Raisins are a delightful, healthy alternative to sugary snacks when eaten in an appropriate amount. But more than just eating the dried fruit, drinking its soaked water also harbors many health advantages. Raisin water contains a range of benefits for brain and gut health among others. It is rich in essential nutrients and minerals that the body needs for proper functioning and the prevention of many diseases.
In Chinese medicine, raisin is a warming food that creates heat in the body just as pepper does. It makes one feel strong, energetic and healthy while generating heat. Naturopathic medicines suggest soaking raisins in water overnight before consuming them in the summer. Eating dried fruit and consuming its water will make the most out of its bioavailable nutrients.
What are Raisins?
Raisins are the dried form of grapes of the Vitis vinifera plant. They are available in different varieties in different sizes and colors. The three most common varieties are the Flame grapes, Greek currants, and the seedless variety Sultana.
There are three different ways grapes are dried to make raisins. They may undergo the traditional sun-drying process, water-dipping or artificial dehydration using a food dehydrator.
During any of the processes, little to no preservatives or other ingredients are added to the grapes. Drying oxidizes and caramelizes each fruit, which acts as its natural preservative. It results in concentrated amounts of antioxidants and nutrients. The antioxidant power of raisins is about three times when compared to fresh grapes.
What is Raisin Water?
Raisin water, or kishmish water, is prepared by boiling and soaking raisins overnight. The beverage has many purported health benefits as it helps improve the intake of many important nutrients.
Soaking the raisins in water releases their vitamin and mineral content delivering more health benefits. The nutrients that it leaches into the water have a better absorbability than just eating them raw. Since it has a hot potency, soaking raisins may also help lessen their heat-producing effect.
When taken regularly for a short period, raisin water can prevent common viral infections by boosting the body’s immune resistance.
Health Benefits of Raisin Water
Raisins are a popular addition and garnish in many breads, baked and other food products. If you want to get the most out of it, raisin water is a good beverage to try. Some people use it to replace coffee or tea and take it on an empty stomach in the morning. Here are a few benefits you can get from drinking raisin water.
Boosts Brain and Mental Health
Phosphorus, along with vitamin C, in the raisin water may improve cognitive performance and overall brain health. Phosphorus is present in the brain cells but it tends to decrease with age. This can lead to many brain and cognitive malfunctioning issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A daily dose of raisin water supplies the body with phosphorus that prevents the gradual deterioration of memory. Drinking raisin water makes one feel alert, energetic and with improved grasping powers. It prevents the degradation of both long-term and short-term memories. Raisin water is ideal for the elderly and students who want to achieve better brain and cognitive functions.
Grapes are a highly-important fruit in supporting good heart health. Raisins also do not fall short in this benefit. Raisin water is rich in fiber that reduces bad cholesterol in the body. It contains a high amount of potassium that reduces blood pressure to prevent stroke and heart-related diseases. Raisin water supplies the body with ample potassium and less sodium to prevent strain on the heart.
Raisins enhance blood circulation helping improve the supply of nutrients in the capillaries. It has polyphenolic phytonutrients that contain excellent antioxidant properties. Along with it, are other eye-important nutrients like beta-carotene, carotenoid and Vitamin A. These are necessary for promoting ocular health and preventing macular degeneration and other eye diseases.
Teeth and Gum Health
The micro-bacterial activity in the mouth decreases when one takes raisin water or eats dried fruit. It might be a sweet alternative for the sweet tooth, but the phytochemicals in raisins are very potent against oral bacteria. Letting the raisin water or dried raisin soak in the mouth can prevent dental cavities and other periodontal diseases.
Improves the Digestive Health
The soluble and insoluble fiber found in raisins keeps the digestive system healthy. They improve digestion and keep things moving in the stomach to prevent constipation and diarrhea. Raisin water contains alkaline minerals that also help neutralize stomach acidity. With its proper pH and good effects on digestion, raisin water is an excellent drink for good gut health.
High acidity in the blood causes acidosis characterized by rapid breathing, confusion and extreme weakness. Severe metabolic acidosis is dangerous and fatal as it shuts off normal body processes and may result in organ failure. Intravenous drips and treatment are needed to balance the pH and ward off acidosis. Or the patients can take raisin water, a beverage with alkaline minerals, to achieve this acid balance.
