Raisins are also popularly known as Kishmish in India. Raisins are dried fruit of different varieties of grapes. They are grown since 2000 BC in Persia and Egypt. Early Greeks and Romans used raisins to adorn their place of worship and also during sports events they were also given as prizes to the winners. Turkey and United States are the leading producer of it and are responsible for almost 80 per cent of the production in the world. Other producing countries are Iran, Greece, Chile, and South Africa. The main raisin industry in the U.S is in California, where it was first planted in 1851.
The natural way of making them is drying the grapes under the sun and there is also a mechanical way to do it which is done in the industries. There are varieties of it in the world and some common types are the dark purple ones and yellow or golden sultanas. They are also seedless and also in crimson and flame variety. The natural way is made by not using any kind of oils or solutions. There are also some which are made using oils and solutions like sulphur dioxide treatment which is made in the industries. Both the types are available in the markets whether organic or gourmet.
They can be eaten rawly soaked overnight in water and also in cooking, baking and brewing. They can also be eaten as a snack in their raw form as they don’t need any kind of addition. But other than eating raw it can also be added to ice creams and sprinkled on fruit salads. They are also used to make many sweet delicacies. They are almost 70 per cent of sugar in them. The high sugar concentration in it makes them sweet. They have a sticky consistency and are moist from the inside. The over dry ones can have a gritty texture. They can be added to both sweet and savoury dishes.
Raisins are rich in various nutrients which are very much needed for our body. They have flavonols which act as an antioxidant and protects the body from the damage made by the free radicals. It also has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-allergic, anti-microbial and lowering blood cholesterol level properties. They are also gluten-free and can also be a very good alternative to healthy food. They are also a rich source of fibre, iron, calcium and potassium which helps in boosting energy. Besides that raisins also helps in keeping your hair and skin glowing.
Some of the health benefits of raisins are helping in digestion, improving eyesight, regulating blood pressure, improving bone health, supporting weight loss, boosting immunity, preventing anaemia, curing acidity and bloating, preventing tooth decay and helping in teeth whitening, regulating cholesterol level and improves heart health and provides shine to hair and skin. They provide so much to us that they should be added to our diet. There is no specific time to eat these as they can be eaten as a snack, can be added to your breakfast cereal and can be added to your fruit salads.
They are not only used for enhancing your food but also add a nutritional benefit to your food. The rich fibre content in it helps in digestion and keeps constipation at bay. they are usually soaked in water overnight for better results. They keep the bowel movements smooth and releases the toxins with ease. Vitamin A and beta carotene help in improving your eyesight. These nutrients keep your eye protected from the free radicals which can damage the vision.
Raisins also have a good amount of potassium which balances the sodium levels in the body and relaxes the blood vessels hence, keeping the blood pressure controlled. They are also packed with calcium which is a boon for bone health. It is also a rich source of boron which is very important for bone formation. They also improve bone density. They are naturally sweet which is a very good substitute for any unhealthy sweet snack if you are trying to lose some weight. They also help the body to feel full.
These are said to be the golden droplets of many vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron and vitamin C which boosts immunity and help the body fight infections. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties in it also help in boosting immunity and thus keep the body free from infections. As it is rich in iron it also prevents the body from anaemia helps in the formation of blood cells. The potassium and magnesium content reduces the acidity and also removes the toxins in the blood reducing problems like bloating and flatulence.
Raisins also have calcium and boron which prevents tooth decay and helps in teeth whitening. They also prevent the bacteria which leads to tooth cavities. The cholesterol levels are also controlled and thus prevent any heart related diseases. Raisins also remove toxins from the body as mentioned above which not only helps in digestion but also keeps your skin glowing. The skin cells are prevented from any damage like wrinkles and saggy skin. They also treat problems of hair like flakiness, hair fall, scalp itchiness and dandruff and give a shiny appearance to it.
Raisins can also be substituted with many other things like prunes, dates, or dried cranberries. They can be a very good and tasty substitute for ant sweet and savoury dishes. It is very important to store it properly as they dry out very easily. They should be kept in an airtight container or bag and stored in a cool and dark place. One month is their shelf life and after that, they dry out, becomes dark and starts to lose vitamins. You can also refrigerate them for using them for more than a month and if kept properly they can even last for six months to one year.
And now coming back to the topic are raisins really good for us in winter? what are the benefits of it? Well, specifically they don’t have any other benefits rather than they almost have the same as mentioned above. But if you soak the raisins overnight and have them then you can gain the benefits with more nutrition. In winters we often get sick because of the cold weather and our immune system becomes weak. Having raisins every day during the winter season will boost immunity and help your body in fighting with germs and infections.
A handful of these can surely fulfil your fruit intake in winter when the local fruits aren’t available. They will give your body something good and healthy and having them in your daily diet will never cause any harm to your health.