Drinking a delicious glass of grape juice can be a mouth-puckering treat, but there are also certain key nutrients in grape juice that can lead to various health benefits.
What is Grape Juice?
Quite simply, grape juice is juice derived from grapes, which bear the scientific name Vitis vinifera. Considering that there are between 5,000 and 10,000 different subspecies and cultivars of these grapes, each grape juice you drink could be slightly different, particularly if it is homemade. Grape juice has long been a popular drink for adults and children, but much of the grape juice you find in the store is also packed with sugar, making it decidedly less healthy.
Homemade grape juice, however, benefits from many of the same components as the grapes themselves, as well as wine, offering a surprisingly large number of potential health benefits. While the concentration of nutrients in juice is less than in the grapes themselves, it can be a tart and delectable beverage that will give you an energetic boost. Most grape juice is made from darker, purple grapes, which contain the highest level of antioxidants, but white, green, and red grapes are also used to make different forms of this juice.
Grape Juice Nutrition
Grape juice is nutrient rich in vitamin C (more than 100% of your daily requirement per cup) and dietary fiber. It also contains significant levels of iron, calcium, and protein. 1 cup of this juice also contains about 150 calories, and barely any fat. This juice also contains high levels of anthocyanins, tannins, resveratrol, and other phenolic compounds, all of which act like antioxidants in the body.
Grape Juice Benefits
With plenty of antioxidants, this juice is an excellent way to prevent signs of aging and improve the appearance of your skin. If you regularly drink homemade grape juice, you can help to prevent wrinkles and other age spots, as well as speed the healing of scars and blemishes.
Improves Brain Function
The anthocyanins and resveratrol found in the grape juice are both linked to improving cognition by reducing oxidative stress. These antioxidants can reduce plaque deposition and help to prevent conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
The antioxidants mentioned above are also directly linked to preventing cancer since they can neutralize the free radicals that lead to cellular mutation, while also promoting apoptosis in cancerous cells.
Regulates Blood Pressure
With a small amount of dietary fiber and a healthy level of potassium, grape juice is great for optimizing heart health and lowering blood pressure, which can protect you against atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes, among others.
Some people apply this juice directly to their scalp, as it can reduce inflammatory conditions, but other people simply drink it. The boost of concentrated nutrients and minerals can help improve follicle health, as well as the luster of your locks.
There is a surprisingly high level of carbohydrates in this fruit juice, which makes grape juice an exceptional energy booster. A glass or two of this juice can sustain you through your morning or afternoon, but since these natural sugars will eventually wear off, beware the inevitable sugar crash!
How to Make Grape Juice?
Many people choose to make their own homemade grape juice, as you can avoid all of the extra sugar that is typically added to store-bought varieties.
- Step 1 – Harvest the grapes, or purchase them from a store/market
- Step 2 – Rinse and de-stem the grapes thoroughly.
- Step 3 – Mash the grapes with a potato masher.
- Step 4 – Add the grapes to a stockpot and then bring to a simmer, heating at that level for another 10 minutes.
- Step 5 – Mash any remaining grapes and continue heating for another 3-5 minutes.
- Step 6 – Place a sieve or cheesecloth on another large pot.
- Step 7 – Pour the grapes onto the sieve or cheesecloth. Let this sit for several hours until all the juice has strainer through.
- Step 8 – Store the juice in sealed jars, refrigerated, until you are ready to drink them!