Helps with Anemia
Each dried raisin is packed with iron, manganese, folate and B-complex vitamins needed for blood cell production. It also contains copper to increase iron absorption. These nutrients are beneficial for patients suffering from anemia or low hemoglobin level. Raisin water helps optimize red blood cell production and manage other anemia symptoms like fatigue, weakness and pale skin.
Skin and Hair Health
Increased iron level in the body results in improved blood circulation. It acts as a tonic for skin and hair health. Drinking and eating soaked raisins stimulates the scalp to promote hair growth. The antioxidants like resveratrol in raisins help in blood purification and cellular damage repair to delay early skin aging.
Protects the Liver
Blood purification is the process of removing toxins from the body to prevent damage to the organs. This is what the bioflavonoids in raisin water do that reverses the damage to the liver due to unhealthy lifestyles. A clean liver boosts its function to support the vital functions of the body.
Regulates Sugar Level
Raisin is sweet as it contains the natural sugars fructose and glucose. People with diabetes may consume grapes and raisins in limited amounts or take them as raisin water. Raisin water is useful in regulating blood sugar levels and improving insulin response. Its high-fiber content prevents blood sugar from spiking to a dangerous level. It also regulates the release of satiety hormones ghrelin and leptin to prevent overeating.
According to research, routine consumption of raisins three times a day may significantly lower blood pressure. Raisins are rich in potassium, a nutrient that regulates blood pressure. It wards off many potential problems like ischemic stroke and hypertension. Although the study is not yet conclusive, it states that raisin is a far better snack option than crackers and cookies.
Antioxidants are naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables. These are important to the body as they are responsible for binding and flushing away free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that cause cancer. Catechins are the polyphenolic antioxidants found in raisins which inhibit the activity of the free radical-generating enzymes. Taking raisin water decreases the susceptibility to many types of cancer.
Raisin contains calcium and boron, the elements necessary for strengthening the bones. Calcium plays a significant role in forming and maintaining healthy teeth and bones. Boron, in the human body, facilitates the proper absorption of calcium. These minerals in raisin water are essential in maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis.
Kishmish water is found to be useful in the stimulation of libido for increasing the sex drive. It has arginine, an amino acid that increases sperm motility and treats erectile dysfunction.
In women, black raisin water in particular improves the blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. It is beneficial not only in sexual performance but also in treating infertility. A beverage of soaked raisins improves the ovulation cycle and increases the chances of conception.
Grapes contain melatonin to encourage better sleep. Melatonin leaches in water when raisins are soaked. This hormone regulates the sleep-wake cycle which is often messed up for various reasons resulting in sleeplessness. A drink of raisin water releases melatonin to aid in faster and sounder sleep. It is important for people suffering from insomnia and other sleep-related problems.
How To Prepare Raisin Water
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup raisins, washed and cleaned
- Boil raisins in water for about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow the raisins to soak overnight or for 5 to 6 hours.
- Heat it again on low flame before consuming.
- Strain the mixture and drink the raisin water.
- Take raisin water for four days a week on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
Warnings and Cautions
As a general rule, food should be consumed in moderation to avoid the ill effects of overconsumption. Raisin water is best when taken four times a week until you feel better or see the desired result. Meanwhile, daily consumption of dried fruit should only be around 30 to 40 grams to avoid digestive upset and overconsuming sugar.
Dietary fiber is good for the stomach but excessive intake can worsen the problem. Too much raisins can cause gas, indigestion or intestinal blockage. It will lead to the malabsorption of nutrients that affects other body processes.
Raisin may be a good snack for people with diabetes but excessive amounts eventually cause a spike in sugar levels.
Raisin is not a food allergen but it may trigger a reaction in a small percentage of people, especially those with mold allergies.
Raisin and raisin water may benefit in managing weight by stimulating the hormones responsible for satiety. However, taking it beyond its limit will only load up unnecessary calories.
The Bottom Line
Raisin water is an alkaline drink with healthy properties for restoring body functions. It is a fat-free, cholesterol-free and high-antioxidant drink that helps lower the risks of debilitating diseases. Consuming this nutrient-dense water can bring many excellent benefits, making it a great alternative to an early morning coffee.