Raisins are obtained by dehydrating fresh grapes. They are included in the group of dried fruits, delicious for cooking or eating them alone. They are preferred by children, for those who love bittersweet foods and for those who enjoy sweets. They have a very soft and fleshy texture. Learn more about raisins in this article.
Properties of raisins
- They have great energy value: they contain all the nutrients provided by fresh grapes, but in a more concentrated amount. They offer a high level of carbohydrates that are rapidly absorbed and 70% is fructose. They are recommended for children and adolescents because they provide a lot of energy, also advised in athletes and those who make daily physical effort. They have also a great energy value. They are used to treat anemia by providing iron, copper and manganese. Also recommended for those who need to gain weight.
- They strengthen the nervous system: they are a invigorating and restorative food, with high doses of minerals and vitamins (from group B). They are very good for those suffering from physical exhaustion, stress, or chronic fatigue. They are suitable for students and the elderly, because they improve brain function and prevent memory loss problems. They are a great source of flavonoids, antioxidants and myricetin, which may protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
- They help treat constipation: eating raisins is ideal for constipation due to their mild laxative properties, their organic acids, fructose and pectin. The latter helps cleanse the intestines and form bulkier feces. They prevent colon cancer.
- Good for the eyes: they contain phytonutrients, suitable to protect the health of the eyes. They protect the eyesight from the effects of oxidation and passing of time, improving the circulation of blood and nourishing the capillaries. They are perfect when your eyes are tired, for glaucoma, night blindness and cataracts.
- They remineralise the bones: the raisins have high doses of calcium and magnesium, very important nutrients in bone development. They protect against osteoporosis and improve joint health. They are recommended for women during pregnancy or while lactating, times when calcium needs are very high. They can also help people with arthritis or osteoarthritis (because they have also analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties). They are suitable for reducing the harmful effects of the excess of proteins found in “decalcifying” foods such as carbonated cola or coffee.
- They have aphrodisiac properties: in several countries, raisins are considered a powerful aphrodisiac, therefore they are included in many desserts and sweets. This is mainly due to their energizing properties and dose of amino acids (arginine) related to increased sexual libido, treating impotence and infertility. In Ancient Egypt, they were preparing a mixture of raisins and honey for intimate encounters.
- They treat fever: this is because they contain more organic acids than fresh grapes, providing all its refreshing properties for reducing fever. They also provide antibiotic properties and help to treat infections.
- They reduce appetite: While it is said that raisins are not “allowed” for obese people, because of their calories, it is proven to be quite the opposite, since they reduce cholesterol and appetite, as well as providing satiety. They are also a natural remedy that helps avoiding the urge to eat candies or sweets. It is advisable to consult with a doctor because they contain a lot of sugar.
- They neutralize the acidosis: it is a condition in which the blood acidity increases, as well as respiratory gases, something very harmful to our body because it can create kidney stones, gout, tumors, cancer, arthritis, hair loss or skin diseases. Raisins have a high amount of potassium and magnesium and serve to neutralize the development of these acids.
- They help in dental care: one of the compounds of the raisins is oleanolic acid, which plays a fundamental role in protecting teeth against tooth decay, sensitivity and fragility of the teeth. They prevent the growth of bacteria primarily responsible for tooth decay and plaque. Moreover, as a food rich in calcium, they prevent breakage or damage of the tooth enamel.
- They ensure a good heart health: catechin is an antioxidant present in raisins, which is very effective in removing cholesterol and cleansing the arteries, preventing cardiovascular problems. They also serve to regulate blood pressure (ideal for those suffering of hypertension) and assist in the good circulation of the blood.
How to eat raisins?
Raisins are more than delicious and can be eaten alone or in various desserts and sweet and sour preparations. Some of the main options to enjoy raisins are: chard sautéed with raisins and potatoes; pork tenderloin with raisins and pine nuts; coconut ice cream and raisins; rice with orange and raisins; noodles with nuts and raisins; baked apples with raisins; bread pudding with raisins and chocolate chips; leek cannelloni, chicken and raisins; apple pie and raisins; cod with pine nuts and raisins; meat pies and raisins; Genovese sweet bread, couscous; tropical rice; carrot cake with raisins, etc.
Images courtesy of Cary Bass Deschenes, Jenn Durfey, Larry & Teddy Page, Jim Champion.