The health benefits of grapes may include their ability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, improve cognitive health, prevent macular degeneration, and cataracts. It may also prevent the onset of diabetes and improve bone health. This popular and delicious fruit is packed with important nutrients and phytochemicals like resveratrol, which have potent anti-inflammatory properties.
What are Grapes?
Grapes are one of the most popular fruits in the world. Botanically termed as berries, they 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. For more information, you may want to read 12 Types of Grapes to Eat, Drink & Enjoy and Are Grapes Berries or Fruits.
|Serving Size :|
|Total lipid (fat) [g]||0.47|
|Carbohydrate, by difference [g]||13.93|
|Fiber, total dietary [g]||3.9|
|Glucose (dextrose) [g]||3.67|
|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|
|Copper, Cu [mg]||0.12|
|Manganese, Mn [mg]||1.97|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]||6.5|
|Folate, total [µg]||2|
|Folate, food [µg]||2|
|Vitamin A, RAE [µg]||3|
|Carotene, beta [µg]||39|
|Carotene, alpha [µg]||1|
|Cryptoxanthin, beta [µg]||1|
|Vitamin A, IU [IU]||67|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg]||64|
|Sources include : USDA|
Grapes Nutrition Facts
Grapes can be 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, they may also be rich in thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, and contain minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sodium. They may have a high water content that can help keep the body hydrated. They might 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.
Health Benefits of Grapes
Let’s look at the important health benefits of grapes.
May Promote Heart Health
It’s a common notion that grapes and red wine can be heart-healthy as they have antioxidants. Studies show that grapes contain several polyphenols such as resveratrol and quercetin that may have anti-inflammatory properties. They may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Researchers found that the highest concentration of polyphenols was in the stems, leaves, and seeds. Specifically, the fruits may have shown to protect the lining of blood vessels, reduce LDL oxidation, slow the progression of atherosclerosis, and reduce oxidative stress.
In a study by researchers from the University of Connecticut, a grape-enriched diet for 12 weeks may have helped decrease plasma triglycerides, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, and the concentration of cholesterol in the aorta of guinea pigs. Another animal study revealed that freeze-dried whole table grape powder may help significantly lower blood pressure in rats who were fed a high salt diet, bringing down the risk of heart failure or damage. Further human studies are ongoing to indicate the many ways table grapes, grape juice, and red or white wine may benefit heart health.
May Prevent Macular Degeneration
Red grapes may prevent age-related loss of vision and macular degeneration. A report published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that polyphenols in muscadine grapes might have helped reduce ocular inflammation, a key factor causing vision-threatening retinal diseases. Studies have shown that three servings of grapes a day may reduce the risks of macular degeneration by over 36 percent. Additionally, they may also help ward off cataracts. A rat study model showed that procyanidins, a powerful antioxidant present in grape seed extract, prevented the progression of cataract formation.
May Reduce Diabetes Risk
Grapes are a low glycemic fruit, and a seemingly accepted fruit within a balanced diet recommended for people with diabetes. They may also help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
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.
May Relieve Constipation
Grapes may be very effective in overcoming and eliminating constipation. They are classified as a laxative food because they contain organic acid, sugar, and cellulose. Eating a handful of these berries may help relieve chronic constipation by toning up intestinal muscles and the stomach.
They are high in insoluble fiber, meaning that they may remain intact as they move through the digestive tract. Fiber builds up the bulk, which can promote the formation and excretion of healthy stools. However, if you suffer from loose stool or diarrhea, they 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.
May Help with Asthma
Due to their well-known therapeutic value, grapes may also be used as a treatment for asthma. An animal study showed that grape seed extract can help suppress inflammation in the airways and the lungs. The extract contains powerful compounds including proanthocyanidins that have a therapeutic effect on allergic airway inflammation.
May Improve Bone Health
Grapes may also prove to be a wonderful source of nutrients like calcium, copper, iron, and manganese, all of which can be important in the formation and strength of the bones. Some research suggests that adding grapes to your diet regularly may prevent the onset of age-related conditions like osteoporosis. In an 8-week study, rats that were fed freeze-dried grape powder had 44 percent greater net bone calcium retention than the rats only on a control diet.
Can be a Home Remedy For Migraines & Fatigue
Ripe grape juice may be used as a home remedy for curing migraines and for fatigue. 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 could be 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 might have so many antioxidants that they can cause and cure the same illness!
May Relieve Indigestion
Grapes may play an important role in dyspepsia. They might help relieve heat and cure indigestion and irritation in the stomach. They may also be 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.
May Improve Cognitive Health
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests that grape juice may help 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.
Red grapes may have a cleansing effect on the kidneys. 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 might help in giving relief from kidney disorders. Grapes, having a high water content, may substantially reduce the acidity caused by uric acid by inducing urination. They may also help eliminate uric acid from the system, thereby reducing the stress and pressure on kidneys.
May 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 may have had a great impact on cholesterol levels. Furthermore, the saponins present in the skin of grapes can prevent the absorption of cholesterol by binding with them.
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 can 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 may 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. Here are some tips on How to Freeze Grapes and How to Store Grapes. Some of the easiest and healthiest ways to consume grapes are listed below:
- Snacks: You can serve grapes with yogurt and cheese. They also 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.