps maintain healthy skin. These dried fruits also protect the skin from sun damage.

Potential Risks Of Eating Raisins

There are no harmful risks of eating raisins as such. People who are looking to lose weight should consider not eating large amounts of raisins. Also, raisins contain dietary fibre, so eating them in excess could cause bloating, gas, diarrhoea, and stomach cramps.

Ways To Consume Raisins

  • Sprinkle raisins in a bowl of oatmeal or other breakfast cereals.
  • Add raisins to pancakes, cakes, and muffins.
  • Sprinkles raisins in your green salad for some sweetness.
  • Add raisins to spiced curries.

How To Make Home-made Raisins

  • Take a handful of grapes and wash them properly.
  • Place them in a dry tray and keep it outside in the sun for drying.
  • Rotate the grapes every day to ensure even sun exposure.
  • In just 2 to 3 days, you will have your own home-made raisins.

Raisins Recipe

Raisins curry recipe

View Article References
  1. [1] Bays, H., Weiter, K., & Anderson, J. (2015). A randomized study of raisins versus alternative snacks on glycemic control and other cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.The Physician and sportsmedicine,43(1), 37-43.
  2. [2] Dreher, D., & Junod, A. F. (1996). Role of oxygen free radicals in cancer development.European Journal of cancer,32(1), 30-38.
  3. [3] Di Lorenzo, C., Sangiovanni, E., Fumagalli, M., Colombo, E., Frigerio, G., Colombo, F., … Dell'Agli, M. (2016). Evaluation of the Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Raisins (Vitis vinifera L.) in Human Gastric Epithelial Cells: A Comparative Study.International journal of molecular sciences,17(7), 1156.
  4. [4] Tai, V., Leung, W., Grey, A., Reid, I. R., & Bolland, M. J. (2015). Calcium intake and bone mineral density: systematic review and meta-analysis.Bmj,351, h4183.

Read more about: raisins health benefits
Story first published: Monday, June 17, 2019, 18:30 [IST]
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