Health Benefits of Raisins
Constipation: When ingested, raisins swell because the fiber present in has shrunk in a raisin’s dried form, but it will begin to swell due to the body’s natural fluids. This adds bulk to the food moving through the intestinal tract and ultimately helps provide relief from constipation. The type of fiber in raisins is considered insoluble fiber, because it takes in water and gains volume in that way. Besides reducing constipation, raisins can also help to stop loose stools, again by absorbing the liquid of loose stools and reducing the frequency and unpredictability of diarrhea.
Weight Gain: Raisins, like all dried fruits, are very good tools for gaining weight in a healthy way, since they are full of fructose and glucose and contain a lot of potential energy. Raisins form an ideal part of a diet for athletes or body builders who need powerful boosts of energy or for those who want to put on weight without accumulating unhealthy amounts of cholesterol. Their role as a healthy addition to the diet is further boosted because of the many vitamins, amino acids and minerals in raisins, such as selenium and phosphorus, which facilitate absorption of other nutrients and proteins in the body.
Cancer Prevention: Raisins have high levels of catechins, which are polyphenolic antioxidants in the blood. Antioxidants scavenge the free radicals that float around the body and wreak havoc on the organ systems and cells. Free radicals are one of the primary, underlying factors that lead to the spontaneous growth of cancer cells, as well as the substance that can spur on metastasis. Therefore, by including raisins in your diet and increasing the level of these powerful antioxidants in your system, you can prevent cancer from forming, or slow down its progress if you have already developed a number of forms of that deadly disease.
Hypertension: For many years, some people have believed that raisins have the power to reduce blood pressure and protect the integrity of heart health, but it was only recently that experts began intensive studies on these claims. The findings, although still not absolutely definitive on how raisins reduced blood pressure, did show a positive correlation between reduced hypertension and consumption of raisins. Many of the nutrients packed into raisins are beneficial, but experts believe that it is the high level of potassium in raisins that helps with this condition. Potassium is a well-researched way to reduce the tension of blood vessels and decrease blood pressure, and the dietary fiber in raisins is also thought to affect the biochemistry of blood vessels and reduce their stiffness, which also reduces hypertension.
Diabetes: In a number of studies, raisins have been shown to lower the postprandial insulin response, which means that after eating a meal, raisins can help the spikes or plunges in insulin levels that can be so dangerous to patients with diabetes. It modulates the sugar absorption by the body, making it more even and stable, reducing the chance of health complications or emergencies for those suffering from both major types of diabetes. Raisins also help to regulate the release of leptin and ghrelin, which are the hormones responsible for telling the body when it is hungry or full. By keeping these hormones in check, people who eat raisins can improve their chances of maintaining a healthy diet and prevent overeating, which further improves chances of living comfortably with diabetes!
Anemia: Raisins contain a considerable amount of iron which directly helps in the treatment of anemia. It also contains many members of the vitamin-B complex that are essential for the formation of new blood. The high copper content in raisins also helps the formation of red blood cells.
Fever: Phenolic Phytonutrients, well known for their germicidal, antibiotic and antioxidant properties, are abundantly present in raisins and can help cure fevers by fighting viral and bacterial infections.
Eye Care: Raisins contain polyphenolic phytonutrients which have antioxidant properties. These phytonutrients are very good for ocular health, as they protect eyes from the damage caused by free radicals (oxidants), in the form of macular degeneration, age-related weakening of vision, and cataracts. In addition to their antioxidant qualities, raisins contain significant amounts of vitamin-A, A-Beta Carotene and A-Carotenoid, all of which are essential for good ocular health.
Sexual Dysfunction: Raisins have long been known to stimulate the libido and induce arousal, primarily due to the presence of an amino acid called Arginine, which is beneficial in treating erectile dysfunctions. Arginine also increases the levels of sperm motility, which can increase the chances of conception when engaging in sexual intercourse. It is 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 on their wedding night. It is also recommended for those suffering from issues of sexual endurance to consume raisins regularly, and whatever beneficial sexual effects you experience will be further aided by the immediate energy boost that raisins often provide.
Credit: Organic Facts