Grapes have been around for thousands of years. In ancient times, grapes were especially popular due to their wine-making capabilities. Grapes grow in areas with temperate climates. They are commonly found in Southern Europe, Australia, North and South America, and Africa. This delicious fruit grows in clusters on the vines of the Vitis plant. Some grapes come with seeds, while others are available in seedless varieties. There are various types of grapes, including red, black, red, pink, and even yellow! The health benefits of grapes have made it an extremely incredible fruit.
Grapes have a high nutrient, antioxidant, and phytochemical content, which is why it is great for your health. Here are some incredible health benefits of grapes that you absolutely cannot miss out on.
Loaded With Nutrients
A massive number of amazing nutrients are present in grapes. Hence, they are beneficial for your health. They especially contain two main vitamins – Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is crucial for blood clotting and healthy bones. A cup of grapes provides more than half of your daily vitamin K requirement. Grapes are also a great source of Vitamin C, a nutrient and antioxidant essential for your connective tissue.
May Prevent Chronic Diseases
As mentioned before, grapes contain an abundance of antioxidants. Another one of the health benefits of grapes is that it prevents chronic diseases with the help of these antioxidants. Free radicals cause oxidative stress which leads to cell damage. This oxidative stress can cause various chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and even heart diseases. Antioxidants help reverse and prevent this damage by repairing your cells.
The highest antioxidant concentration is present in the skin and seeds of grapes. This is why most grape studies focus on their skin and seed extracts. Resveratrol is also a type of antioxidant that classifies as polyphenol. Resveratrol helps with many diseases. For instance, it prevents heart diseases, lowers blood pressure, and lowers the risk of cancer. Some other antioxidants that grapes contain include beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, and ellagic acid.
A cup of grapes contains approximately 23 grams of sugar. This might make you wonder if it is a good choice for those with diabetes or high sugar levels. Well, despite the amount of sugar, grapes have a low glycemic index or (GI). GI measures the time it takes for a specific food to increase your blood sugar. With a GI level of 53, you don’t need to worry about eating grapes.
Getting your blood sugar levels under control is a significant factor in decreasing the risk of diabetes. Moreover, grapes contain certain other compounds that can decrease blood sugar levels, such as resveratrol. This antioxidant is good for increasing insulin sensitivity and improves your body’s ability to utilize insulin. Resveratrol also enhances the number of glucose receptors on cell membranes, lowering blood sugar levels.
Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Grapes also help improve your heart health by bringing your cholesterol and blood pressure levels under control. They contain certain compounds that decrease cholesterol absorption and protect you against high cholesterol. Moreover, its resveratrol content helps bring cholesterol levels under control.
Can Benefit Eye Health
Grapes contain various compounds that can benefit eye health significantly. The plant chemicals of grapes are great for preventing common eye diseases. In a study, mice were given a grape diet for a specific time period. According to the results, the retina damage of the mice improved significantly.
The antioxidant, resveratrol protects retinal cells from ultraviolet rays. This can also help lower the potential risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Grapes contain various flavonoids that can help reduce the damage of free radicals that can develop cataracts and other problems. According to another study, resveratrol also protects your eyes against glaucoma, cataract, and diabetic eye disease.
Additionally, grapes also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These two compounds help protect your eyes from damage through the blue light.
May Slow Down Aging
The plant compounds present in grapes play a great role in affecting your aging and lifespan. Resveratrol, an antioxidant present in grapes, can lengthen lifespan in various animal species. This compound basically stimulates certain proteins, such as sirtuins, that are linked to longevity.
Resveratrol activates the SirT1 gene, which is also activated by low-calorie diets and is connected to having longer lifespans. Moreover, resveratrol also reduces signs of aging.
Help with Asthma
Another one of the incredible health benefits of grapes includes its ability to treat asthma. Grapes contain a considerably high amount of hydrating power. This helps enhance the moisture present in the lungs, hence, reducing the chances of asthmatic attacks. However, more research needs to be done to corroborate this statement.
May Protect Against Some Viruses, Bacteria, and Infections
Another benefit of grapes includes its ability to protect you against bacterial and viral infections. Grapes contain certain important compounds that help build your immunity and protect you against diseases. For instance, grapes are rich in vitamin C, which are known to benefit and protect your immune system.
In test-tube studies, grapes were shown to protect against the flu virus. Moreover, in other test-tube studies, certain compounds of grapes helped stop herpes, chickenpox, and yeast infections from spreading. The resveratrol content of grapes also protects you against various foodborne illnesses by reducing the growth of dangerous bacteria.
Improve Bone Health
Grapes contain various essential nutrients and minerals that are good for bone health. Some of these compounds include calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and vitamin K. Grapes also contain micro-nutrients, such as copper and iron, which are important to form and strengthen bones.
Certain studies in rats revealed that resveratrol helps in the improvement of bone density. However, more research is required to test the effect of grapes on human bone health. Consuming grapes regularly can prevent the chances of bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Moreover, the manganese content of grapes can also help improve your metabolism, nervous system functioning and collagen formation.
Provide Relief from Migraines
Studies reveal that grape juice is a fantastic home remedy for curing migraines. You can have fresh and ripe grape juice early in the morning without mixing any other ingredients such as water. The irony is that red wine causes migraines but grape seed extract helps cure them. Migraines occur due to numerous reasons such as lack of sleep, dietary problems, chemical imbalances, and even a hangover. However, the wonderful antioxidants present in grapes can give you relief regardless of the cause of the migraine.
May Boost Attention, Memory and Mood
Another one of the amazing health benefits of grapes is that it can considerably boost your brain health and memory. In a 12-week study, several adults were given grapes supplements every day. The results of the study showed improved scores on cognitive tests measuring memory, attention, and language.
Studies on rats have also revealed that resveratrol improves learning power, memory, and mood when taken for a month. Moreover, there was an improvement in the growth and blood flow to the rats’ brains. Resveratrol can also help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. However, more research has to be done on this topic. All in all, grapes are great for improving your memory and attention and also help boost your mood.
Grapes are a highly effective way to overcome and relieve constipation. This incredible fruit classifies as a laxative due to its organic acid, cellulose, and sugar content. Grapes can also relieve chronic constipation by toning your intestinal muscles and stomach.
Furthermore, this great fruit contains high amounts of insoluble fiber. This ensures that it remains intact even after moving through the digestive tract. Its fiber content can also help build, form, and excrete healthy stools.
However, an important thing to remember is that you should avoid grapes if you have loose stool or diarrhea. Insoluble fiber doesn’t help dry out loose stools which can be a problem. Moreover, grapes don’t have a high enough soluble fiber content to bring diarrhea under control.
Grapes can help reduce fatigue. This incredible fruit contains a high amount of riboflavin, which is a B-vitamin. This compound helps break down carbohydrates and convert them into energy. The best part is that grapes are a healthy source of both, carbohydrates and riboflavin. So, consuming at least a cup of grapes a day can give you an energy boost and reduce fatigue immensely!
Last Few Words on Health Benefits of Grapes
The bottom line is that grapes contain numerous vital nutrients and plant compounds. All these work together to benefit your health effectively. Resveratrol is the most important antioxidant present in grapes as it provides a ton of benefits. Whether fresh, frozen, or juiced, grapes are extremely easy and convenient to incorporate in your diet. Lastly, to get the most benefits from this fruit, choose fresh red grapes over white ones.
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