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 has a high antioxidant content. 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.
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 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.
1.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 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 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.
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.
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.
In a 2013 study published by the British Medical Journal which involved 187,382 participants, it was suggested that some fruits, are fruitful in lessening 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.
Flavonoids present in grapes have 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 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 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.
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 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 2014 study, red wine and red grape seed extract can potentially help prevent cavities.
11.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 published in the British Journal of Nutrition, Cambridge University Press suggests 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.
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.
13.Treat 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 treating 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.
14.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 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.
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.
16.Prevent Macular Degeneration.
Red grapes can prevent age-related loss of vision and macular degeneration. A report by the Department of Ophthalmology, the University of Florida, 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 disease or damage are lessened by the antioxidants packed into every grape!
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.
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 a 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.
Written and Presented by Kiran Patil last updated – January 03, 2019 on organicfacts.net