Today, grapes are eaten as fresh table fruit, but thousands of years ago, they were used in winemaking. Grapes are otherwise known as the queen of fruits, which comes under the family of berries. They come in varieties like seeded and seedless, several colors such as green, red, black, and purple. It is also used to make wine, jam, jelly, juice, and grape seed oil. Annually more than 73 million tons of grapes grow around the globe. Wine grapes are smaller in size than table grapes and also have many seeds in them.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 71% of grapes used for winemaking purposes, 27% consumed as fresh fruit, and 2% used as the dried fruit. They are an excellent source of nutrients and antioxidants and have lots of phytonutrient resveratrol (1). However, they are free of fat and low in calories. Fresh grapes consist of 80% water, whereas dried grapes contain 15% water.
|Nutritional value per 100 g|
|Energy||288 kJ (69 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||0.9 g|
|Thiamine (B1)||0.069 mg|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.07 mg|
|Niacin (B3)||0.188 mg|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.05 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.086 mg|
|Folate (B9)||2 μg|
|Vitamin C||3.2 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.19 mg|
|Vitamin K||14.6 μg|
Categories of Grapes
- Table grape varietals - Centennial, Danlas, Ora, Italia, Victoria, Lival, Red Globe, Prima, Flame, Crimson, Lavalee.
- Wine grape varietals – Bourboulenc, Chardonnay, Chasan, Chenin, Clairette, Colombard, Cinsaut, Alicante Bouschet, Caladoc, Pinot Noir, Tannat N, Marselan.
- Dried grape varietals – Raisins, Currant, Sultanas.
Here are a few Health Benefits of Grapes
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Grapes contain several antioxidants (2) such as vitamin C, manganese, resveratrol, and beta-carotene, all of which are the elements that help to decrease inflammation, support healthy blood flow, prompt anti-aging, and enhance better brain function. The quercetin in black and red grapes that shields the brain against neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s (3). They also serve to protect cell membranes from free radicals, which may cause cell damage that leads to diseases. Consuming 1 or 2 cups of grapes every day helps to protect the tissues by limiting the chemical reactions, which causes inflammation in the body.
2. Rejuvenates Skin
Resveratrol content in grapes and seeds curbs the aging factor of your cells, which helps to control the signs of aging. It is an antioxidant that aids in maintaining skin health. The phytonutrients found in the grapes may shield skin cells from the effect of free radicals and cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation. The antioxidants in grapes protect the skin from pollution and toxins, which is also beneficial for collagen repair. Apply some crushed grapes extract onto the skin that helps in moisturizing your dry skin and make it glow. This method is one of the easy ways to rejuvenate your skin.
3. Brightens Eyes
Grapes comprise lutein and vitamin A that boost eye health by protecting the retina and eye lens from damage, increasing visual range, and reducing discomfort from glare. Similarly, resveratrol in grapes helps curb other eye-related disorders such as cataracts and macular degeneration (4); it also blocks the specific enzymes that degenerate the tissue. Especially, black grapes are effective for eye health because they have more powerful antioxidants than green grapes.
4. Maintains Healthy Heart
The antioxidants in grapes can lower the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart-related disorders, blood clots, reduce inflammation from oxidative stress, and protect the cardiovascular system (5). Grapes contain quercetin and resveratrol that have anti-inflammatory properties, which decreases the risk of heart diseases. Consuming grapes also boost the levels of nitric oxide in the blood, which can inhibit the blood clotting process. Deficiency of potassium may lead to stroke, high blood pressure, and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. This delicious fruit may help as they are a good source of potassium and other vital minerals that keeps your heart healthy.
5. Prevents Cancer
Grapes inhibit the formation of cancer cells in the body due to their excellent source of vital nutrients. It also protects cellular DNA that lowers the risk of cancer, limits reactions that initiate tumor growth, and fights against certain cancer. Resveratrol shields the skin from harmful UVB rays of the sun that help guard your skin against cancer. In case the cells are damaged by free radicals, which contribute to cancer growth in the body, consume grapes or red wine in a moderate quantity that aid in reducing the risk of developing cancer. Red grapes protect your body from radiation during cancer treatment. Polyphenols are an antioxidant present in the skin of the grapes, which might slow down cancer progression (6).
6. Promotes Brain Function
Grapes work as a brain-protecting agent; they improve concentration and memory and enhances brain health. Due to resveratrol presence, it is beneficial to reduce amyloidal-beta peptides in Alzheimer’s disease patients. Consumption of grapes may also improve blood flow to the brain. The polyphenols help to boost cognitive brain function and even slow down mild memory loss due to aging (7).
7. Improves Kidney Function
Grapes help to decrease uric acid levels in the body. Since it has a high water content that causes frequent urination through which the uric acid is washed away from the body. Grapes are an excellent source for cleaning out the kidneys and eliminating toxic waste more efficiently. Thus, grape nutrition is considered one of the best natural treatments of a healthy kidney.
8. Treats Migraine
Migraine is a common problem for people when there is a chemical imbalance, climate change, lack of sleep, and nutrition. Interestingly, ripe grape juice is the best home remedy that provides relief from migraines because they have plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Besides, drinking red wine is often blamed as another cause of migraines, while the grape seed extract and grape juice are considered an effective solution to the problem. So, consume ripe grape juice without adding water in the early morning to ease the pain.
Grapes are delicious healthy snack which you can add easily to your diet. Black grapes are famous for making wine.
These tropical fruits contain plenty of healthy nutrients, which help in preventing a few common life-related disorders.