Grapes can be a little confusing in the world of fruit since it doesn’t really resemble anything else, but for those that assume that grapes are in the berry family, you are correct. There are a lot of very sweet fruits out there, but grapes rank among the sweetest. Grapes are the perfect snack food, and make for a great ingredient in things such as jelly, vinegar and, of course, wine.
Like other fruits, grapes are good for your health in a variety of ways. We all know that we should be eating more fruits and vegetables throughout the week, and grapes make it easy because of their fantastic taste. In one major online poll, grapes actually came in second as the most popular fruit right behind strawberries. Even with their popularity, most people probably don’t know exactly why grapes are so good for them. We’re about to tell you, as we breakdown the amazing health benefits that you get from eating grapes.
Nutrition of Grapes
In one cup of grapes, you are getting some very important vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. For starters, there is five percent of your daily recommendation of dietary fiber. In terms of vitamins, you are getting more than 25 percent of your recommended values in both vitamin C and vitamin K, both very important nutrients. Other significant vitamins you can find in grapes include thiamin, vitamin B6, riboflavin and vitamin A.
As for the mineral side of the nutrition label, one serving of grapes contains 10 percent of your recommended daily copper amount. That’s the most abundant of the minerals, but you can also find some others that include potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. As a nice little cherry on top, there is even 15 milligrams of calcium.
One of the best things that you can say about grapes is that they keep the doctor away as much (if not more) than an apple. Grapes contain a powerful antioxidant known as polyphenol that has been shown to help prevent or stop cancer cell growth. This is one of the many reasons that doctors suggest that you actually drink one glass of wine per day, as grapes can fight forms of cancer that contain lung, colon and mouth cancers.
Cancer is not the only serious disease that you can prevent by eating more grapes. It has been shown that grapes are able to help prevent heart disease that is brought on from high cholesterol and blood pressure. Grapes help you to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, while raising your HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Potassium helps a lot, lowering your chances of heart disease by nearly half. You can also prevent strokes that become more common with age.
Grapes are one of the better foods that you can eat for your digestive system since they contain fiber, water and antioxidants. The water content in grapes alone is enough to help people that suffer from constant constipation and want to remain regular. This will also be beneficial for those with constant diarrhea, as the insoluble fiber in grapes allow your body to create more solid stool, which will hydrate your body in turn.
For those that suffer from indigestion and dyspepsia, grapes make for a perfect snack. They are still filling with their fiber content, and are easy on the digestive system so they won’t make you nauseous or gassy. Finally, the antibacterial factor that you find in grapes (and wine, and even grape juice) will help anybody that doesn’t have a digestive order to begin with, strengthening your digestive tract even farther.
If you are someone that is constantly feeling tired or suffering from headaches (such as migraines), eating grapes can help you out. For those with migraine headaches or an inability to sleep, you might want to set the wine aside for a little bit and focus on grapes or pure grape juice for a while. Grape juice and water will work as an antioxidant that gives you a better chemical balance to feel more refreshed and alert.
On the other hand, if you don’t suffer from headaches, but just regular fatigue, it might be a sign of anemia. This is caused by low iron levels, but you can get more iron from eating grapes and drinking its juice. For those that aren’t anemic and just need a little more energy throughout the day, grapes are a great snack that you can pick up at any time of the day to get a boost.
Eyes and Brains
The antioxidant properties in grapes have been shown to help both your eyes and brain, which is important since they are connected. For your eyes, grapes can help you keep your vision stronger for later in your life, preventing diseases such as cataracts or macular degeneration. These are caused by free radicals that your body can fight off with more antioxidant rich foods (like grapes).
Free radicals are also a cause of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown that people who drink grape juice more regularly are less likely to suffer from these problems later in life. Not only will you feel younger by eating and drinking more grapes, but you can also look younger since the hydration and antioxidant properties can help prevent wrinkles and early signs of aging.
Boost Your Bones
Another thing that unfortunately comes with aging is the degeneration of bone health. Throughout your life, you need to be eating more foods that promote bone health, and grapes can be huge in that department. With important minerals such as iron and manganese, grapes will help you keep osteoporosis away for longer. It also helps to relieve joint pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties for those with sore joints.
Summing it Up
Grapes can do just about anything it seems, even when they are in juice form and even have some benefits as wine. Not only that, but they happen to taste great. So are there any side effects that you should worry about with grapes? Some people unfortunately are allergic to grapes, but this is pretty rare. Other than that, you should be watching how many you eat as it’s easy to keep popping them into your mouth mindlessly.
Grapes are a bit high in calories compared to other fruits, and also contain more carbohydrates than most. While eating 200 calories worth of grapes as a snack isn’t going to hurt you in the long run (if you are eating an overall healthy diet), some can end up eating too many, which could lead to extra pounds.
The chances of eating enough grapes to start gaining weight is not very typical, however, so the negatives of grapes are minimal. Instead, focus on adding grapes to your diet along with other fruits for a well rounded and healthy eating plan. And as we already know, grapes are among the most popular because of their taste. You will feel better, live longer and probably even look better in the process.