Munakka, generally known as Kishmish or Sultana, is another term for raisins in Hindi.
And if I’m correct, there is also a word called Munakkaya in Telugu that translates to Drumstick vegetable. Interesting, isn’t it?
Well today, I want to talk about Munakka – the raisins and their benefits for our health. In my opinion, it is one of the most underrated ingredients in our Indian food culture. People mostly use them in sweets, and not much in other recipes.
It could be because of their certain sweet and sour taste, but you should at least start enjoying them in their natural form. They taste quite amazing, when they are fresh and uncooked!
Let’s take a look at the health benefits of raisins.
You’d be surprised to see how these tiny dry fruits are so loaded with nutritional benefits. Have a look –
1. Cancer Prevention –
Catechin is a well known antioxidant in medical field, which is naturally available in raisins. This invaluable antioxidant can help decrease the growth of cancerous colon tumors.
Kaempferol, a flavonoid, found in raisins may also reduce the development of cancer due to similar useful properties.
2. Helps gain Body Weight –
You don’t need to take any laboratory made supplements or pills to maintain healthy weight. The natural sugars i.e. Sucrose and Glucose, present in Munakkas are very helpful in gaining weight.
Many athletes prefer them in order to gain quick energy as well as to keep their weight in check.
However, if you’re a diabetes patient, consume them in limited quantity or as per your dietician’s guidelines.
3. Acidity Reduction –
If you’re having trouble with acidity issue, you may chew some Munakkas every other day. They are filled with Potassium and Magnesium, which are highly useful in bringing down the unnecessary high acidity levels.
4. Beneficial Digestive Properties –
Sometimes, we indulge in unhealthy foods to satisfy our tastebuds, but it can lead to digestion issues. In such situations, Munakkas can come to the rescue.
They are rich in fibres, which absorb water in quick time. This property helps in controlling the constipation problem.
Regular consumption of raisins can also improve bowel health.
5. Helps fight Infections –
These dry fruits are a good source of Polyphenolic phytonutrients, which posses essential anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties.
Hence, you should definitely munch on few Munakkas regularly. It’ll keep fever and cold related bacterias at the bay.
6. Skin Improvement –
The antioxidants packed raisins greatly improve your skin by preventing free radicals’ damage. This effectively helps in delaying any ageing signs on your body.
These antioxidants also boost the skin damage recovery process inside the cells.
Raisins are usually recommended by several health consultants, as they support detoxification process in lever. Due to this, your skin looks fresh and rejuvenated all the time.
The Amino acids in raisins accelerate the skin cells renewal process and keep your skin protected from harmful sun rays.
Apart from this, raisins can prevent occurrence of known skin issues like Pimples and Psoriasis.
7. Good for Eyes –
Polyphenolic phytonutrients help in maintaining ocular health with their antioxidant properties.
These phytonutrients play vital role in protecting the damage caused by free radicals i.e. Cataract, Macular degeneration and Improper vision.
8. Energy Source –
Like I mentioned earlier, raisins provide sugars in natural form. These sugars are directly absorbed by body, as they don’t require further breakdown process.
This way, it keeps our body immune and energized for longer duration. If you feel a bit down, just pop those mini energy packets in your mouth and get your energy back.
Munakkas can prove immensely helpful while travelling with no food. You can even discard your bad habits like Chewing Gums and Candies for this gift of nature.
It is also said that ancient travellers used to carry these type of dry fruits with them for their unimaginably long journeys.
9. Hypertension Cure –
In the world of competition and deadlines, it’s quite difficult not to suffer from hypertension and other such adverse effects.
Fortunately, nature has cure for this problem as well. Potassium in raisins is known to reduce tension in blood vessels. Other important nutrients like fibres, antioxidants and Iron control blood pressure in best possible way.
10. Good for Anemia Patients –
Due to high content of Iron and B-Complex vitamin, raisins may be used as a home remedy to cure Anemia.
11. Improves Bones –
Calcium content is also significant in raisins, which is good for human bones.
Boron is another essential element present in this dry fruit. It is beneficial in the formation and growth of bones.
12. Reduces Hair Problems –
Similar to Skin improvement, raisins can resolve many of your hair issues. The antioxidants, B-Complex vitamin, Potassium and Iron leave their positive impact on several problems.
- Iron helps improve blood circulation, thereby keeps the hair fall and new growth in control.
- Antioxidants stimulate hair growth by preventing free radicals’ damage.
- Vitamin C maintains overall health of your hair.
Calories in Raisins
All the dry fruits have always been considered as a great source of calories and raisins are not exception at all.
If you have 100 gm of raisins, you will get around 300 calories from them. This is quite good if you’re looking to replace junk food with healthy food.
You will feel less hungry after enjoying raisins with other dry fruits, which will automatically help reduce your cravings for unhygienic snacks.
So, do acquire as much good calories as you can from such healthy alternatives. It will certainly strengthen your body from inside. You can also pack them for kids’ lunch box, especially during winter conditions.
Here are some traditional ways through which you can make use of raisins in your daily cooking –
Christmas Cakes – Raisins blend really well with Christmas special Plum cakes and other baking dishes like Raisin Pie, Cupcakes and Muffins.
Kheer and Halwa Preparations – India’s all time favorite desserts, Kheer and Halwa, can never taste same without some Munakkas. Their unique taste makes these dishes even more delicious and enjoyable.
Spicy Biryani Preparations – Many people like to use Sultanas in their Biryanis. It simply tones down the excess spice effect. Do try them in Dum Biryani style preparation. You will get nice juicy raisins while serving.
Cashew based Indian Curries – Raisins can also be used to add more flavor and sweetness to cashew-tomato based curries. It does wonders to different hot ń spicy masala dishes.
Chicken Dishes – Chicken and raisins complement each other in many lip-smacking delicacies, though make sure you add in them less quantity. Otherwise, it will completely change the taste of your dish.
Munakkas, Kishmish, Sultana, Manuka or Raisins – call them whatever you want in your preferred language, but don’t forget to make them part of your diet.
You won’t find many natural alternatives to this dry fruit that can offer so many benefits to your health. And most importantly, you don’t need to ask anyone about their positive and negative effects, if savored in limited quantity.
It’s also an easily available dry fruit in most of the grocery stores and online food stores. In case you don’t find them nearby your house, you can visit Indian grocery shop and buy them in moderate quantities.
Storage is not an issue with raisins. You can store them in airtight container and they will last long for an year or more.
So, enjoy the Munakkas and stay healthy!