There are many varieties of grapes: red, green, purple to seedless grapes, not to mention wine and raisins. This popular fruit has been cultivated for the past 8000 years. It was known to be cultivated first in the Middle East. The humble grape is actually a berry. Several million tones of this berry are grown in the world each year, with most of them used to make wine.
Grapes are portable and delicious. The health benefits of eating grapes are many, with studies showing their efficacy in preventing cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure as well as constipation.
Nutrition in grapes
The best serving size of grapes is one cup with 32 grapes. One cup of red grapes contains
- 104 calories
- 1.09 grams of protein
- 0.24 grams of fat
- 1.4 grams of fiber
- 4.8 milligrams of vitamin C
- 10 micrograms of vitamin A
- 288 milligrams of potassium
Grapes are rich in water and thus are good for hydration. High water-content fruits are usually nutrient-dense. They are known to contain a large variety of nutrients while containing few calories. Grapes contain 70 milliliters of fluid per cup. Grapes contain antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin. Red grapes contain phytochemical resveratrol in their skins. This protects the body from many diseases and conditions. Grapes contain flavonoids myricetin and quercetin which help the body slow down the formation of free radicals.
Benefits of grapes
1. Grapes have antioxidants known as polyphenols, which are known to slow down or even prevent the formation of many types of cancers. It is especially effective against oesophageal, lung, mouth, pharynx, pancreatic, prostate and colon cancer.
2. The flavonoid quercetin has anti-inflammatory properties which reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and protects against damage caused by low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The polyphenol present in grapes helps to reduce the risk of heart disease by preventing platelet build-up and reduce blood pressure.
3. The fiber and potassium present in grapes are also good for the heart. A diet of high potassium and low sodium is necessary to avoid heart trouble. High potassium is also known to reduce the risk of stroke and the formation of kidney stones.
4. Because of its high potassium content, grapes are good for those with high blood pressure. Grapes help to neutralize the effect of sodium on the body.
5. Grapes are rich in water. Eating such kinds of fruits helps to keep you hydrated and regularizes your bowel movements. Grapes also contain fiber, which minimizes constipation.
6. The quercetin in grapes has anti-inflammatory properties. This helps to diminish the symptoms of allergies like running nose and watery eyes.
7. The chemical resveratrol present in grapes protects you from diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy. Resveratrol is beneficial against Alzheimer’s disease and mood swings associated with menopause.
Add grapes to your diet
Grapes are a versatile berry and there are many ways to incorporate it into your diet. You can add grapes to your chicken salad. You can make a fruit cocktail and include grapes, pineapples, sliced peaches, and strawberries. Add a bit of honey on top for a sweet flavor. Freeze grapes and eat them on a hot day as desserts. Or simply have a cup of a fresh cup of grapes.