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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

WHOLESOME GOODNESS OF RAISINS

ABC Wednesday

'R' is for Raisins
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I admit that I belong to the community of people who flaunt having a sweet tooth. However, as I age, I keep, parting ways with most of the sweets for health reasons, but the energy packed raisins are one of the dry fruits, which always adorn my pantry. 

My love for raisins goes back to my younger days, when I’d watch my dad breakfasting on almonds (which had been soaked in water over night) after removing skin along with some large sized sultanas. Afterwards, he’d drink a cup of hot milk. My dear mother was also fond of raisins and munched them while doing chores. She believed that the practice kept her throat hydrated with constant flow of saliva and helped her in controlling acidity. 

No wonder with their simple eating habits and home remedies they were able to live a sufficiently active life until the last days of their lives. Their intuitions and pure living sheltered them from unnecessary visits to the doctors.

When I was a student in the university and prone to constipation, my mom’d boil milk with raisins thrown in, and make me drink a cupful last thing at night before going to bed. This sweet gesture helped me ease my constipation.

My memories kept alive my interest in consuming raisins all along. However, now I am a lot more aware of the health benefits of this wonderful dry fruit.

Raisins are dried grapes (I became conscious of this fact quite late) and are produced in many parts of the world. Grapes are either sun dried or dried through chemical processes.
  
The word raisin originated from Latin word loaned from French.  In French raisin means a grape. Raisins are of various sizes, shapes and colors: from small, long, yellow, golden and dark to thick and large purple ones. When I was in the US last summer, I loved those sun-dried dark colored California raisins.
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LET me share with you some of the benefits established through relevant studies, which accrue from their consumption.

Raisins are a reservoir of concentrated energy. These contain plenty of anti-oxidants, which neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals in the body. Raisins boost immunity to enable the body to fight disease-causing microbes.

Raisins are fiber rich and create bulk to literally sweep out all the toxins from the body via well- formed stool. They promote smooth bowel movement cleaning the anal canal.

Raisins act to relieve acidic conditions in the body. After ingestion, they swell and absorb acid and provide immense relief. During diarrhea raisins, absorb excess fluids thereby easing the symptoms.

Raisins are a rich source of potassium, zinc, iron and magnesium. Potassium promotes heart health by regulating heartbeat. They’re said to reduce hypertension by their calming effect on the blood vessels.  Iron promotes the formation of red blood cells in the body, which fight anemia.

Phytonutrients in raisins have anti-bacterial properties to help reduce fever and act against viral infections.

Raisins promote bone health by helping in bone formation because they contain good amounts of calcium. Eating raisins contribute in slowing and warding off osteoporosis.

In India we add a fair amount of raisins to our desserts e.g. the most sought after pudding in North India Kheer- rice cooked in whole milk on slow heat – is garnished generously with raisins, almonds and small chunks of coconut. Green cardamom seeds coarsely grounded are added for flavor.

While preparing fruit cream we substitute raisins for grapes when grapes are out of season.

Fruit custard’s deliciousness and presentation is enhanced if glazed with half a fistful of tangy raisins.

Raisins always form a part of the preferred snack in winters along with almonds, cashew nuts and groundnuts.

In our part of the country, mothers prepare special panjiri or pinnis(sweet and healthy delicacies) for their daughters after delivery and add ample amounts of dry fruits including raisins to help them regain their health and energy to take  on increased responsibilities.

There is liberal presence of raisins in certain type of cookies and other confectionery goodies? When in the US I enjoy eating raisin bread from COSTCO. Slightly toasted and buttered it is like a treat and most fulfilling.

Raisins are popular addition in cereals and muesli, which make them a wholesome part of breakfast.

Whenever I approach the particular shelf where raisins are stored in a jar I instinctively reach for some to satisfy my in built craving.

Since raisins contain enough fructose and glucose, their consumption needs to be regulated especially for Diabetics.

Raisins surely have beneficial properties for better health.

Friends, what do you have to say about raisins?

9 comments:

  1. Wow!Was not aware of the multiple benefits of enjoying raisins! Thank you for sharing!!

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  2. Very useful informative post. Thank you! :)

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  3. Great information indeed! Thank you ma'am:)

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  4. I love raisins!! great and informative post.

    red rose

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  5. Very interesting post. I love raisins too. Carver, ABCW-Team

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  6. I am so glad I read this post of yours! I love raisins, but I didn't know they are so healthy and good for many things. I also eat some handfuls of them while I work in my house!
    Thanks for this information!
    Wil, ABCW Team

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  7. I`m not such a big fan of raisins, but after reading your post and seeing how healthy they are, I`m considering giving them another try! :))

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  8. LOVE raisins with my breakfast cereal or oatmeal.
    ROG, ABCW

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