Raisins are a popular dried fruit because they are versatile and have a considerable shelf life. It is ideal to purchase raisins that are sold in bulk or in transparent containers so that it is easy to judge the quality of the raisins before they’re purchased. Raisins are best when they are moist and undamaged. In order to keep them fresh, it is best to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also store single serving boxes in the refrigerator to keep the product fresh. It is best to eat raisins within six months of the purchase date.
At first glance, raisins may be unpalatable to you because of their dark, wrinkly dried appearance. However, their appearance aside, raisins are actually considered nature’s healthy alternative to candies. Initially, raisins–like prunes–have been found to be very effective in the treatment of gastrointestinal complaints, specifically constipation. More research revealed that certain substances in raisins have beneficial effects on practically every system in the body. Indeed, raisins have come to be known as a healthy snack food. So, the next time you crave for candies or chocolates, try eating raisins instead and take into consideration the following health benefits that they can offer.
1. Increases Your Supply of Energy
If you are an athlete or a bodybuilder who needs a good source of energy and something to bulk up your body to a certain weight, raisins are good for you because they are loaded with sugars, specifically fructose and glucose. Eating raisins also promotes the efficient absorption of vitamins, proteins and other nutrients in your body. Therefore, they also help in building up your immune system.
2. Aids Digestion
Upon ingestion, fibers in raisins swell as they absorb water, thus promoting a laxative effect and thereby relieving constipation. Regular intake of raisins helps in maintaining regular bowel movement, with the fibers sweeping away the toxins and waste materials from the gastrointestinal tract.
3. Enhances Mouth Health
Unlike candies, raisins contain oleanolic acid, which provides protection against cavities and tooth decay, and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause gingivitis and other periodontal diseases.
4. Enhances Bone Health
Raisins are a rich source of calcium, which is necessary to strengthen bones and teeth. A micronutrient that is abundant in raisins–boron–aids in calcium absorption and bone formation. If you are a postmenopausal woman, raisins are a good snack for you because the calcium and boron present in them help prevent the development of osteoporosis.
5. Body Acidity Reduction
The potassium and magnesium contents of raisins help reduce acidity (an abnormal metabolic condition known as acidosis) and remove toxins from the body, which may cause diseases such as arthritis, gout, kidney stones and heart disease.
6. Treats Infections
Raisins contain substances called polyphenolic phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. These polyphenols have been found to lower fevers by killing the bacteria that causes existing infections.
7. Protects Eyes
The polyphenolic phytonutrients in raisins also possess antioxidant properties that protect the eyes from harmful free radicals that may cause the development of cataracts, macular degeneration, blindness and other visual disorders.
8. Treats Anemia
Raisins are rich in iron and copper, which are necessary in the formation of red blood cells. Raisins also help to correct iron deficiency anemia and promote blood clotting during wound healing.
9. Cancer Prevention
The polyphenolic antioxidant in raisins, known as catechin, provides protection against free radicals, which causes the development of tumors, specifically colon cancer.