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 has a highcontent. According to a 2013 report published in the International Journal of Food Properties, the antioxidant activity of a 20-mg capsule of grape seed extract was nearly 10 to 20 times greater than 1 g of tomato, papaya, banana, and mango. Thus, consumption of grapes is a cost-effective way of eating healthy, particularly when the cost of diet supplements is high.
Here are 7 reasons why you should eat grapes as often as possible:
1. Grapes 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. According to Dr. Alberto Bertelli’s (Professor at the Institute of Human Anatomy) report in the Journal ofPharmacology 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) , 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.
2. Grapes Are Packed With Nutrients, Especially Vitamins C and K
Grapes are high in several important nutrients.
One cup (151 grams) of red or green grapes contains the following nutrients (1):
- Calories: 104
- Carbs: 27.3 grams
- Protein: 1.1 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Fiber: 1.4 grams
- Vitamin C: 27% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin K: 28% of the RDI
- Thiamine: 7% of the RDI
- Riboflavin: 6% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
- Potassium: 8% of the RDI
- Copper: 10% of the RDI
- Manganese: 5% of the RDI
One cup (151 grams) of grapes provides more than a quarter of the RDI for vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin vital for blood clotting and healthy bones (2).
They’re also a good source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient and powerful antioxidant necessary for connective tissue health.
3. Grapes Have High Antioxidant Contents
Antioxidants are compounds found in plants, for example. They help repair the damage to your cells caused by free radicals, which are harmful molecules that cause oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress has been associated with several chronic diseases including diabetes, cancer and heart disease (4).
Grapes are high in a number of powerful antioxidant compounds. In fact, over 1,600 beneficial plant compounds have been identified in this fruit (5, 6).
The highest concentration of antioxidants is found in the skin and seeds. For this reason, most of the research on grapes has been done using seed or skin extracts (7).
Red grapes contain higher numbers of antioxidants due to the anthocyanins that give them their color (5).
The antioxidants in grapes remain present even after fermentation, which is why red wine is also high in these compounds (8).
One of the antioxidants in this fruit is resveratrol, which is classified as a polyphenol.
Numerous studies have been performed on its benefits, showing that resveratrol protects against heart disease, lowers blood sugar and protects against the development of cancer (9).
Grapes also contain vitamin C, beta-carotene, quercetin, lutein, lycopene and ellagic acid, which are powerful antioxidants as well (6).
4. Grapes Contain Several Compounds That Benefit Eye Health
The plant chemicals found in grapes may protect against common eye diseases.
In one study, mice fed a diet supplemented with grapes showed fewer signs of damage to the retina and had better retinal function compared with mice who were not fed the fruit (27).
In a test-tube study, resveratrol was found to protect retinal cells in the human eye from ultraviolet A light. This may lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common eye disease (28).
According to a review study, resveratrol may also help protect against glaucoma, cataract and diabetic eye disease (29).
Additionally, grapes contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Several studies have demonstrated that these compounds help protect the eyes from damage from blue light (30).
5. Grapes Contain Many Nutrients Important for Bone Health
Grapes contain many minerals necessary for bone health, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese and vitamin K (1, 35).
Though studies in rats have shown that resveratrol improved bone density, these results have not been confirmed in humans (36, 37, 38).
In one study, rats fed freeze-dried grape powder for 8 weeks had better bone absorption and retention of calcium versus rats that did not receive the powder (37).
Human-based studies on the effect of grapes on bone health are currently lacking.
6. Grapes Decrease Fatigue
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.
7. Grapes 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.