Health Benefits Of Grapes

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Introduction

Grape plants first appeared 2.6 million to 65 million years ago in the Northern Hemisphere from the fruit-bearing vines from the Vitis genus of the Vitaceae family. Fossilized blue, purple, red, pink, green, or amber leaves, stems, and seeds have been discovered in these deposits. Since the beginning of civilization, grapes are essential foods and necessary to for a good healthy life considering that they are nourishing, sweet as candy, and very tasty. Grapes come in various ways to satiate our desires, whether they are served in fresh bunches, dried snack-friendly nuggets, or with their essence squeezed and fermented into an intoxicating elixir.1 Bioactive compounds found in grapes include lipids, phenolic acids, flavonoids, and anthocyanins. These substances help grapes and products made from grapes provide their health advantages. They have numerous uses in the food and nutraceutical industries and exhibit antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties.2

Health benefits of grapes

Nutrient rich

Grapes contain a variety of nutrients offering a good supply of calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, and other important nutrients for bone health. This decreases the risk of fractures and breakage of bones as the likelihood of bone injuries increases without these nutrients.

Immunity booster

4.8 mg of vitamin C, necessary for boosting immunity, is present in one cup of grapes. Our bodies cannot naturally generate Vitamin C. Therefore, it is crucial to consume foods rich in vitamin C to compensate.

Antimicrobial qualities

Grapes’ inherent antibacterial properties, which guard against bacteria and viruses, also help to boost your immune system. Many fruits and vegetables, including grapes, have a pigment that may have antibacterial qualities.

Beneficial antioxidants

Grapes contain a variety of antioxidants. Antioxidant quercetin, which gives purple and black grapes their striking colours, guards against neurodegenerative illnesses. Researchers discovered that grapes offered some protection from the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, grapes also contain antioxidant polyphenols, which support intestinal health and improve our immunity.

Encourages better sleep

The traces of melatonin in grapes encourage deep, peaceful slumbers. Our brain produces a hormone called melatonin which supports our circadian rhythm and sleep when it is night time. Melatonin can also aid with anxiety before or after surgery, jet lag, and difficulty sleeping.

Enhances heart health

Grapes also support cardiovascular health in various ways. According to a study, the substance resveratrol found in grapes has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which help in:

  • Keeping artery hardening at bay
  • Decreasing blood pressure
  • Preventing heart attacks and strokes

Protects the eyes

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two pigments found in grapes that guard the health of the eyes, aiding with:

  • Increase visual ranges
  • Reduce eye strain caused by glare and bright lighting
  • Boost visual contrast
  •  Assist in reducing the chance of cataracts and macular degeneration, two of the most prevalent eye conditions

Maintains hydration

Grapes have 121 grams of water per cup, which helps you stay hydrated. By encouraging sweat, urine, and bowel motions, maintaining hydration aids in the body’s waste removal process. Also, maintaining hydration benefits your body in the following ways:

  • Keep the temperature at a normal level
  • Preserve your spinal cord and other tissue by lubricating your joints
  • Limit your calorie intake3

Anticancer effect

Grapes’ antioxidant content helps with the prevention of certain types of cancers. By lowering inflammation, serving as an antioxidant, and preventing the formation and spread of cancer cells in your body, the antioxidant resveratrol found in this fruit may be helpful. Studies on its effectiveness against a variety of malignancies have been conducted.4 Moreover, grapes include the antioxidants quercetin, anthocyanin, and catechin, which may help in the prevention of cancer.

May reduce blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes

Grapes may have a low to medium glycemic index (GI), which may cause a mild to moderate rise in blood sugar levels. Consuming too many low-GI foods will have the same impact on blood sugar levels as consuming too many high-GI foods. Therefore, it is advisable to consume grapes in moderation. Resveratrol, in particular, may increase your body’s capacity to utilize insulin and contribute in:

  • Lowering insulin resistance
  • Increasing insulin sensitivity
  • Preserving the beta cells in your pancreas, which make insulin
  • Enhancing insulin production
  • Increasing the number of glucose receptors on cell membranes

May enhance mood, focus, and memory

Grape consumption may improve memory and brain function. By decreasing brain inflammation and eliminating amyloid-beta peptide, which has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease, resveratrol may offer protection against this condition.5

Nutrients we can get from grapes

There are many crucial nutrients present in grapes. One cup (151 grams) of grapes contains an average of the following nutrients and the recommended daily values (DV) in percentages:

  • Calories- 104
  • Carbohydrates- 27 grams
  • Protein- 1 gram
  • Fat- 0.2 grams
  • Fiber- 1.4 grams
  • Copper- 21% of the daily value (DV) 
  • Vitamin K- 18% of the DV
  • Thiamine- 9% of the DV
  • Riboflavin- 8% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6- 8% of the DV
  • Potassium- 6% of the DV
  • Vitamin C- 5% of DV
  • Manganese- 5% of the DV
  • Vitamin E- 2% of the DV5

Types of grapes

There are many types of grapes, all with unique properties, taste and appearance. 

