15 Surprising Benefits of Grapes

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Sarah Pledger (M.S., R.D.)

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The health benefits of grapes include their ability to provide relief from constipation, indigestion, fatigue, kidney disorders, macular degeneration, and to prevent cataracts.

What are Grapes?

Grapes are one of the most popular fruits in the world. Botanically berries, grapes grow on vines of the flowering plant Vitis. They are several varieties, with the most popular being red or green. Table grapes are ones you find in your local grocery store whereas smaller-sized wine grapes are used to make wine. This popular and delicious fruit is also packed with a lot of important nutrients and phytochemicals.

A basket of green grapes on a wooden table

Nutrition Facts

Grapes, muscadine, raw
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]84.29
Energy [kcal]57
Protein [g]0.81
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.47
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]13.93
Fiber, total dietary [g]3.9
Calcium, Ca [mg]37
Iron, Fe [mg]0.26
Magnesium, Mg [mg]14
Phosphorus, P [mg]24
Potassium, K [mg]203
Sodium, Na [mg]1
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.11
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]6.5
Riboflavin [mg]1.5
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]3
Vitamin A, IU [IU]67
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Sources include : USDA

Grapes Nutrition Facts

Grapes are a great source of phytonutrients, mainly phenols, and polyphenols, and contain other important vitamins such as vitamins K, A, C, and B6. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, they are also rich in thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, and contain minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sodium. Grapes have a high water content that helps keep the body hydrated. They also contain dietary fiber, healthy carbs, antioxidants, and a moderate amount of protein. Flavonoids, like myricetin and quercetin, in grapes help reduce the damage caused by free radicals and slow down aging. Due to their high nutrient content, grapes also play an important role in ensuring a healthy and active life.

Health Benefits of Grapes

Let’s look at some of the great benefits of grapes.

Prevent Heart Diseases

Grapes increase nitric oxide levels in the blood, which prevents blood clots and assist in overall cardiovascular health. Therefore, grapes are an effective way to reduce the chances of heart attacks. According to a critical review article in the Journal of Food Science and Nutrition in 2016. This increase in nitric oxide in the blood has been linked to benefits in blood pressure, endothelial function, arterial stiffness, platelet function, and exercise performance.

Even fermented grapes still have health benefits. According to Dr. Alberto Bertelli’s (Professor at the Institute of Human Anatomy) report in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology a mild to moderate drinking of wine, especially red wine, reduces the cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular risk. This benefit of wine has been attributed to both its components: the alcoholic one and, more importantly, the alcohol-free portion containing antioxidants, derived out of grapes. The antioxidants present in grapes prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which blocks the blood vessels and is the main contributor to various coronary conditions.

Grapes also have high several flavonoids, which give grapes their color along with being powerful antioxidants. The two main types of antioxidants in grapes are resveratrol and quercetin, and these two compounds negate the effects of free radicals that threaten the body and stimulate LDL cholesterol’s harmful effects on arteries. Also, these two antioxidant flavonoids act as a clean-up crew to reduce platelet clumping and filter toxins out of the blood.

Relieve Constipation

Grapes are very effective in overcoming and eliminating constipation. They are classified as a laxative food because they contain organic acid, sugar, and cellulose. They also relieve chronic constipation by toning up intestinal muscles and the stomach. Grapes are high in insoluble fiber, meaning that they remain intact as they move through the digestive tract. Fiber builds up the bulk, which promotes the formation and excretion of healthy stools. However, if you suffer from loose stool or diarrhea, grapes should not be eaten as a way to regulate your system. Insoluble fiber doesn’t soak up water to dry out loose stool, and grapes don’t have a high level of soluble fiber.

Help with Asthma

Due to their well-known therapeutic value, grapes can be used as a treatment for asthma. In addition to that, the hydrating power of grapes is also high, which increases the moisture present in the lungs and reduces asthmatic events.

Diabetes Management

In a 2013 study published by the British Medical Journal which involved 187,382 participants, it was suggested that some fruits help lessen the risk of type 2 diabetes in adults. The study was undertaken over the last 22 years and it was found that only 6.5 percent of the participants contracted diabetes. Furthermore, the study revealed that the people who had three servings of grapes among other fruits, a week registered a 7 percent lower risk of diabetes than those who didn’t consume it.

Reduce Cataracts

Flavonoids present in grapes are antioxidants, which can reduce and fight the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals lead to the development of cataracts and various age-related problems. This free radical damage has been somewhat linked to speed macular degeneration. Fortunately, antioxidants combat these free radicals and also have certain anti-aging qualities. These flavonoids not only help you look younger but can help you feel younger by staving off age-related conditions like cataracts.

Strengthen Bones

Grapes are a wonderful source of micro-nutrients like copper, iron, and manganese, all of which are important in the formation and strength of the bones. Adding grapes to your diet regularly can prevent the onset of age-related conditions like osteoporosis. Manganese is an extremely important element in the body, which aids in protein metabolism, collagen formation, and nervous system functioning.

Give Relief from Migraine

Ripe grape juice is an important home remedy for curing migraines. You can have it early in the morning, without mixing additional water. Ironically, drinking red wine is often considered a cause of migraines, but grape juice and grape seed extract are considered a solution to the problem. There are many causes of migraines including chemical imbalances, lack of sleep, changes in weather, or dietary deficiencies. Alcohol in general causes migraines, but grapes have so many antioxidants that they can cause and cure the same illness!

