The 13 Amazing Health and Nutritional Benefits of Grapes
If I were to choose among the fruits that I have tried, I'd like to choose grapes. Why? Besides one of my favorite fruits that I love to eat, grapes have several amazing health benefits.
Grapes in my country are very expensive. It's worth 200-250 pesos per kilo. I don't care if it's expensive for as long as we can benefit from it.
Grapes come in different colors and what I buy are the purple ones. The darker the color of the grapes the better nutrients and health benefits you can get, so I opt for the darker ones.
I researched online and read from the magazines about what amazing health benefits we can get from grapes. So I put these together and wrote this hub.
Grapes or oval berries have semi-translucent flesh encased by a smooth skin. Some contain edible seeds, and some are seedless. They vary in color and they have crunchy texture and dry, sweet, tart taste.
Grapes that are eaten as is or used in a recipe are called table grapes, in contrast to raisin grapes or wine grapes (used in viniculture).
Substances found in grapes
Flavonoids cause the vibrant purple color in grapes, red wine and grape juice; the darker the color, the higher the concentration of flavonoids. Flavonoids, which are also powerful antioxidants can delay aging and reduce damage from free radicals.
Grapes contain the flavonoid-type compounds – resveratrol and quercetin. These two compounds reduce the risk of heart disease. How? 1) By protecting LDL cholesterol from the free radical damage. Free radicals result in LDL’s artery – damaging actions. AND 2) By reducing harmful blood clots and platelet clumping.
Diets high in saturated fats like lard, oil, butter and mayonnaise AND smoking are risk factors for heart disease. Have you ever heard of the term “French Paradox?” Do you know that French people have lower risk of heart disease than Americans do despite their high-fat diets? That’s because of their frequent consumption of grapes and red wine. According to Wikipedia, “French Paradox“ is the observation that Frenchmen suffer a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease, despite having a diet relatively rich in saturated fats.
Grapes contain rich sources of vitamins A, C, B6 and folate.
Minerals like phosphorus, potassium, iron, calcium, selenium and magnesium are also present in grapes.
Grapes even contain fiber and proteins that could play an important role in a strong and healthy life.
What are the amazing health benefits of grapes
Some of the health benefits of grapes include the following:
- Migraine. Home remedy for migraine is ripe grape juice. Should be taken pure (no additional water) early in the morning.
- Blood cholesterol. Pterostilbene , a compound present in grapes helps lower the cholesterol level. Saponins in grape skin prevents the absorption of cholesterol by binding with it.
- Alzheimer’s disease. Resveratrol in grapes reduces the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Grapes can enhance brain health and delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.
- Kidney disorders. Grapes reduce the acidity of the uric acid and help eliminate the acid from the system thus reducing the pressure of the kidneys.
- Heart disease. Grapes increase the nitric oxide levels in the blood which prevents blood clots thus reducing heart attack incidents. Antioxidants in grapes prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which blocks the blood vessels.
- Indigestion. Grapes prevent dyspepsia. They cure indigestion and irritation of the stomach.
- Anticancer properties. Resveratrol acts as anti-inflammatory. Effective in breast and colorectal cancers. Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins have properties of anti-proliferate which can inhibit the growth of cancer causing agents.
- Prevents cataract. Flavonoids in grapes reduce the damage caused by free radicals such as cataract apart from age related problems, heart disease and cancer.
- Macular degeneration is age related loss of vision. Studies suggest 3 servings of grapes daily to lower the risk of macular degeneration by over 36%.
- Asthma. Due to the high assimilatory power of grapes, moisture present in lungs increases. Grapes have therapeutic value for asthma.
- Breast cancer. In a recent study, purple colored Concord grape juice helps prevent breast cancer. Experiment was conducted on laboratory rats. There was a significant reduction in breast tumor mass after they were fed the grape juice on the experimental basis.
- Fatigue. It’s not the dark grape juice that gives an iron boost it’s the light and white grape juice that prevents fatigue because it replenishes the iron content in the body. So go for the light and white grape juice for boost not the dark one.
- Antibacterial activity. Red grapes contain antibacterial and antiviral properties to protect you from infections. Its antiviral property is effective against poliovirus and herpes simplex virus.
Health benefits associated with drinking red wine
Red wine comes from crushed grapes with the skins and juice that are fermented. The distinctive color of red wine comes from deep purple, red, or even blue grapes. French love red wine that’s why they have lower incidence of coronary heart disease despite their diets which are high in fats, hence the term "French Paradox."
Resveratrol is concentrated in red wine and appears only in very small amount in grapes.
If you have high blood pressure, a glass of wine with your evening meal may be a good idea, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Drinking wine reduces the risk of hypertension-related death. For people with hypertension, moderate regular wine drinking reduces the risk of death from all causes, not just coronary artery disease.
According to study, cardiovascular disease is higher in northern Europe and United states than in Mediterranean countries.