Grapes come in a variety of colors and forms There are red, green, and purple grapes, seedless grapes, grape jelly, grape jam and grape juice, raisins, currents, and sultanas, not to mention wine.
Grape vines were first cultivated in what is now the Middle East around 8,000 years ago.
Every year, 72 million tons of grapes are grown around the world, mostly for the production of wine. Wine is produced in the amount of 7.2 trillion gallons per year. Grapes are a popular finger food as well.
Important facts about grapes
- Grapes contain nutrients that may help prevent cancer, eye problems, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions.
- Grapes contain resveratrol, a nutrient that may have health benefits.
- Grapes are high in fiber, potassium, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals.
- Grapes are safe for diabetics if they are included in the diet plan.
A diet high in fruits and vegetables has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity, among other conditions.
Grapes, like other fruits and vegetables, are high in fiber and water.
Grapes may be particularly healthy due to antioxidants and other nutrients, though more research is needed to confirm some of their health benefits.
Here are some of the ways grapes’ nutrients can help you stay healthy.
Polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants, are found in cancer grapes. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are thought to exist in these. Resveratrol is one of them. It can be found in red grape skins.
Resveratrol has been shown in lab studies to slow or prevent the growth of tumors in the lymph nodes, liver, stomach, breast, colon, skin cancer, and leukemia.
Red wine contains resveratrol as well. Few studies have looked at the link between red wine and cancer risk in humans, but it has been shown that consuming large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis can raise cancer risk. The key to success is moderation.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans define moderate alcohol consumption as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
The flavonoid quercetin is another natural anti-inflammatory found in grapes. This, too, has been linked to studies as a way to help prevent or slow cancer growth.
2) Cardiovascular health
The doses of these flavonoids used in these studies were typically far higher than those consumed by humans.
Grape polyphenols, such as resveratrol, are thought to have antioxidant, lipid-lowering, and anti-inflammatory properties, all of which may help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). They might be able to do so by preventing platelet aggregation, lowering blood pressure, and lowering the risk of irregular heart rhythms.
Grapes are high in fiber and potassium, both of which are good for your heart. To improve blood pressure and cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends increasing potassium intake while lowering sodium intake.
The more sodium people consume in relation to their potassium intake, the higher their risk of all-cause mortality, according to a study of data from 12,267 adults in the United States.
A high potassium intake has been linked to a lower risk of stroke, protection against muscle loss, and bone mineral density preservation.
3) Blood pressure
Potassium intake may help to mitigate the negative effects of a high sodium diet.
Potassium is abundant in grapes. This suggests that they may be able to help people with high blood pressure reduce the effects of sodium.
Fiber is necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system, which includes heart health and blood pressure control. Grapes are a high-fiber food.
Grapes are high in both water and fiber. These can help people stay hydrated, have regular bowel movements, and avoid constipation.
However, there have been no human studies to back up this theory.
6) Diabetic complications
6.5 percent of the participants developed diabetes over the course of the 22-year study, which included 187,382 participants.
Those who ate three servings of blueberries, grapes, raisins, apples, or pears per week, on the other hand, had a 7% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who did not.
Because grapes contain a high amount of sugar, some people wonder if they are safe to eat if they have diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people eat grapes and other fruits as long as the carbohydrate content is included in their meal plan.
Grapes are a healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth because of their vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
7) Diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy
Resveratrol has been shown in some studies to protect against diabetic neuropathy, which affects nerve function. This is thought to be due to the compound’s neuroprotective properties.
Resveratrol may also protect against retinopathy, which can severely impair vision, according to animal studies.
When diabetes is not well controlled, it can lead to diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy.
8) Eye health
The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin found in grapes can help maintain eye health. They are thought to neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules. They may be able to reduce oxidative stress and retinal damage in this way, as well as help prevent cataracts and other conditions.
Resveratrol has been shown to protect against age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye diseases in laboratory tests.
However, it’s still unclear how it works and how it could be beneficial to humans.
According to the findings of an in vitro study published in the journal Dermatology and Therapy, resveratrol may aid in the treatment of acne, particularly when combined with benzoyl peroxide as a topical treatment.
10) Other conditions
Other health problems that resveratrol could help with are:
Some studies, however, have cast doubt on whether resveratrol can benefit humans in these ways. More proof is required.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that one cup of red or green grapes weighing around 151 grams (g) contains the following nutrients:
- 104 kilocalories
- 1.09 g of protein
- 0.24 g of fat
- 27.33 g of carbohydrate, of which 23.37 g is sugars
- 1.4 g of fiber
- 288 mg of potassium
- 15 milligrams (mg) of calcium
- 0.54 mg of iron
- 11 mg of magnesium
- 30 mg of phosphorus
- 3 mg of sodium
- 0.11 mg of zinc
- 4.8 mg of vitamin C
- 22 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K
- 3 mcg of folate
Grapes also contain vitamins B and A, as well as a lot of water. Grapes contain over 121 g of water per cup.
Antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin are abundant in them. The phytochemical resveratrol is found in the skins of red grapes, and it appears to protect against a variety of chronic diseases and conditions.
Grapes also contain the flavonoids myricetin and quercetin. These aid the body in preventing the formation of harmful free radicals.
Grapes are available throughout the year. Choose grapes that are tight to the touch and wrinkle-free. They should be kept in the refrigerator and washed before eating.
Grapes are best consumed as a fresh fruit. Most grape jellies or spreads, as well as grape juices, contain added sugars and are high in calories.
Here are some helpful hints for including more grapes in your diet:
- Slice grapes in half and add them to a chicken salad.
- Make a fruit cocktail with fresh grapes, pineapple, sliced peaches, and strawberries.
- Freeze grapes and eat them as a snack or dessert on a hot day.
- Have a cup of fresh grapes for a quick, 100-calorie snack
Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes the Dirty Dozen, a list of fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide residue. On this list, grapes are currently ranked number eight. Pesticide exposure can be reduced by purchasing organic grapes.
For heart disease, beta-blockers are frequently prescribed. Potassium levels in the blood can rise as a result of them. Foods high in potassium should be consumed in moderation by people who take beta blockers.
People who take blood-thinning medications should consult their doctor before eating a lot of grapes, as resveratrol, like Vitamin K, can increase the anticoagulant action of these medicines. Warfarin, also known as Coumadin, is a widely used blood thinner.
Potassium overdose can be dangerous for people whose kidneys aren’t fully functional. It can be fatal if the kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from the blood.
Women should drink no more than one glass of wine per day, and men should drink no more than two.
Red and green grapes both contain resveratrol, but red grapes, particularly their skins, have a higher concentration. Eating grapes rather than drinking wine is a better way to get resveratrol’s benefits.
Although resveratrol is available as a supplement, grapes provide fiber as well as a variety of minerals and vitamins. Supplements are less beneficial than dietary sources of nutrients because they lack fiber and other nutrients.
- Abu-Amero, K. K., Kondkar, A. A., & Chalam, K. V. (2016, April). Resveratrol and ophthalmic diseases. Nutrients, 8(4), 200
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- Lutein and zeaxanthin. (n.d.)
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