Grapes are one of the most popular fruits globally, yet one of the most overlooked. Grapes grow on vines under the sun. They are delicious finger fruits with a sour and sweet taste. Native to the lower Middle East and North Africa, grapes first saw domestication in regions around Egypt and Syria. Grapes generally have a soft and squishy texture and have high water content. As a result, grapes are part of many delectable recipes and even make for brilliant wine!
Grapes primarily grow in European nations like Italy, Spain, and France. Native tp India, China, and Turkey, grapes are part of a shopping cart in virtually every household. Grapes have become a staple easy-to-eat snack.
These berries have countless health benefits. They help balance out your diet and strengthen the body’s daily processes. In addition, the consumption of grapes leads to excellent efficiency in the body.
Nutritional Value of Grapes
Grapes are treasuries for essential minerals like potassium, sodium, zinc, calcium, iron, and phosphorus. Rich in vitamins like K, C, and B9, grapes are peerless as a timeless snack. Grapes are also completely free of cholesterol. As a result, they do no damage to your blood vessels. They carry many health benefits which often go unnoticed.
There are over ten thousand varieties of grapes! They have comprehensible subtypes.
Every 100g serving of grapes contains:
- Calories: 69
- Fat: 0.2 g
- Sodium: 2 mg
- Potassium: 191 mg
- Carbs: 16.5 g
- Sugar: 15 g
- Fibre: 1 g
- Protein: 0.5 g
Furthermore, grapes contain a good ratio of:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Because of their high nutritional properties, grapes offer many benefits.
Health Benefits of Grapes
Grapes have always held a strong reputation as small foods with huge benefits. They contain several elements which help prevent many illnesses. Grapes also exhibit many properties which alleviate existing issues within the human body.
1. Grapes Fight Cancer
Like other berries, grapes contain potent antioxidants. These are called polyphenols. Polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory properties. One of these phenols is Resveratrol. It is present in the skin and extracted liquid of grapes.
Studies suggest that resveratrol slows and prevents the growth of tumours. It also stops cancer cell activity. This particular compound works for several different kinds of cancers. They include (but are not limited to) lymph, skin, colon, liver, stomach, breast cancer, and leukaemia. However, resveratrol can also have side effects when taken as alcohol. Therefore, have grapes in the right way to reap its benefits.
2. Assists the Muscles
Data research shows that the consumption of grapes may increase the intake of potassium and fibre. This mineral works to relax and contract blood vessels as required. So if your veins and arteries are relaxing correctly, it means naturally lowered blood pressure.
The compounds that grape contains also show lipid-lowering properties. Lipids are compounds insoluble in water. As a result, they cause damage as undissolved elements in the body. Lowered lipids means grapes reduce the risk of CVD or cardiovascular disease.
Higher potassium has linkages to a lowered risk of muscle mass loss and strokes. It also helps protect the mineral density inside your muscles and bones.
An analysis says that these two, along with the low quantity of sodium in grapes, help preserve heart health. The American Heart Association recommends consuming grapes daily to aid your blood vessels.
3. Digestion, Diabetes, and Defense
The water and fibre in grapes have many benefits for digestive health. Grapes contain a unique chemical known as polyphenols. These polyphenols are specifically beneficial in the process of digestion. They strengthen metabolism by impacting the digestion and absorption of nutrients inside the body.
Moreover, another research noted lowered risks of diabetes. The relatively high sugar content inside grapes arouses doubts in people who have diabetic symptoms. But in reality, it’s the opposite. The American Diabetes Association recommends people to eat grapes, among other fruits.
The same study states that resveratrol found in grapes may prevent diabetic neuropathy. This condition brings about nerve damage with age. Resveratrol restores nerve and immune function. A more robust immune system is better for fighting against potential diseases.
4. Great for Vision
The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin found in grapes can help improve eye health. They neutralise free radicals, which are unstable chemicals. In addition, they minimise stress and retinal damage and prevent cataracts and other problems.
Lutein defends against macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and other diseases. Therefore, grapes help improve your vision and are excellent for eye health.
5. Brain and Mental Health
A study shows that 250 ml of grape extract per day may improve cognitive functions. The study included tests of focus, memory, and communication. Furthermore, twenty minutes following the consumption of around 8 ounces (230 ml) of grape juice increased morale and efficiently improved memory-related abilities.
So grapes are great for recollection, attention, and speech. In essence, they help alleviate cognitive skills and mental health.
6. Chronic Disease Prevention
Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and autoimmune illnesses are chronic diseases triggered by inflammatory processes.
Eating grapes may result in increased anti-inflammatory chemicals in your blood. Further research reveals that eating grapes may boost the anti-inflammatory levels in people with heart disease.
