Raisins are dried grapes of the Vitis vinifera plant. Kashmiri raisins are locally called as kishmish. Raisins are created by drying grapes, either in the sun or in driers, which turns the grapes into golden, green, or black dried fruit. They are naturally sweet in flavour and are widely used in cuisines around the world, especially in desserts.
Raisins can be a good source of energy, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. They can be high in sugar and calories, but still, could have a low glycemic index. Raisins may contain zero cholesterol and are rich in various nutrients that include Vitamins (Vitamin C, folate, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, and pantothenic acid) and Minerals (Potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and sodium). Raisins can be a helpful and beneficial addition to the diet.
Raisins aid in digestion. They are a simple way to help keep the digestive system healthy. Raisins contain helpful soluble fibers which give body to the stool and help it pass through the intestines easier. This may improve digestion and promote regularity of bowel movement.
Raisins prevent anemia. They contain good amounts of iron, copper, and vitamins that are essential for making red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body.
Raisins prevent acidity. They contain substantial amounts of beneficial minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, and potassium. These are alkaline, or basic, minerals on the pH scale and may help balance acidity levels in the stomach.
Raisins lower risk of heart disease. Regularly eating raisins may help reduce cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure because raisins are a low sodium food that also contains a good source of potassium, which helps the blood vessels relax.
Raisins fight against cancer cells. They are a good source of antioxidant compounds. Dietary antioxidants are essential, as they may protect the body from oxidative damage and free radicals. Oxidative damage and free radicals are risk factors in many types of cancer, tumour growth, and aging.
Raisins protect eye health. They contain polyphenols which are antioxidants that may protect the cells in the eyes from free radical damage. This may in turn help protect the eyes from eye disorders, such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Raisins improve skin health. Antioxidants in raisins help keep the skin cells young and prevent damage from aging cells. Raisins also contain valuable nutrients such as vitamin C, selenium, and zinc. This combination of nutrients and antioxidants may be a helpful addition to a diet that focuses on creating good skin health.
Raisins lower blood sugar. A study noted that compared to eating other snacks, regularly eating raisins may help lower a person’s blood sugar. Even though raisins contain a more concentrated amount of sugars than fresh fruit, raisin intake compared to processed snacks decreased hemoglobin a1c, which is a marker of blood sugar management.
Overall, raisins are a healthy food and make a great addition to many diets. They can be a simple way to add healthful nutrients and antioxidants to the diet. Regularly eating raisins may help keep the body healthy and prevent many disorders.
The writer is a postgraduate student at Central University of Kashmir. [email protected]