Grapes have been cultivated for thousands of years, and for good reason! Find out more about the health benefits of grapes ahead.
Ancient civilizations revered grapes for winemaking. Grapes are also used in different desserts and snacks between meals.
Grapes can also find in many different colors like green, yellow, purple, and pink. They also can be made into various forms like raisins, jellies, and juice.
Grape nutritional value:
Grapes have many important nutrients which are essential for overall health. One cup of fresh red grapes contains:
- Calories: 104
- Carbs: 27 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Fiber: 1.4 grams
- Copper: 21% of the daily recommended value
- Vitamin K: 18% of the daily recommended value
- Thiamine: 9% of the daily recommended value
- Potassium: 5% of the daily recommended value
- Vitamin E: 2% of the daily recommended value
Health benefits of grapes:
These little fruits are packed with tons of goodness and a great source of vitamin C and other nutrients like vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants.
They are not only delicious, but affordable as well. Grapes can also provide a lot of health benefits if incorporated into the diet.
Grapes can provide a rich amount of copper and vitamin K, which both play an important role in our bodies.
Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and healthy bones as well. While copper is an essential mineral that is involved in the production of energy.
Grapes also provide a large number of B vitamins like B6, riboflavin, and thiamine. All of these are very important for growth and development. Vitamin B6 is also for protein metabolism.
1. Improve Heart Health:
Grapes can improve heart health by reducing the risk factor for various heart diseases.
Helps in lowering blood pressure:
One cup of grapes can provide 6% of our recommended daily value of potassium. This is the mineral that can maintain the healthy blood pressure of the body.
Much evidence (Michael S. Stone, 2016) has shown that potassium helps in lowering blood pressure by dilating the arteries and veins.
It also excretes sodium from the body and prevents the arteries and veins from getting narrow, which otherwise can cause high blood pressure.
Another study (Filippini, 2020) of a group of people determines that potassium intake, both too high and too low, can lead to high blood pressure.
So, try to add fruits like grapes into your diet to fulfill the recommended amount of potassium.
Helps in reducing cholesterol:
Antioxidants like resveratrol present in grapes can help in reducing higher cholesterol levels.
According to a study (Rahbar, 2015) of 69 people with high cholesterol levels, when eaten 500 grams of red grapes every day have shown a major decrease in cholesterol levels.
Higher cholesterol levels can cause a risk of various heart diseases like stroke, tuberculosis, and heart attack. So by managing cholesterol levels, these diseases can also be controlled.
2. Contains antioxidants:
Antioxidants are the compounds that protect your body by repairing the cell damage caused by free radicals-an harmful molecules which cause oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress damages cells and is also linked to several health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Grapes are rich in several antioxidants, which can help in reducing oxidative stress. The higher concentration of antioxidants is found in the seeds and the skin of grapes.
However, it also depends upon multiple factors like maturity, environmental factors, grape variety, and harvest storage as well.
Research (Ali Sabra, 2021) has also shown that beneficial compounds like antioxidants also remain present after fermentation. That’s why wine also contains antioxidants.
Some varieties of grapes contain a higher amount of flavonoid anthocyanin, which provides these fruits red, orange, pink, and purple colors.
Human and animal studies indicate that anthocyanin can help prevent heart diseases and treat several brain diseases as well.
There are other antioxidants also present in this fruit, like resveratrol and quercetin, which also helps against heart diseases and risk factors like high blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Grapes also contain vitamin C, beta carotene, and ellagic acid, which also are strong antioxidants.
3. Have an anti-cancer effect
The antioxidants present in this fruit can help reduce the risk of cancer. According to a study resveratrol, an antioxidant, can help in reducing inflammation.
Also, it can act as an antioxidant in blocking and spreading cancer cells in the human body. In fact, this antioxidant can also be helpful against many different cancers.
Grapes also contain anthocyanin, quercetin, and catechin, antioxidants, which all have a cancer-fighting effect.
The grape extract has also proved to block the growth of breast and colon cancer cells. According to a study (Holcombe, 2015) of 30 people, people of age over 50 who ate 150-400 grams of grapes every day experienced a reduction in the growth of colon cancer cells.
4. Helps to maintain blood sugar levels
Many people suffering from diabetes wonder if grapes are a good option for them or not, as grapes contain 23 grams of sugar per cup.
To find the answer, we look at the glycemic index rating, which is the measurement of food that raises the blood sugar. It ranges from 50-60, depending on the variety of grapes.
Similarly, the definition of the low glycemic index is different from different sources, as some people consider it low if under 55, while others consider it low if under 50.
This means that the glycemic index of grapes is between low to medium. So, eating grapes on a regular basis may increase sugar level a bit and at a slow pace, but it won’t spike it.
Keep in mind, eating a high amount of low glycemic index food will have the same effect on the blood sugar level as eating the high glycemic index food. So, the best thing to do is to eat these items in moderation, whether it is grapes or other fruit.
The compounds present in grapes can also help in improving the insulin response markers.
According to a review study (Moodi, 2021)of 1,297 adults, grapes and grapes supplements on a regular basis decreased the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance.