Several chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, have been linked to oxidative stress. That is precisely the kind of stress free radicals cause. Grapes help to remove these radicals due to their antioxidant properties.
7. Boosts Antioxidant Levels
Grapes contain a variety of potent antioxidant chemicals. As per research, grapes have over 1600 beneficial plant components. The skin and seeds have the highest concentration of antioxidants. As a result, seed or skin extracts are the subjects of the bulk of grape studies.
Antioxidants are plant-based chemicals in grapes. They aid in the repair of damage produced by free radicals, which are damaging substances that create stress in your cells.
Grapes are great berries. These fruits have countless benefits.
A few more benefits of grapes are:
- It helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease, osteoarthritis and various heart-related diseases. In addition, it helps to strengthen bones.
- Grapeseed oil is excellent for the skin. Grapes help to fight acne and prevent skin ageing.
- Helps to control blood glucose levels and boost immunity.
- Protects against Bacterial, Yeast and Viral Infections.
Varieties of Grapes: Which is Better?
The Vitis Vinifera genus is as expensive as any. There is virtually no end to the types of grapes.
To make it easier, people usually differentiate between grapes using their colours. But, even then, there is plenty of disagreement. There is no scientific study or research to grade grapes based on their colours. Generally, common opinion fluctuates between the three most commonly found colours of grapes – Red, Green, and Black.
The nutritional values of most coloured grapes are somewhat similar.
But this is not at all the end of the list of colours. Grapes are available in red, green, purple, blue, black, yellow, orange, white etc. This variation usually rises from the different levels of pigmentation in the grape skins. Climate is variable everywhere, leading to this rainbow of sorts for grapes.
Let us focus on the three major types of grapes grouped by colour- Red, Green, and Black.
Taste: Red grapes have a firm exterior but a sweet, juicy, and crisp inside. This juxtaposition provides for a delicious and revitalising flavour.
Vitamins: Vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin B-6 too are abundant in red grapes.
- Vitamin C assists in physiological functions and cellular restoration.
- Contains Vitamin K which is necessary for strong, healthy bones and blood clotting.
- It also has Vitamin A, antioxidant properties that may reduce the risk of numerous health problems.
- Vitamin B-6 aids in food metabolization and is good for hair and skin.
Minerals: One cup serving of red grapes include:
- Potassium: 288 mg
- It also contains a smaller amount of Manganese, zinc, selenium, calcium and magnesium.
Taste: Green grapes have a tangy and sweet flavour. However, some are sweeter or sourer than others, depending on the kind.
Vitamins: Green grapes are rich in Vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
- Contains Vitamin A which is good for your immune system.
- Includes Vitamin C for wound healing, gum and muscle care.
- Vitamin K is good for blood clotting.
Minerals: One cup serving of green grapes offer:
Potassium: 288 mg
Calcium: 15 mg
Magnesium: 11 mg
Taste: Unlike most red or green table grapes, the flesh is translucent, soft, and less brittle. Black grapes, which are seedless, taste sweet and juicy. The black grapes are sweeter than the red grapes.
Vitamins: Black grapes are similar to red ones in this regard. Therefore, they provide congruent health benefits of red grapes as well.
Minerals: Black grapes are full of minerals like potassium, manganese, and copper. Hence, they are a healthy and balanced snack. They’re even better for the sweeter tooth.
Which Grape Variety is the Best?
With so many different grapes, it can become tough to distinguish which ones to eat and avoid. Although all grapes are healthy regardless of colour or orientation, some are more than others. But if you’re on a strict diet, you may need specific kinds of grapes for your palette. So, is there a more significant difference than just colour? Yes.
The trinity of green, red, and black grapes are all good in their way. But black grapes are more beneficial. Hence that should be your pick. Grapes with darker skins contain better amounts of nutrients and flavonoids. In addition, black grapes are richer in antioxidants than green or red grape varieties. As a result, they preserve your cell functions. Thus, they protect you from diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, Parkinson’s, and heart disease. Furthermore, they can allow you to recover from infection relatively fast.
However, not everyone is looking to get the healthiest of grapes. Some might just be looking for a healthier snacking alternative. There’s a reason everyone’s favourite food isn’t kale. So put grapes to the test and try them for yourself to decide.
Incorporating Grapes Into Your Diet
Grapes are tasty, easy to consume, and healthy. But eating the same thing every day for a singular purpose can get shrouded in monotony. However, you can incorporate grapes into your diet in fun yet healthy ways.
Some of the ways to enjoy grapes are:
- Making juice out of fresh grapes
- Adding grapes to a fruit salad
- Adding chopped grapes to your recipe
- Eating frozen grapes in the summer
Recipes Using Grapes
There are a plethora of ways to make attractive recipes with grapes. Here are three of our favourite ones.