Relieve Indigestion

Grapes play an important role in dyspepsia. They relieve heat and cure indigestion and irritation in the stomach. They are also preferred over other digestive aids because they are considered “light food”.

This should be a first choice in combating dyspepsia before antacids are used. Antacids can cause additional side-effects such as constipation, disrupted protein digestion, a higher risk of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and can have negative interactions with other medications. Alternatively, grapes are a natural, whole-food and have no such side-effects.

Reduce Fatigue

Grapes are high in B-vitamin, riboflavin, that is needed to break down carbohydrates into energy. Luckily, grapes are both a healthy source of carbohydrates and high in riboflavin! Eating as little as 1 cup of grapes provides 27g of healthy carbs and a nutrient-dense energy boost.

Dental Care

According to a 2014 study, red wine and red grape seed extract can potentially help prevent cavities.

Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s

Resveratrol, a beneficial polyphenol present in grapes, reduces the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Studies suggest that grapes can enhance brain health and delay the onset of degenerative neural diseases. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests that grape juice can improve the brain function of older people who have already displayed mild cognitive impairment. Further studies are currently underway to determine the exact interaction between grape components and neural systems.

Boost Immunity

Red grapes are not only packed with flavonoids and minerals but vitamins as well! The high levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A in grapes give a healthy boost to many of your organ systems, particularly your immune system. This means less chance of coming down with common colds, as well as more serious health issues.

Kidney Disorders

A 2016 report in the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Sciences suggests that grape seed extract is a polyphenolic mixture exhibiting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help in giving relief from kidney disorders. Grapes, having a high water content, can substantially reduce the acidity caused by uric acid by inducing urination. They also help eliminate uric acid from the system, thereby reducing the stress and pressure on kidneys.

Red grapes have a very cleansing effect on the body, and the antioxidants present in them benefit all of the body’s systems in peripheral ways.

Balance Cholesterol Levels

Grapes contain a compound called pterostilbene, which can lower a person’s cholesterol levels. Pterostilbene is closely related to resveratrol, a beneficial antioxidant, and coloring flavonoid that is also found in grapes. Early research has shown that they have had a great impact on cholesterol levels. They are also thought to have preventative powers over cognitive decline. Furthermore, the saponins present in the skin of grapes can prevent the absorption of cholesterol by binding with them.

Antibacterial Activity

A report published in the Food International Journal proves that red grapes have strong antibacterial and antiviral properties that can protect you from infections. According to the report, they display strong antiviral properties against the poliovirus and the herpes simplex virus. Studies have also shown that grape juice can tackle bacterial infections in the gut and other systems.

Prevent Macular Degeneration

Red grapes can prevent age-related loss of vision and macular degeneration. A report published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that a grape-enriched diet supports eye health and may prevent vision-threatening retinal diseases.

Studies have shown that three servings of grapes a day can reduce the risks of macular degeneration by over 36 %. Both grapes and wine can contribute to vision control over time. And as with all of the organ systems, the health and susceptibility to damage and disease are lessened by the antioxidants packed into every grape!

How to Grow Grapes?

Grapes are available in many varieties and can be easily grown in your kitchen garden, backyard, or a farm. Make sure you choose the variety that can easily grow in your area. Here are a few tips to grow grapes.

  • Step 1: Soak the roots of the vines in water for two to three hours before planting them.
  • Step 2: Grapes grow on balanced soil and require a sunny, warm, and sheltered environment. They can be easily grown in a small space if pruned carefully.
  • Step 3: While planting the grapevine, maintain a space of 6-8 feet and for each vine, dig a 12-inch deep and 12-inch wide hole. Plant the vine deep in the hole and cover with soil.
  • Step 4: To support the vine, you can use a 7-feet tall bamboo. The vines can also be trained up walls or arches with some extra watering.

Uses of Grapes

Grapes are used in medicines, in the production of wine, beverages, and packaged foods like jams, jellies, and spreads. Dried grapes or raisins are nutritious and may help relieve constipation, acidosis, anemia, and sexual dysfunction. Raisins can also help people gain weight quickly.

Apart from the fruit of the grape plant, the seeds are also beneficial for health. They help reduce swelling and prevent eye diseases caused due to diabetes. According to a 2013 report published in the International Journal of Food Properties, the antioxidant activity of a 20-mg capsule of grapeseed extract is nearly 10 to 20 times greater than that of 1 g of the fruit. Grapeseed oil, extracted from the seeds of grapes, is rich in antioxidants that help keep skin and hair healthy. It is mainly used in cosmetic products like face cream and night serum. 

How To Eat Grapes?

Grapes that are wrinkle-free, juicy, plump, and tight to the touch are considered the best to consume. You can eat just a handful of grapes in a day and store the rest in a refrigerator to maintain their freshness. Some of the easiest and healthiest ways to consume grapes are listed below:

  • Snacks: Serve grapes with yogurt to satisfy mid-meal urges. They also go well with cheese and make an excellent addition to a wine platter.
  • Desserts: Green grape popsicles or frozen grape pops are a healthy alternative to high-calorie desserts.
  • Beverages & Cocktails: You can make fresh grape juice using a juicer. You can also add grape juice to your favorite cocktails like grape, rosemary and gin crush or smashed grape cocktail.
  • Salads & Curries: You can add grapes to your salads like chicken salad or crunchy pecan grape salad, or even in curries for an extra fruity punch.
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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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