Top 5 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Grapes

Top 5 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Grapes

Here’s the thing about grapes – it has been cultivated for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations revered grapes for their use in winemaking. Grapes are also enjoyed as a delicious on-the-go snack.

You can find them in various colors, such as red, green, black, pink, and yellow. Grapes come in many forms, from juice to jellies and raisins. There are also seeded and seedless varieties.

Grapes have many health benefits. They are rich in antioxidants and nutrients.

This article will discuss five excellent health benefits of grapes backed by science.

 

1.     Grapes are loaded with nutrients

Grapes contain many vital nutrients. A cup of red grapes (about 151 grams) provides the following nutrients (1):

  • 104 calories
  • 27 grams of carbs
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 2 grams of fat
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 21% of the daily value (DV) of copper
  • 18% of the DV of vitamin K
  • 2% of the DV of vitamin E
  • 9% of the DV of vitamin B1
  • 8% of the DV of vitamin B2
  • 6% of the DV of potassium
  • 5% of the DV of vitamin C
  • 5% of the DV of manganese

Grapes provide plenty of vitamin K and copper, among other nutrients. Copper is vital for energy production. In addition, vitamin K plays a crucial role in developing healthy bones and blood clotting (2, 3).

Grapes are also rich in B vitamins, such as riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamin B6. Riboflavin and thiamine are necessary for growth and development. B6 is essential for protein metabolism (4, 5, 6).

 

2.    Grapes are necessary for good heart health

They lower blood pressure

A cup of grapes provides the body with 6% of its daily value for potassium. Potassium is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure (1, 7).

Several studies have found that potassium regulates blood pressure by helping dilate your veins and arteries. It enhances sodium excretion and prevents the narrowing of veins and arteries. Note that narrowing the veins and arteries increases blood pressure (8).

It is important to note that potassium may lead to high blood pressure when taken in excess or too low. Therefore, you should stick to the recommended daily value of 4.7 grams (9).

 

Potassium may reduce cholesterol levels

Grapes contain many compounds that may protect your body against high cholesterol levels. It does this by decreasing cholesterol absorption (10).

In an 8-week study involving 69 people with high cholesterol, taking no less than 3 cups of red grapes daily found that it helped lower LDL and total cholesterol levels (11).

It is also important to note that diets that contain a lot of resveratrol also decrease cholesterol levels (12).

 

3.    Grapes are high in antioxidants

Antioxidants are essential compounds. They help repair damages caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that trigger oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is, in turn, a significant trigger for several chronic health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease (13).

Grapes contain many powerful antioxidants. Most of these antioxidants are found in the seeds and skin. However, several factors may affect the concentration of these antioxidants, including the maturity, variety, environmental factors, and post-harvest storage of the grapes (14).

The excellent news about grapes is that these compounds are not lost to fermentation. So, you can still have them even after fermenting the grapes. This explains why wine is an essential source of antioxidants (14, 15).

Some grapes contain a lot of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a class of flavonoids responsible for the red, orange, pink, purple, and blue colors of grapes. Studies have shown that anthocyanins may help treat or prevent heart and brain diseases (14, 15).

This fruit also contains other essential antioxidants, such as quercetin and resveratrol, which may offer protection against high blood sugar levels, heart disease, and cancer (14, 16).

Grapes contain beta carotene, vitamin C, ellagic acid, and lutein. All of these are very potent antioxidants (14).

 

4.    Grapes have anti-cancer effects

The antioxidants in grapes may protect against some types of cancer (14).

Resveratrol reduces inflammation and blocks the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Several studies have been carried out on the numerous anti-cancer effects of grapes (17, 18, 19, 20).

Grapes contain anthocyanin, quercetin, and catechin antioxidants. These have anti-cancer properties (21).

Animal and test-tube studies have shown that extracts from grapes may block the growth of cancer cells in the human colon and breast (22, 23, 24).

 

5.    Grapes may lower blood sugar levels and protect against diabetes

There are about 23 grams of sugar per cup of grapes. A cup of grapes is equivalent to 151 grams. Given this amount, one may wonder if grapes are a healthy choice for people with diabetes (1).

If you consider their glycemic index rating, you’ll notice that grapes have a GI of 49 – 59, depending on the variety (25, 26).

In the same vein, the definition of the low glycemic index varies depending on the source. For example, some sources say a GI under 55 is considered low, while others consider it under 50 as low (27, 28).

This implies that the GI score of grapes may range from low to medium, leading to a slow or moderate increase in blood sugar levels.

It is important to note that eating low GI food in excess will have a similar effect on blood sugar as eating a high GI food. Therefore, you’re better off moderating your intake of grapes.

 

A word from MBBCH

Grapes are very nutritious. They contain potent compounds that are beneficial to your health. Grapes may contain sugar, but they don’t negatively impact blood sugar control, especially when eaten in moderation.

Antioxidants such as resveratrol provide most of the health benefits of grapes, including their anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Grapes are very delicious and easy to incorporate into your diet. At MBBCH, we recommend fresh grapes over grape wine or juice for maximum benefits.

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