There are many varieties of grapes worldwide which are used for wine, dried as raisins or currants, cooked, or enjoyed raw. Grapes are sweet berries and are one of the earliest agricultural crops dating back as far as 8,000 years ago.
We know there are many health benefits of grapes in their varied forms. They are packed with vitamins and minerals, almost no fats, and are very low in calories. Grapes contain Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, polyphenols, potassium, and antioxidants. Grapes are considered a superfood due to being super dense in nutrients.
How Can We Enjoy Grapes?
Grapes can be enjoyed whole and raw for a quick energy boost. But they can also be consumed as jellies and jams, as a dried fruit, as a frozen snack, grilled on kebabs, in a fruit salad or green salad, as grape juice, and of course as wine.
White wine is made from the green grape, while red wine is from red or purple grapes. Grape juice is, however, high in sugar, so your intake should be limited if you are diabetic or otherwise reducing your sugar intake. Eating whole grapes gives the benefits of fiber, which are not present in the juice.
What Are the Health Benefits of Grapes?
1. Help prevent heart disease
The polyphenols found in grapes help lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) as well as lower blood pressure, which are all risks associated with heart disease. The potassium found in grapes helps your body reduce sodium, which assists in lowering hypertension. So enjoy a glass of wine or a cup full of grapes daily for your heart health.
2. Can help prevent cancer
The polyphenols, resveratrol, as well as the flavonols and anthocyanins which are found in grapes (especially in the seeds and skin) can help prevent cancers — especially colorectal cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, and metastatic breast cancer.
3. A natural antibacterial
Good for cold and flu fighting as well as helping you fight off other bacteria, grapes are a natural antibacterial agent. There may even be some benefit in using grape extracts to fight fungus infections.
4. Can help you live longer
Resveratrol has been tested to extend cell life under laboratory conditions, which means that eating grapes which contain high levels of resveratrol may also extend our own cell life, helping us live healthier for longer.
5. Can help with bone health
The vitamin K found in grapes can help boost calcium absorption in the body. Combining grapes with your calcium intake can improve bone density and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. The manganese found in grapes also assists with calcium absorption as well as the production of the enzymes which promote bone growth.
6. Can reduce diabetic neuropathy
Diabetics can suffer from diabetic neuropathy, a condition caused by damage to the nerves and even internal organs from poorly controlled blood sugar levels. This usually manifests in the feet and hands, but can be found elsewhere. Symptoms include weakness, numbness, burning or tingling feeling, cramps, sharp pains, loss of balance, reflexes and coordination, and an inability to feel temperature changes or external pain. This can further result in infections, ulcers, deformities, joint, and bone pain. Grapes help keep sugar levels steadier, reduce pain and inflammation, and can help heal the nerves damaged by this ailment.
7. Rejuvenate the skin
Vitamin C and antioxidants in grapes can help protect your skin from UV radiation damage as well as reduce free radicals in the body which can cause dark spots and wrinkles. Vitamin C is also essential to collagen production, which helps keep your skin stay firm and young looking.
8. Good for your eyes
Two of the antioxidants present in grapes, zeaxanthin and lutein, help fight diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal damage and cataracts. The Vitamin A, combined with the lutein helps prevent against free radicals which cause stress and damage to the retina. A cup a day can help give you bright, shiny, healthy eyes.
9. Good for your brain
Further health benefits of grapes are due to the resveratrol found in these berries in high levels. This compound, along with reducing the free radicals that cause harm to the body, also fights against arterial plaque buildup. This helps blood flow in the brain and reduces damage which can result in diseases such as Alzheimer’s later on in life. Eat some grapes for better mental dexterity.
10. A natural energy booster
As well as improving your blood flow and metabolism and normalizing blood sugar levels, grapes can provide an energy boost, especially for people who enjoy intense workouts. The complex carbohydrates in grapes are an instant energy boost which lasts longer, perfect for runners and other athletes requiring extra energy. Even if you are not into intense fitness regimes, a handful of grapes is an excellent pick-me-up for anytime use.
Final Thoughts on the Health Benefits of Grapes
These small, delicious berries are a treat at any time of the day, and knowing that this superfood can improve your health makes them an easy addition to any diet. You can also look at adding a glass of wine to your daily intake to benefit your health. Grapes are subject to pesticides, so we recommend you buy them organically grown when available, or at least make sure to wash them very well. While there are many health benefits of grapes, it is important to still moderate your intake, especially of alcoholic beverages in order to maintain a healthy body.