Concord

With a rich bluish-purple tint, concord grapes are typically eaten fresh like table grapes. They are also utilized to create tasty jams, jellies, and baked items. According to one study, Concord grapes have a much higher Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) compared to red and green grapes.6

Cotton candy

When they were initially manufactured in California in 2011, cotton candy grapes became very popular with consumers. To produce these grapes with a distinctive sweet cotton candy flavour, grape species were crossed to produce these candy-like fruits. Green in colour and weirdly tasting like cloud-like confectionery cotton candy, cotton candy grapes have a similar texture to cotton candy.

Moon drops

Is a fascinating grape type that is distinguished from other table grapes due to their distinctive shape and pleasantly sweet flavour. Moon Drops, a deep blue, nearly black grape variety, are thought to be seedless and have an unexpectedly crisp feel. 

Flame seedless

Flame seedless grapes are a well-linked table grape cultivar praised for its mouthwatering flavour. These large-cluster-growing, medium-sized grapes are deep red in hue. Additionally, they are high in nutrients and pack various beneficial chemicals. Anthocyanins are the plant pigment that gives the Flame Seedless its beautiful red colour. Anthocyanins function as potent antioxidants, guarding our cells against oxidative stress-related cell damage.

Dominga

White table grapes, also known as “Dominga”, have a sweet, enticing flavour and a yellowish peel. According to research, they have especially high levels of antioxidant polyphenols. They have larger concentrations of Flavan-3-ols than other grapes, in particular. These substances have been demonstrated to improve heart health. Eating foods high in polyphenols, such as Dominga grapes, may have neuroprotective effects and assist in maintaining mental function as well as improving many other health aspects.

Red globe

Is a larger, seeded table grape that is popular throughout the world but is particularly popular in Asian nations. They feature firm, crisp flesh and a rosy, scarlet tint. These delicately sweet grapes are packed with vitamins, minerals, and plant components that are very good for you.

Crimson

With a beautiful dark pink to the light red exterior and green flesh, crimson grapes are seedless. They are well-liked eating grapes due to their sweet flavour and crisp texture. Crimson grapes include anthocyanins, giving them their stunning colour and many health advantages.

Black muscat

Is a cultivar thought to have been established in the 1800s by hybridizing Muscat of Alexandria with Trolling grapes. These huge, bluish-black grapes have a delightful floral scent. These grapes taste incredibly sweet and juicy and go great with fatty, salty meals like cheese.

Centennial

Among the huge white grape varieties, centennial grapes are. They are loved as table grapes and are typically used to make huge raisins excellent for snacking and baking.

Thompson seedless

Is a seedless type, as their name suggests. They are the most popular white table grape in California and the U.S. and are loved by many for their sweet flavour.

Autumn royal

Fruit breeders Ron Tarailo and David Ramming developed Autumn Royal in 1996 in Fresno, California. These huge grapes feature vibrant yellow-green flesh and a dramatic purple-black skin. Autumn Royals are a well-liked table grape because they have no seeds, a rich, sweet flavour, and a hard, crisp texture.

Tempranillo

Red wine is primarily produced from grapes called Tempranillo, of Spanish origin. These rich, aromatic wines are produced by dark, blackish grapes and are frequently characterized as having a deep, silky flavour with flavours of cherry, strawberry, or black currant.

Glenora

In 1952, Ontario and Russian seedless grapes were crossed to produce the seedless table grape known as Glenora. They produce a great deal and grow in broad, even clusters. The grapes are rich, bluish-black, and medium size.

Marquis

The white seedless cultivar Marquis yields big, rounded fruits. In 1966, plant breeders at Cornell University created it by crossing Athens and Emerald Seedless grapes. These grapes have silky green skin and are extremely delicious.

Koshu

Native to Japan, the Koshu grape is utilized to generate both wine and delicious table grapes. It is one of the most extensively grown and well-liked types of grapes in Japan. With light purple skin, koshu grapes are acidic. 

