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Raisins are dried grapes/currants. However, unlike fresh grapes, they indeed are rich and concentrated natural sources of energy, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, they are packed with several health benefiting poly phenolics anti-oxidants, dietary fiber, and other phyto-nutrients.
Health Benefits : Raisins helps in providing relief from constipation and helps to stop loose stool as the raisin’s dried form swells up due to body natural fluids and gains volume on its way. Raisins is a very good tool for gaining weight in a healthy way as they are full of fructose and glucose and contain lot of potential energy. It also stimulates healthy absorption of proteins, vitamins and nutrients gained from food. Raisins have high level of catechins, which scavenge over the free radicles in the body. Free radicles are considered a major cause of cancer growth in cells. Raisins have power to reduce blood pressure and improve the heart health. High level of potassium reduces the tension in the blood vessels, reducing their stiffness which also reduces hypertension. Raisins improves the chances of maintaining a healthy diet and preventing overeating by regulating the release of leptin and ghrelin which are responsible for telling the body when its hungry or full. Raisins have long been known to stimulate the libido and induce arousal, primarily due to the presence of an amino acid called Arginine, which is beneficial in treating erectile dysfunctions.
Being dry fruit, raisins have a long shelf life. They keep well when stored in airtight containers and placed away from moisture, humidity, sun light and high temperature. They can also be stored inside the refrigerator. Prolonged cold storage may results in precipitation of their sugar contents. However, this should not offset their quality. It can be reversed by just soaking them in boiled water for few minutes in order to dissolve sugar crystals.
Culinary Uses :
Enjoy eating them as snacks without any additions or with other dry fruits. Add as toppings in yogurt, fruit salads, and pies or crush them and sprinkle over ice creams, desserts, sundaes and other cream based products. Add to bakery items like chocolates, cookies, muffins, bread, puddings, biscuits, cakes, waffles...etc.