Good Reasons You Should Probably Be Eating Way More Grapes!5 years ago | Nutrition
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
Updated February 18, 2021
It may be nearly impossible to find someone who can resist the taste of grapes. These juicy, little clusters make the perfect snack and are so versatile. They are used for juices, fruits salads, wines and much more.
Believe it or not, grapes are botanically classified as berries. They derive from the vines of the flower plant genus Vitis. Grapes are small and round and most of the time oval-shaped. They have a smooth, thin layer of skin that covers a very sweet, pulp-like substance. Some grapes are grown with seeds, while others remain seedless. Either way, the whole grape is edible, seeds included.
The Food and Culture Organization (FAO) reported that 71% of grape production is used for wine, while 27% is used to be consumed as fresh fruit. The remaining 2% is used as dry fruit. If that’s not enough to blow your mind, in the world, approximately 79,550 square kilometers are dedicated to cultivating perennial grape vines, which represent around 13% of world fruit and nut production!
Now let’s look at a few of the things grapes may do for our health!
Grapes May Protect Against Sun Damage
A recent study found evidence which suggested that grapes may help protect against skin damage that can occur from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. The study involved 19 healthy adults who orally ingested a powder of freeze-dried grapes for 14 days. The results revealed an almost 75 percent increase in natural protection of the skin, according to this Medical Xpress report discussing the study.
"The study found that a group of natural compounds—polyphenols, found in grapes as well as other fruits and vegetables—can reduce acute UV radiation damage in healthy adults, which was previously demonstrated in mouse models," reports Medical Xpress.
"Additionally, it can decrease proteins in the body that promote inflammation. This is the first study showing that oral ingestion of table grapes has a photoprotective effect on the sunburn response in humans."
(This does not mean that you should not wear sunscreen if you eat grapes).
Grapes May Help Prevent Heart Disease
There is evidence that grapes can increase the nitric oxide levels in the blood, which help prevent blood clots. On top of that, grapes have a ton of antioxidants that may prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation, which blocks the blood vessels and may lead to certain coronary conditions. Grapes also contain two powerful flavonoids, called resveratrol and quercetin, which may positively affect LDL cholesterol levels. Ultimately, they help filter out any toxins from the bloodstream.
Grapes May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Grapes may also reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The grape’s powerful flavonoid, resveratrol, may reduce the levels of amyloidal beta peptides in Alzheimer’s patients. Thanks to its many antioxidants, the grape may have the ability to increase brain health and slow down the development of neurological diseases. Grape juice may even increase memory and brain health in older people – even after they’ve started showing signs of mild cognitive impairment – according to the British Journal of Nutrition.
White Grapes May Battle Fatigue
White and light grapes may contain enough iron content to fight against fatigue. And because of the amount of iron content these grapes have, white grapes may also prevent anemia, which is the lack of iron in the bloodstream. Naturally, iron deficiency makes your mind and body sluggish. All it may take is a cup of grape juice for an instant energy boost!
One cup of raw grapes includes the following nutrients:
- Vitamin C, 3.2 mg - Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients needed for survival. It is an antioxidant that protects your immune system from deficiencies that lead to cardiovascular illnesses. It also is responsible for helping the body produce collagen for your skin and bones and is a common ingredient in beauty products.
- Vitamin A, 66 IU - Vitamin A helps with bone growth and reproduction health. It is mainly known for improving your eyesight, skin health and cell regeneration.
- Calcium, 10 mg - Calcium is the go-to nutrient for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. Calcium also helps control high blood pressure and diabetes. It also ensures that your heart, nerves and muscles are all functioning properly.
- Magnesium, 7 mg - Magnesium is necessary for all our cells to function efficiently. It positively affects liver and kidney health and protects the organs from damage and fungal infections. Magnesium can also protect the brain and may reduce behavioral disorders and mood swings.
- Phosphorus, 20 mg - Phosphorus helps normalize your heartbeat and kidney functions, while helping with the body’s nerve signaling and muscle contractions. Phosphorus may also help you lose weight!
- Potassium, 191 mg - Potassium relieves your body from muscle soreness, anxiety and stress. Meanwhile, the nutrient speeds up your metabolism and enhances your muscle strength and nervous system health. Potassium also protects the body from water imbalance and kidney disorders.
- Sodium, 2 mg - Sodium is one of the most important minerals in the human body. It regulates your body’s fluid levels while keeping your brain sharp. Sodium also prevents your muscles from cramping and even defends your skin from free radicals that accelerate the aging process.
Grapes are clearly one of those “sweets” you may be able to indulge in without the guilt. If you are otherwise healthy, you can safely indulge and feel safe knowing that you’re reaping a ton of nutritional health benefits with every bite!
Enjoy your healthy life!
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or another competent healthcare practitioner to get specific medical advice for your situation.
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.