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Grapes: Nutritional Health Benefits, Risks & Ways To Eat

Grapes are known for their velvety colour and sweet flavour. They possess innumerable health benefits due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content. Around 8,000 years ago, people first cultivated grape vines in the Middle East.

Grapes come in various colours like red, green, black, purple, yellow and pink. They also come in seeded and seedless varieties.

Grapes

The delicious sweet and juicy grapes can be consumed fresh or raw, dried as raisins or in the form of juice, currents, sultanas and not to mention wine.

Nutritional Value Of Grapes

100 g of red or green grapes contain 65 kcal energy and they also contain

  • 0.72 g protein
  • 0.72 g fat
  • 17.39 g carbohydrate
  • 0.7 g fibre
  • 16.67 g sugar
  • 14 mg calcium
  • 0.26 mg iron
  • 10.9 mg vitamin C
  • 72 IU vitamin A
Grapes

Health Benefits Of Grapes

1. Prevent diabetes

Grapes have a low glycemic index of 53. Glycemic index (GI) is the measurement of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. A study showed that men who took 20 g of grape extract per day experienced lower blood sugar levels [1] . Resveratrol, a compound found in grapes is said to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar.

2. Improve heart health

Quercetin and resveratrol found in grapes lower the risk of atherosclerosis and protect against the damage caused by LDL cholesterol [2] . In a study, 69 people with high cholesterol who ate 500 g of red grapes per day for 8 weeks was shown to have lower bad cholesterol [3] .

3. Prevent cancer

Grapes are loaded with plant compounds, which may help protect against certain types of cancer [4] . Studies have shown that grape extracts inhibit the growth and spread of breast cancer and colon cancer cells [5] , [6] .

Grapes

4. Manage blood pressure

Grapes contain good amounts of potassium, a mineral which helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels. High levels of potassium and low sodium levels in the body lowers the chances of heart diseases.

5. Maintain eye health

The beneficial plant compounds found in grapes protect the eyes from diseases like age-related macular degeneration and cataract. Resveratrol, a plant compound was found to protect retinal cells from UVA light [7] .

6. Lower inflammation

Resveratrol contains anti-inflammatory properties which have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, etc. A study found that eating 1.5 cups of fresh grapes increased a lot of anti-inflammatory compounds in the blood [8] .

Grapes

7. Boost cognitive health

According to a study published in the European Journal Of Nutrition, drinking 230 ml of grape juice improved both the speed of mood and memory-related skills 20 minutes after consumption [9] .

8. Promote bone health

Grapes contain resveratrol, calcium, vitamin K, manganese, magnesium, potassium all of which help improve bone density [10] . Studies in rats have shown resveratrol can improve bone density, but human studies are lacking.

9. Lower the symptoms of allergies

Due to the anti-inflammatory effects of resveratrol and quercetin, grapes can lower the symptoms of allergies, including watery eyes, hives, and runny nose.

Grapes

10. Prevent bacteria, virus, and yeast infections

Grapes are an excellent source of vitamin C which has been shown to protect and fight against bacterial and viral infections from attacking the immune system. The beneficial plant compounds in grapes can prevent the spread of chicken pox, herpes virus, and yeast infections [11] .

11. Enhance skin health

Grapes are a good source of vitamin C and resveratrol which may delay ageing and improve skin health. A study published in the Journal Dermatology and Therapy shows that resveratrol can help treat acne if used with benzoyl peroxide [12] .

Potential Risks Of Grapes

Eating excess quantities of grapes, raisins, dried grapes, or sultanas may increase the chances of diarrhoea. Also, allergic reactions to grapes can cause stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, headache, etc.

Grapes

Ways To Eat Grapes

  • Grapes can be made into jellies, jams, and juices.
  • You can consume grapes as a snack.
  • Slice grapes and add them to a chicken or green salad.
  • Use grapes in a fruit salad, fruit custard or fruit cocktail.

Grape Juice Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups grapes
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2-3 tsp lemon juice (optional)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup water

Method:

  • Add all the ingredients in the juicer.
  • Pour the juice into the glass and serve.

You could also make scrumptious dry grapes curry recipe.

View Article References
  1. [1] Urquiaga, I., D’Acuña, S., Pérez, D., Dicenta, S., Echeverría, G., Rigotti, A., & Leighton, F. (2015). Wine grape pomace flour improves blood pressure, fasting glucose and protein damage in humans: a randomized controlled trial.Biological research,48(1), 49.
  2. [2] G Murillo, A., & L Fernandez, M. (2017). The relevance of dietary polyphenols in cardiovascular protection.Current pharmaceutical design,23(17), 2444-2452.
  3. [3] Rahbar, A. R., Mahmoudabadi, M. M. S., & Islam, M. S. (2015). Comparative effects of red and white grapes on oxidative markers and lipidemic parameters in adult hypercholesterolemic humans.Food & function,6(6), 1992-1998.
  4. [4] Pezzuto, J. M. (2008). Grapes and human health: a perspective.Journal of agricultural and food chemistry,56(16), 6777-6784.
  5. [5] Dinicola, S., Pasqualato, A., Cucina, A., Coluccia, P., Ferranti, F., Canipari, R., ... & Palombo, A. (2014). Grape seed extract suppresses MDA-MB231 breast cancer cell migration and invasion.European journal of nutrition,53(2), 421-431.
  6. [6] Valenzuela, M., Bastias, L., Montenegro, I., Werner, E., Madrid, A., Godoy, P., ... & Villena, J. (2018). Autumn Royal and Ribier Grape Juice Extracts Reduced Viability and Metastatic Potential of Colon Cancer Cells.Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine,2018.
  7. [7] Tsai, H. Y., Ho, C. T., & Chen, Y. K. (2017). Biological actions and molecular effects of resveratrol, pterostilbene, and 3′-hydroxypterostilbene.journal of food and drug analysis,25(1), 134-147.
  8. [8] Barona, J., Blesso, C., Andersen, C., Park, Y., Lee, J., & Fernandez, M. (2012). Grape consumption increases anti-inflammatory markers and upregulates peripheral nitric oxide synthase in the absence of dyslipidemias in men with metabolic syndrome.Nutrients,4(12), 1945-1957.
  9. [9] Haskell-Ramsay, C. F., Stuart, R. C., Okello, E. J., & Watson, A. W. (2017). Cognitive and mood improvements following acute supplementation with purple grape juice in healthy young adults.European journal of nutrition,56(8), 2621-2631.
  10. [10] Lin, Q., Huang, Y. M., Xiao, B. X., & Ren, G. F. (2005). Effects of resveratrol on bone mineral density in ovarectomized rats.International journal of biomedical science : IJBS,1(1), 76–81.
  11. [11] Berardi, V., Ricci, F., Castelli, M., Galati, G., & Risuleo, G. (2009). Resveratrol exhibits a strong cytotoxic activity in cultured cells and has an antiviral action against polyomavirus: potential clinical use.Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research,28(1), 96.
  12. [12] Taylor, E. J., Yu, Y., Champer, J., & Kim, J. (). Resveratrol Demonstrates Antimicrobial Effects Against Propionibacterium acnes In Vitro.Dermatology and therapy,4(2), 249–257.

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