6 health benefits of the delish kishmish

Published: January 21, 2016

Pakistani winters, devoid of kishmish? Not happening! These easily accessible super foods, at first glance, might not seem as appetising due to their wrinkly dried appearance, but looks aside, these local delights are in fact, considered nature’s healthy alternative to candies.

As compiled from organicfacts.net, 3fatchicks.com and healthyeating.sfgate.com, discover why raisins are irreplaceable as a healthy member of the dry fruits group.

1. Reduces cancer risk

The delectable dried snack boasts high levels of catechins, which are polyphenolic antioxidants in the blood. Antioxidants rummage the free radicals that float around the body and wreak havoc on the organ systems and cells.  Free radicals are one of the primary underlying factors that lead to the spontaneous growth of cancer cells, as well as the substance that can spur on metastasis. Therefore, by including this health superstar 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 if you have already developed a number of forms of the deadly disease.

2. Helps with hypertension

For many years, our naanis and daadis have believed that kishmish have the power to diminish blood pressure and sustain a healthy heart, but it was only recently that experts concluded that raisins, do, in fact reduce blood pressure. Research suggests a positive correlation between reduced hypertension and consumption of kishmish. Many of the nutrients packed into this dried fruit are advantageous, but experts believe that it is the high level of potassium in raisins that helps with this condition. Potassium is a well-researched way to lower the tension of blood vessels and decrease blood pressure, and the dietary fiber in raisins also affects the biochemistry of blood vessels and lessens their stiffness, which also reduces hypertension.

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3. Controls adverse insulin response

Research suggests that raisins lower the postprandial ( after lunch or dinner) insulin response, which means that after eating a meal, a quick kishmish fix can help the spikes or plunges in insulin levels that can be extremely threatening to diabetics. It modulates the sugar absorption by the body, making it more even and stable, reducing the chances of health complications or emergencies for those suffering from both major types of diabetes. Raisins also help to normalise the release of leptin and ghrelin, which are the hormones responsible for signalling to the body when it is hungry or full. By keeping these hormones in check, regular kishmish consumers can improve their chances of maintaining a healthy diet and prevent overeating, which further improves chances of living comfortably with diabetes.

4. Protects eyes from damage

They might not be appealing to the eyes but they, sure are good for them. Raisins comprise polyphenolic phytonutrients which have antioxidant properties.  These phytonutrients are exceptional for ocular health, as they protect eyes from the damage caused by free radicals (oxidants), in the form of macular degeneration, age-related weakening of vision, and cataracts. In addition to their antioxidant qualities, a handful of this yummy food can deliver significant amounts of vitamin-A, A-Beta Carotene and A-Carotenoid, all of which are crucial for perfect ocular health.

5. Strengthens the bones

A nippy snack of kishmish is brimming with calcium, which is the chief element of our bones and these dried fruits are also one of the best sources of Boron, a vital micronutrient. For those of our readers who don’t know, a micronutrient is a nutrient required by the body in very small amount as compared to other nutrients that must be consumed daily in significant amounts. Boron is imperative for efficient bone formation and effectual absorption of calcium. Boron is particularly helpful in preventing osteoporosis induced by menopause in women and has been proved to be very beneficial for bones and joints.

6. Whittles waistline

While poor kishmish has been outlawed for decades by weight loss gurus, latest research states otherwise. When you consume this succulent dry fruit as part of a balanced-calorie diet, you may find that it satisfies your sweet tooth alongside aiding in digestion. Eating a diet rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, such as the good old kishmish, may help you lose weight because fiber makes you feel full longer and aids in controlling your blood sugar levels. Raisins also take a while to chew, which may help you control how many you eat at one time. Also, kishmish stimulate the efficient absorption of other proteins, vitamins, and nutrients gained from food, which improves your overall energy and immune system strength. Looks like there’s no reason to stop munching on them!

Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd,  2016.

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