1. Grape Sorbet
- Grapes of your choice – 3 cups
- Organic raw honey/ Maple syrup – 2 tbsp
- Lemon zest – 1 tsp (finely grated)
- Lemon juice – 1 tsp
- Wash, pat dry and freeze grapes for 4-5 hours.
- Add frozen grapes with remaining ingredients in a blending jar.
- Blend it until smooth and freeze for 1-2 hours.
- Chilled sorbet is ready to serve.
2. Spicy Grape Jam
- Cloves: 6 (whole)
- Red grapes: 8 cups
- Lemon juice: 3 tsp
- Ground cinnamon: 2 tsp
- Place cloves on a double cheesecloth to make a spice bag.
- Combine other ingredients in a pot and toss in the spice bag.
- Cook over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer. They will make their own liquid, so there is no need to add any water. Give the grapes a little stir here and there to help them along.
- Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 1.5 -2 hours or until mixture thickens.
- Remove the spice bag and discard it.
- Pass the grape mixture with the back of the ladle or simply squash the grapes with a potato masher until it turns into a thick, creamy, rustic jam.
- Carefully spoon the heated mixture into sterilized glass jars, allowing 1/4-inch head-space.
- Yummy spicy grape jam is ready to enjoy.
Grapes: Things to Remember
Moderation is Key.
Grapes, like other fruits, contain fibre. Constipation may occur if you consume too much fibre. The majority of grape’s negative consequences are due to excessive consumption. Even if the adverse effects are uncommon, you must be aware of them.
Grapes are tiny, yet it is possible to consume too much of them. They contain 60 calories in a full cup (92 g). Grapes’ small size makes it easy to overeat them, adding excess calories. Grapes can cause weight gain if consumed in significant quantities regularly. It is true if one does not keep track of what one consumes daily.
Some other serious side effects of excessive grape function include aggravated Kidney problems and pregnancy complications. But these are extremely rare.
Recommended Amount of Grapes
A serving of grapes is around ½ cup, containing around 16 grapes. It is relatively uncommon for people to consume multiple servings of a single fruit or vegetable in a single day. It’s usually a good idea to eat various fruits and vegetables every day. Still, a cup or more of grapes isn’t out of the question.
More than two cups (~32 grapes) might cause minor complications.
The Bottom Line
Grapes are accessible throughout the year. They offer a variety of medicinal characteristics that are simple to understand. However, there are just a few hazards on the downside. Grapes are one of the world’s most underappreciated superfruits. But, unfortunately, you’re losing out if you don’t start eating these little berries!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. How many grapes should you eat a day?
A. One serving of grapes is around ½ cup, containing approximately 16 grapes. That is the recommended amount of grapes to eat in a day.
Q. Are grapes good for skin?
A. Grapes, which are high in Vitamin C and antioxidants, can assist in rejuvenating your skin. They can even protect your skin from cancer-causing UV radiation, which can create wrinkles and dark spots on a smaller scale.
Q. Why are grapes bad for you?
A. They’re not! On the contrary, grapes can be perfect for your mental and physical well being. And as long as taken in moderation, they can be a part of a healthy balanced diet.
Q. What are the side effects of grapes?
A. If you eat a lot of grapes, you can experience diarrhoea, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, cough, and headache. But these conditions are usually rare.
Q. Is it OK to eat grapes at night?
A. It’s advisable to consume grapes and most of the fruits before sunset or by 7 pm as later in evening or at late night fruits consumption might lead to bloating.
Q. What colour of grapes is the healthiest?
A. Although there is no confirmed text for this, black grapes are scientifically proven to exhibit the most beneficial properties.
Q. Do grapes make you lose weight?
A. They’re low in calories and almost fat-free, so including them in your diet might help you lose weight faster but moderation is the key.
Q. Is it good to eat grape seeds?
A. Grape seeds have a sour flavour and are generally safe to ingest by most people. However, it’s ok to chew and swallow them if you don’t want to spit them out.
Q. Why are grapes with seeds better?
A. Grape seeds are one of the most nutrient-dense elements of the grape. They include melatonin and a slew of antioxidants, which is why they are better.
Q. Are seeded grapes healthier?
A. Many of the seeds’ components are thought to have germicidal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Grapes with seeds have a higher concentration of beneficial elements than seedless grapes.
Q. What are the benefits of eating grapes?
A. Grapes help fight against virtually all kinds of diseases and infections. They also help you recover faster from them. They come in different tastes and sizes so that everyone can enjoy them. They’re easy to carry and very healthy!