A Handful Of Goodness

Raise a toast to raisins – they are packed with nutrition

12/2/2015 3:12:21 PM
written By : Nithya Subramanian Print

Feel like having something sweet? Instead of reaching out for a pack of sweets, opt for a handful of raisins. These will curb your sugar cravings and what’s more, they are healthy too.
Raisins were discovered accidentally, when grapes dried on the vine. Historians claim that the Phoenicians and Armenians were the first nations to produce raisins. Phoenicians established vineyards in Spain and Greece that were fit for cultivating raisins and the Armenians established their vineyards in Iran, Turkey and Iraq. In Greece and Rome, there was a high demand for raisins and then other countries started to use raisins as well.
The word raisin dates back to Middle English and is a loanword from Old French; raisin means “grape. Raisin varieties depend on the type of grape used. Raisins are typically sun-dried, but may also be “water-dipped,” or dehydrated.
Today raisins are used extensively and are valued for their high nutrition. Here are a few of its health properties:

  • Constipation: The fibre presnt in raisins add bulk to the food moving through the intestinal tract and ultimately helps provide relief from constipation.
  • Energy Booster:  Raisins form an ideal part of a diet for athletes or body builders who need powerful boosts of energy or for those who want to put on weight without accumulating unhealthy amounts of cholesterol.
  • Cancer Prevention: They have high levels of catechins, which are polyphenolic antioxidants in the blood. By including raisins in your diet and increasing the level of these powerful antioxidants in your system, you can prevent cancer from forming, or slow down its progress.
  • Diabetes: They modulate sugar absorption by the body, making it more even and stable, reducing the chance of health complications or emergencies for those suffering from both major types of diabetes.
  • Anemia: Raisins contain a considerable amount of iron which directly helps in the treatment of anemia.
  • Other benefits: Dried grapes are also considered to be good for your eyes, bones and teeth.

So get a handful of these healthy sweet delights.

Tomato-Raisin ChutneyIMG_1984

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups tomato cubes
  • 1 tsp oil oil
  • 1/4 tsp panch phoron (fennel seeds, black mustard, nigella seeds, fenugreek and cumin seeds)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp finely chopped green chillies
  • 1 tbsp sugar


METHOD

  1. Heat the oil in a pan.
  2. Add the panch phoran seeds, mix well and let it sputter.
  3. Add the tomatoes and salt and mix well. Cover and cook.
  4. Add the raisins, ginger, green chillies and sugar, mix well cook for 5 more minutes.
  5. Cool and store refrigerated in an air-tight container.
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