Health Benefits of eating Grapes Fruit

By Jennifer Novabos - June 1, 2022
Health Benefits of eating Grapes Fruit

A grape is a fruit, botanically a berry, of the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten fresh as table grapes, used for making wine, jam, grape juice, jelly, grape seed extract, vinegar, and grape seed oil, or dried as raisins, currants and sultanas. 

People have cultivated grapes for thousands of years, including several ancient civilizations that revered them for their use in winemaking. Grapes also make a quick and delicious snack you can enjoy at home or on the go.

You may find them in various colors, including green, red, black, yellow, and pink. They come in multiple forms, too, from raisins to jellies to juice. Seeded and seedless varieties also exist.

Grapes offer a wealth of health benefits, primarily due to their high nutrient and antioxidant contents.

Here are the top 5 health benefits of eating grapes.

1. Packed with nutrients

Grapes are high in several important nutrients. Just 1 cup (151 grams) of red or green grapes provides.

-Calories: 104

-Carbs: 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

-Potassium: 6% of the DV

-Vitamin C: 5% of the DV

-Manganese: 5% of the DV

-Vitamin E: 2% of the DV

As you can see, grapes are a rich source of copper and vitamin K. Copper is an essential mineral involved in energy production, while vitamin K is vital for blood clotting and healthy bones.

Grapes also provide good amounts of B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, and B6. Both thiamine and riboflavin are needed for growth and development, while B6 is mainly required for protein metabolism.

2. May aid heart health

Grapes may boost heart health in several ways.

May help lower blood pressure

One cup (151 grams) of grapes contains 6% of the DV for potassium. This mineral is necessary for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.

Evidence shows that potassium helps lower blood pressure primarily by helping dilate your arteries and veins. It may also help excrete sodium and prevent the narrowing of arteries and veins that would otherwise increase blood pressure.

However, a review of 32 studies determined that potassium intakes that are both too low and too high may lead to high blood pressure. Researchers advised sticking to the current daily intake recommendation of 4.7 grams.

May help reduce cholesterol

Compounds found in grapes may help protect against high cholesterol levels by decreasing cholesterol absorption.

In an 8-week study in 69 people with high cholesterol, eating 3 cups (500 grams) of red grapes per day helped lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. However, white grapes didn’t have the same effect. Additionally, diets high in resveratrol an antioxidant in grapes such as the Mediterranean diet have been shown to decrease cholesterol levels.

3. High in antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that help repair the damage to your cells caused by free radicals harmful molecules that cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is associated with several chronic health conditions, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Grapes are rich in several powerful antioxidants. The highest concentration of antioxidants is found in the skin and seeds. However, multiple factors may affect their concentration, including grape variety, maturity, post-harvest storage, and environmental factors.

Interestingly enough, these beneficial compounds remain present even after fermentation, which is why wine is also an antioxidant source.

Some grape varieties contain a higher content of anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids that give these fruits orange, red, blue, pink, and purple colors. Human and animal studies indicate that anthocyanins may help prevent or treat brain and heart diseases.

Other important antioxidants in this fruit are resveratrol and quercetin, which may protect against heart disease, high blood sugar levels, and cancer. Grapes also contain vitamin C, beta carotene, lutein, and ellagic acid, which are also powerful antioxidants.

4. May have anticancer effects

Antioxidants in grapes may protect against certain types of cancer. Resveratrol, an antioxidant in this fruit, may help by reducing inflammation, acting as an antioxidant, and blocking the growth and spread of cancer cells in your body. In fact, it has been studied for its effects against numerous cancers.

Grapes also contain quercetin, anthocyanin, and catechin antioxidants  all of which may have cancer-fighting effects.

Test-tube and animal studies show that grape extracts may block the growth and spread of human colon and breast cancer cells.

Additionally, a 2-week study in 30 people found that those over the age of 50 who ate 0.3–1 pound (150–450 grams) of grapes per day experienced decreased markers of colon cancer risk.

While more human studies are needed, a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods, such as grapes, has been linked to lower cancer risk.

5. May protect against diabetes and lower blood sugar levels

Grapes contain 23 grams of sugar per cup (151 grams), which may make you wonder if they’re a good choice for people with diabetes.

If you take a look at their glycemic index (GI) rating a measure of how quickly a food raises your blood sugar  you’ll see that it ranges from 49–59, depending on grape variety.

Similarly, the definition of low GI is variable depending on the source  some people consider under 55 as low, while others consider under 50 as low. This means that grapes’ GI score may range from low to medium, in which case they may raise your blood sugar levels at a slow or moderate pace but won’t necessarily spike it.

However, keep in mind that eating too much of a low GI food will have the same effect on blood sugars as eating a high GI food. So, it’s best to eat grapes in moderation.

In addition, compounds found in grapes may help improve markers of insulin response. In a review of 29 studies in 1,297 adults, grapes and grape supplements significantly decreased what’s called homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), a measure of insulin resistance. 

In particular, the compound resveratrol may improve your body’s ability to use insulin by ;

-decreasing insulin resistance

-increasing insulin sensitivity

-protecting your pancreas’s beta cells, which produce insulin

-improving insulin production

-increasing the number of glucose receptors on cell membranes

Managing your blood sugar levels over time is important for reducing your diabetes risk and preventing diabetes-related complications.

Grapes offer several important nutrients and powerful plant compounds that benefit your health. Though they contain sugar, they don’t appear to negatively impact blood sugar control when eaten in moderation.

Antioxidants like resveratrol provide most of grapes’ benefits, including their anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetes, and anticancer properties. They are also quite delicious and easy to add to your diet. For the most benefits, choose fresh grapes.