The health benefits of grapes include their ability to treat constipation, indigestion, fatigue, kidney disorders, macular degeneration, and prevent cataracts.
What are Grapes?
Grapes are one of the most popular fruits in the world because of their taste, texture, flavor, variety, and ease of portability. This popular and delicious fruit is also packed with a lot of important nutrients. Apart from the fruit of the grape plant, the seeds are also beneficial for health as they help reduce swelling and prevent eye diseases caused as a result of diabetes. Grape seed extract also has a high antioxidant content.
Grapes Nutrition Facts
Grapes are a great source of phytonutrients, mainly phenols, and polyphenols, and contain other important vitamins such as vitamin K, A, C, and vitamin B6. 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 in keeping the body hydrated, and 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.
Due to their well-known therapeutic value, grapes can be used as a cure 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.
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 on a regular basis 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.
Prevent Heart Diseases
Grapes increase the nitric oxide levels in the blood, which prevents blood clots. Therefore, grapes are an effective way to reduce the chances of heart attacks. Additionally, 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 a number of 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.
Ripe grape juice is an important home remedy for curing migraines. It should be drunk 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!
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.
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 a “light food”.
Light and white grape juice supplements the iron content in the body and prevents fatigue. Anemia is a real problem for many people, and eating grapes can help keep your iron and mineral levels balanced in the body. A lack of iron can make you sluggish and affect the efficiency of your mind since iron is an essential mineral that impacts a number of bodily functions. However, dark grape juice might not give an iron boost and may actually decrease iron levels. Drinking grape juice also provides a nearly instant energy boost.
According to a recent study, red wine and red grape seed extract can potentially help prevent cavities.
Treat 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 has the capacity to 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 anti-cancer qualities and also have 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.
Red grapes have strong antibacterial and antiviral properties that can protect you from infections. They display strong antiviral properties against the polio virus and the herpes simplex virus. Studies have also shown that grape juice can tackle bacterial infections in the gut and other systems.
Prevent Breast Cancer
In a recent study, it has been discovered that purple, concord grape juice helps in preventing breast cancer. Significant reduction in mammary tumor mass of laboratory rats was seen after they were fed grape juice in an experimental setting. The antioxidants in grapes are beneficial in the prevention of all types of cancer but are highly effective preventive measure against breast cancer. Certain chemicals in grapes compete for binding sites and inhibit aromatase from changing androgen to estrogen, which is thought to be a big contributing factor to breast cancer growth in women.
Reduce 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 claims that grape juice can even 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.
Prevent Macular Degeneration
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 disease or damage are lessened by the antioxidants packed into every grape!
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.
Flavonoids present in grapes have antioxidants, which can reduce and fight the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals cause things like the development of cataracts, as well as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and various age-related problems. This is somewhat linked to macular degeneration, as they usually occur around the same time in life. Fortunately, antioxidants also have certain anti-aging qualities, which not only help you look younger but also feel younger by staving off age-related conditions like cataracts.
Grapes have been found to have strong anti-cancer properties due to the anti-inflammatory effect of resveratrol. It is particularly effective in reducing the chances of colorectal and breast cancer. The anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins in grapes have properties of an anti-proliferate and can inhibit the growth of cancer-causing agents. Grape juice not only prevents the risk of cancer but also suppresses the growth and propagation of cancer cells. The pigments contained in grapes enhance the overall immunity of the body to a wide range of diseases.
Dried grapes or raisins are extremely nutritious and can help treat many disorders, including constipation, acidosis, anemia, fever, and sexual dysfunction. Raisins can also help people gain weight quickly and protect the health and functional integrity of their eyes.
How to Grow Grapes?
Grapes can be easily grown in your kitchen garden, backyard or a farm, and are available in many varieties. Make sure you choose the variety that can easily grow in your area. Some of the easy tips to grow this ornamental yet beneficial grapevine are listed below;
- Step 1: Before you plant the grapevines, soak the roots in water for 2-3 hours.
- Step 2: Grapes easily grow on balanced soil and require sunny, warm, and sheltered environment. And 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 slightly deeper in the hole and cover the remaining hole in the soil.
- Step 4: For supporting the vine you can tuck 7 feet tall bamboo. Or, they can also be trained up walls or over arches with some extra watering.
Quick Serving Tips
Grapes that are wrinkle free, juicy, plump, and tight to the touch are considered the best to consume. One 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: You can have this quick, low-calorie snack in various ways. Serve grapes with yogurt to satisfy mid-meal urges and grapes also go well with cheese.
- Desserts: The naturally sweet taste of grapes makes them a preferred choice for desserts. Green grape popsicles or frozen grape pops are a healthy alternative to high-calorie desserts.
- Beverages & Cocktails: The healthiest beverage is freshly extracted, purple-colored grape juice that can be easily made using a juicer. Also, you can add grape juice to your favorite cocktails like grape, rosemary and gin crush or smashed grape cocktail.
- Salads & Curries: Add grapes to your salads like chicken salad or crunchy pecan grape salad, or curries for an extra fruity punch.
Uses of Grapes
Grapes are known for their numerous uses in medicines and in the production of wine, beverages, and other types of foods like jams, jellies, and spreads. Grape seed oil is rich in antioxidants that help keep skin and hair healthy. It is mainly used in cosmetic products like face cream and night serum.