Kyoho

Kyoho grapes have a rich blackish-purple colour, similar to Concord grapes. Since 1994, they have been the most widely grown variety in Japan. They were produced by crossing Centennial grapes with the Ishiharawase variety. These grapes are fleshy, delicious, and extremely sweet, and it is encased in thick skin. As a result of their enormous size, kyohos produce grapes that can weigh up to 0.5 ounces.7

Ways to include grapes in our health

  • As a breakfast or afternoon snack, grapes can be eaten on their own
  • For a nutrient-rich smoothie, blend the grapes with spinach, cucumber, banana, kale, and mint
  • Crushed nuts, honey, and your favourite yoghurt are served on top
  • Enjoy frozen grapes as a delicious summer treat
  • On your preferred salad, sprinkle grapes that have been chopped
  • For a sweet yet healthful dessert, serve with sliced apples, strawberries, and dark chocolate
  • Drink grape juice
  • In moderation, enjoy red wine8

How much is enough?

A daily serving of thirty to forty grapes from a bowl of grapes is acceptable, but any more can have inescapable negative effects. Grapes have a lot of natural sugar, and eating too many meals high in sugar might cause loose stools. Therefore it is essential to always consume grapes in moderation.9

Side effects and how much to consume

Grapes are frequently found in meals. When consumed, the entire fruit or an extract of the fruit, leaf, or seed used for medicinal purposes may be safe. Fruit and grape seed extracts have been used for up to 11 months without adverse effects. Consuming high quantities of grapes could cause diarrhoea. To grapes and grapes products, some people react allergically, resulting in side effects including coughs, dry mouth, and headaches.10

Summary

Grapes are adaptable fruits utilized in a variety of popular dishes and beverages, including wine, raisins, and jelly. Grapes are well-liked all around the world due to their adaptability, diversity, and mobility. Red, black, purple, or blue (Concord), green (used to make white wine), pink, and yellow are just a few of the different grape hues. All grape varieties are beneficial to health. However, red grapes and Concord grapes have higher levels of flavonoids and phytonutrients like resveratrol which offer health benefits. The vitamins and minerals in grapes may help prevent cancer, eye issues, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses. Although grapes are healthy in many ways, they should always be consumed in moderation.

References

  1. What are grapes? Nutrition, health benefits, risks, and types [Internet]. EverydayHealth.com. 2022 [cited 2023 Mar 9]. Available from: https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/grapes-benefits-risks-types-how-grow-more/
  2. Sabra A, Netticadan T, Wijekoon C. Grape bioactive molecules, and the potential health benefits in reducing the risk of heart diseases. Food Chem X [Internet]. 2021 Oct 27 [cited 2023 Mar 9];12:100149. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8567006/
  3. 7 health benefits of grapes [Internet]. Health. [cited 2023 Mar 9]. Available from: https://www.health.com/food/benefits-of-grapes
  4. Rauf A, Imran M, Butt MS, Nadeem M, Peters DG, Mubarak MS. Resveratrol as an anti-cancer agent: A review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2018 Jun 13;58(9):1428–47.
  5. Top 16 health benefits of eating grapes [Internet]. Healthline. 2022 [cited 2023 Mar 9]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-grapes
  6. Callaghan CM, Leggett RE, Levin RM. A comparison of total antioxidant capacities of concord, purple, red, and green grapes using the cuprac assay. Antioxidants (Basel) [Internet]. 2013 Oct 17 [cited 2023 Mar 9];2(4):257–64. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4665517/
  7. 16 fascinating types of grapes [Internet]. Healthline. 2020 [cited 2023 Mar 9]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/types-of-grapes
  8. Top 16 health benefits of eating grapes [Internet]. Healthline. 2022 [cited 2023 Mar 9]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-grapes
  9. The healthy journal - gluten, dairy, sugar free recipes, interviews and health articles [Internet]. https://www.thehealthyjournal.com. [cited 2023 Mar 9]. Available from: https://www.thehealthyjournal.com/en/10.Grape: overview, uses, side effects, precautions, interactions, dosing and reviews [Internet]. [cited 2023 Mar 9]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-472/grape

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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Jaya Choudhary

Bachelor of Dental Surgery, MBA-HA, India

Jaya is a Dental surgeon with MBA in Hospital Administration. She has 2 years of
experience with exposure to both clinical and non-clinical work environments and a strong
passion for medical writing and educating the public about health and wellbeing.

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