In other words, the compounds present in grapes, like resveratrol, can improve the ability of the body to use insulin by:
- Increasing insulin sensitivity
- Protecting the cells of the pancreas which produce insulin
- Decreasing insulin resistance
- Improving the production of insulin
- Increasing the number of glucose receptors present on the cell membrane
So, by managing the blood sugar levels, the risk of diabetes can be reduced, and the other diabetes-related complications can also be prevented.
5. Beneficial for eye health
Plant compounds present in grapes can protect you from many common eye diseases.
For instance, according to an animal study, (Patel, 2016), eating grapes regularly can improve the function of the retina and prevent it from any kind of damage.
Moreover, another test-tube study (Chan, 2015) found out that the compound present in grapes, resveratrol, can protect the retina cells of the human eye from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
It can also lower the risk of common eye disease and age-related macular degeneration.
This resveratrol can also protect the eyes against glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic eye diseases.
Grapes contain other antioxidants as well, which can improve the eye’s health. Like lutein and zeaxanthin present in grapes can improve eyes’ visual performance and reduce the risk of certain eye diseases.
6. Can improve mood and memory
Eating grapes can be very good for brain health. As it can boost memory and attention level.
According to a study (Calapai, 2017) of healthy older adults, taking 250 mg of grape supplements or eating grapes regularly improves their score on tests measuring attention, language, and memory.
Another study (Haskell-Ramsay, 2017) of young adults shows that drinking 230 ml of grape juice can enhance mood and also improve memory and memory-related skills after 20 minutes of consumption.
Moreover, the intake of resveratrol, a compound present in grapes, is also proven to improve memory, mood, and learning.
Resveratrol reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing brain inflammation and removing the accumulation of amyloid-beta peptides, which are linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
7. Provides benefits to skin and hair
Grapes can have a protective effect when it comes to skin and hair due to the presence of resveratrol.
In fact, this compound has been very popular in the cosmetic market and used in many products due to it’s ability to increase collagen contraction by penetrating the skin barrier.
Inflammation and oxidative stress can be the main reason for hair loss. Resveratrol can also help in reducing hair loss and improve hair growth, as it reduces inflammation and oxidative stress.
It also protects the hair follicle from environmental damage and increases the production of follicular cells to encourage hair growth.
8. Protects against bacteria and fungi
Grapes contain several compounds which can protect against harmful microorganisms like bacteria and fungi.
For example, resveratrol has antimicrobial properties which can slow down the growth of certain bacteria and fungi like candida Albicans and campylobacter jejuni.
It can also reduce the risk of foodborne illness. When resveratrol is added to other healthy foods, it can reduce the growth of dangerous bacteria like E.coli.
Grapes have other compounds as well which have antimicrobial activity. For example, Anthocyanin has the ability to destroy the cell walls of bacteria.
Moreover, grapes also contain vitamin C in higher amounts. A lot of studies (USDA) have shown the effect of vitamin C in improving the immune system and helping the body fight against various diseases.
9. Reduce inflammation and signs of aging
Compounds present in grapes can also affect the aging and life span. According to a study, resveratrol can slow down the sign of aging.
This is through its various beneficial effects like reducing oxidative stress and improving inflammatory response and stress resistance.
According to a study, (Wahl, 2018) resveratrol can also be linked to a longer life span because this compound activates the sirT1 gene, which is activated through a low-calorie diet.
It also activates the sirtuin, a protein that takes part in the cellular process of aging and cell death.
Chronic inflammation can cause long-term health conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, arthritis, and autoimmune disorder.
This inflammation can be reduced with the help of fruit rich in antioxidants and vitamin C like grapes.
Studies (Khoo, 2017) have shown a strong link between powerful anti-inflammatory properties and anthocyanin and resveratrol present in grapes.
These compounds can reduce the expression of inflammatory markers like interleukin-6 and necrosis factor-alpha.
10. Improve bone health
Grapes contain a lot of minerals like manganese, potassium, and vitamins B, C, and K, which are important for bone health.
These minerals can help in reducing the risk of osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become fragile.
Moreover, studies have also shown the effect of resveratrol on improving bone density. For example, an animal study (Hohman, 2015) shows that freeze-dried grapes powder can help in better bone absorption and calcium retention.
Another study (Wong, 2020)of women showed that taking 75 mg of resveratrol two times a day can slow down bone loss, improve bone mineral density, and also reduce the risk of fractures.
How to add grapes to the diet?
Grapes are the little globe of nutrients and minerals which can be easily added to a diet. Due to their delicious taste, you can enjoy these in many different ways:
- Fresh grapes as a morning or afternoon snack after a meal.
- It can be added to a smoothie with some spinach, banana, kale, mint, and cucumber.
- Serve on the top of yogurt with some crushed nuts
- Frozen grapes can be enjoyed in the summers
- Add chopped grapes to your salad
- Make a healthy dessert by adding grapes with apple, strawberries, honey, and nuts.
- Drink 100% pure grape juice without additives
Bottom line on the health benefits of grapes
Grapes are not only delicious in taste but also contain certain powerful plant compounds and nutrients, which can be very beneficial for health.
Although grapes contain sugar, they cannot spike up blood sugar levels if eaten in moderation.
Moreover, the presence of antioxidants in grapes makes them a great option for reducing the risk of several diseases.
As these antioxidants like anthocyanin and resveratrol have anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetes, and anticancer properties.
Grapes can easily be added to the diet, but to take all the health benefits, choose fresh grapes instead of grape juice.
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