Raisins – Benefits and Uses
Raisins are very common dry fruits and are nothing but dried grapes! They come in four different types – green, black, golden, and red varieties. Raisins are versatile in nature and can be used in multiple types of culinary dishes and bakery products. Apart from this, it has multiple benefits to health and beauty.
Let’s look into the benefits of raisins or dry grapes:
1. Promotes better digestion:
Raisins contain soluble fibers that can make it easier for stool formation and improve digestive health. It can also help relieve acidity by balancing out the acidity levels in the body.
2. Can prevent anemia:
Raisins are rich in iron, copper and vitamins. These are very important in making red blood cells which can promote better hemoglobin (a protein in the red blood cells) levels and prevent one from becoming anemic (which means the body lacks sufficient healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues).
3. Has antioxidant properties:
Raisins are rich in antioxidants and can help protect the body from health ailments and diseases and also reduce the risk of developing cancer. It can also protect the body from free radical (unstable molecules that harm the healthy molecules and cells in the body) damage and oxidative stress.
4. Good for eye, teeth, bone and skin health:
Raisins contain polyphenols that are antioxidants that can protect eye health and prevent free radical damage to the eyes and prevent eye disorders. It can also keep the skin healthy and younger looking and prevent premature cell ageing. Raisins also contain calcium and trace minerals that can enhance the absorption of the essential nutrients and strengthen teeth and bones.
5. Other benefits:
- Can help detoxify the body and flush out harmful toxins
- Can reduce the risk of developing heart diseases as raisins can help reduce the development of cardiovascular risk factors like blood pressure, as they are low in sodium and rich in potassium which can provide help and relaxation to the blood vessels.
Uses of raisins:
If you do not wish to eat raisins just as it is, then you can consume it in the following ways:
1. Soaked raisin detox water:
There are two ways you can make soaked raisin water:
Into a heating pan, add in 1 cup of water and ¼ cup (or10 to 15 raisins) of raisins and let it come to a boil. You will begin to see that the color of the water has changed and the raisins have swollen up. At that point, turn off the flame and let the raisin-soaked water cool down. Then, strain this water and consume the water.
Into a cup of water, add in 10 to 15 raisins, and let it soak overnight. You can strain the water and consume the water the next morning on an empty stomach.
Here’s how you can consume the raisins once the water is strained out:
You can either consume the raisins as it is or you can add them into a raisin smoothie (recipe below).
2. Raisin and banana smoothie:
10 to 12 raisins
5 to 6 almonds
2 to 4 seedless dates
5 to 6 cashew nuts
¼ cup banana pieces (optional)
1 cup milk
If you wish to consume the raisin water, then soak the raisins in 1 cup of water separately, if not, you can soak all the dry fruits and nuts (chopped into a pieces) in ½ cup of water for 2 to 4 hours or overnight.
To make the smoothie: Into a mixer blender, add in the soaked dry fruits with ¼ cup of the soaked dry fruit water and ¼ cup of chopped banana pieces (optional) and grind into a fine paste. Add in the milk and blend until well combined. If you wish to make it sweeter, you can add in honey to taste. Pour into a cup and it is then ready to consume.
3. Other uses:
- Add them as toppings in your oatmeal cereal bowl or salads.
- Add them in your baking foods like muffins, cupcake, cakes, cookies, bread etc.
- Use them as additions in dry fruit granola bars.
- Add them in your culinary specialties.