Grapes: 8 Health Benefits & How to Eat More of Them

Grapes are delicious fruits that you can have with every meal: for breakfast, as a snack, in a smoothie, on your charcuterie board, as a dessert… And the options don’t end there!


Besides, grapes are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and other plant compounds. Together, that makes these fruits a healthy choice, with plenty of health benefits.


This article will guide you through the health benefits of grapes, tips on including them in your meals, and how many grapes are, in fact, too many.


Let’s get started!


Why are grapes healthy?


Grapes are low in calories, rich in healthy dietary compounds, polyphenols, and contain the following micronutrients [1] :

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin E

  • Vitamin K

  • B group vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6)

  • Potassium

  • Copper

  • Manganese

  • Magnesium

  • Iron (non-heme)

These nutrients are closely associated with various health benefits!


Benefits of eating grapes

Immune support

Red grapes contain abundant amounts of resveratrol, which is a natural polyphenol. And according to researchers from Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, resveratrol found in red grapes may provide immune support to the human body, and in this way, improve the body’s resilience to pathogens, viruses, and harmful microorganisms. [2]

The same study found that a compound called “pterostilbene” found in blueberries may have similar immune-supporting effect.

Heart Health

According to a 2020 paper published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, the polyphenols in grapes may positively affect cholesterol and lipid profile by reducing the total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), and triglyceride levels. [3]

The regular consumption of whole grapes (but not supplementation with grape seeds or juice) may play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease and support heart health.


Hypertension

A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that the consumption of whole red grapes, as well as red grape juice, may reduce resting blood pressure levels and improve post-exercise hypotension in people with hypertension. [4]

Weight Management

Evidence suggests that resveratrol found in grapes may reduce the risk of fatty liver and insulin resistance development while improving metabolic rate (burn more calories) and physical performance in mice. [5]

However, more research is needed to see whether resveratrol may have similar effects on the human body.


According to a 2020 paper published in the Obesity Facts Journal, grape seed proanthocyanidin extract may reduce fat deposition, help people reduce their daily food intake, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce the overall risk of obesity development. [6]


That being said, more research is needed to define the effect and safety of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract on weight loss and fat reduction, as well as the optimal dose of this compound that can be taken by obese individuals.


Blood Sugar Balance and Lowering Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

General dietary guidelines for type 2 diabetes include the consumption of foods with low glycemic load (GL) and low glycemic index (GI), as such foods may improve the symptoms of this condition.


A 2009 paper published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that grapes are not only low GI and GL, but the polyphenols found in these fruits (e.g., stilbene resveratrol, flavanol quercetin, catechins, and anthocyanins) may also help balance high blood sugar levels and support healthy insulin production. [7]


Furthermore, a 2013 review paper found that the consumption of grapes, along with blueberries, apples, bananas, and grapefruits, may be associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes development. [8]


That being said, all fruits and berries contain carbohydrates and may cause high blood sugars if not consumed in moderations. Brain and Memory Health Evidence suggests that the consumption of purple grapes (or purple grape juice) may positively affect mood, awareness, learning, and comprehension. [9]


Furthermore, grape consumption was found to have a slight protective effect against early memory decline. [10]


Eye Health

Researchers at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine found that regular consumption of grapes may play a role in supporting eye health by preserving the structure and function efficiency of the retina (part of the eye that sends information to the brain and enables you to see). [11]

Cancer Prevention

According to a 2009 review paper published in the Journal of Nutrition, regular grape consumption may have chemoprotective and anticancer effects. [12]

The source suggests that whole black grapes may play a role in colon cancer prevention, and grape seed extract may be associated with reduced risk of prostate, skin, colorectal, and breast cancer. What is important to mention is that the study emphasizes the fact that a diet rich in fruits and veggies is generally related to lower risk of cancer development, compared to a diet rich in processed foods, saturated fats and refined grains.


How to Eat More Grapes?


Here are 5 tips that can help you include grapes in your diet:

  1. Add grapes to your leafy greens salad

  2. Add them to your oatmeal or breakfast bowl

  3. Sprinkle them on your charcuterie board

  4. Blend them into a smoothie together with other fruits and veggies

  5. Freeze them to make a refreshing snack


Grapes: How much is too much?


Grapes may be healthy, but eating too many of them doesn’t mean that you’ll benefit more from their healthy properties. That is why it is important to measure your fruit portions and to consume fruits in moderation. Following the official recommendation by USDA, try to stick to 1-1.5 cups of fruit per day. [13]


Original article: https://rawbeautysource.com/grapes-8-health-benefits/

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