Grapes have been cultivated for thousands of years and have been revered by several ancient civilizations for their use in winemaking.
There are many types of grapes including green, red, black, yellow and pink. They grow in clusters and come in seeded and seedless varieties.
Grapes are grown in temperate climates across the world, including Southern Europe, Africa, Australia and North and South America. The majority of grapes grown in the US are from California.
Grapes offer a wealth of health benefits due to their high nutrient and antioxidant contents.
Here are the top 12 health benefits of eating grapes.
1.Packed With Nutrients, Especially Vitamins C and K
Grapes are high in several important nutrients.
One cup (151 grams) of red or green grapes contains the following nutrients (1):
Carbs: 27.3 grams
Protein: 1.1 grams
Fat: 0.2 grams
Fiber: 1.4 grams
Vitamin C: 27% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Vitamin K: 28% of the RDI
Thiamine: 7% of the RDI
Riboflavin: 6% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
Potassium: 8% of the RDI
Copper: 10% of the RDI
Manganese: 5% of the RDI
One cup (151 grams) of grapes provides more than a quarter of the RDI for vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin vital for blood clotting and healthy bones (2Trusted Source).
They’re also a good source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient and powerful antioxidant necessary for connective tissue health
- High Antioxidant Contents May Prevent Chronic Diseases
Antioxidants are compounds found in plants, for example. They help repair the damage to your cells caused by free radicals, which are harmful molecules that cause oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress has been associated with several chronic diseases including diabetes, cancer and heart disease (4Trusted Source).
Grapes are high in a number of powerful antioxidant compounds. In fact, over 1,600 beneficial plant compounds have been identified in this fruit (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
The highest concentration of antioxidants is found in the skin and seeds. For this reason, most of the research on grapes has been done using seed or skin extracts (7Trusted Source).
Red grapes contain higher numbers of antioxidants due to the anthocyanins that give them their color (5Trusted Source).
The antioxidants in grapes remain present even after fermentation, which is why red wine is also high in these compounds (8Trusted Source).
One of the antioxidants in this fruit is resveratrol, which is classified as a polyphenol.
Numerous studies have been performed on its benefits, showing that resveratrol protects against heart disease, lowers blood sugar and protects against the development of cancer (9Trusted Source).
Grapes also contain vitamin C, beta-carotene, quercetin, lutein, lycopene and ellagic acid, which are powerful antioxidants as well (6Trusted Source).
- Plant Compounds May Protect Against Certain Types of Cancer
Grapes contain high levels of beneficial plant compounds, which may help protect against certain types of cancer (6Trusted Source).
Resveratrol, one of the compounds found in this fruit, has been well-studied in terms of cancer prevention and treatment.
It has been shown to protect against cancer by reducing inflammation, acting as an antioxidant and blocking the growth and spread of cancer cells within the body (10Trusted Source).
However, the unique combination of plant compounds found in grapes may be responsible for their anti-cancer benefits. In addition to resveratrol, grapes also contain quercetin, anthocyanins and catechins — all of which may have beneficial effects against cancer (11Trusted Source).
Grape extracts have been shown to block the growth and spread of human colon cancer cells in test-tube studies (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
Additionally, one study in 30 people over the age of 50 showed that eating 1 pound (450 grams) of grapes per day for two weeks decreased markers of colon cancer risk (14Trusted Source).
Studies have also found that grape extracts block the growth and spread of breast cancer cells, both in laboratory and mouse models (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
While studies on grapes and cancer in humans are limited, a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods, such as grapes, has been linked to a lower risk of cancer (18Trusted Source).
- Beneficial for Heart Health in Various Impressive Ways
There are several reasons why eating grapes is good for your heart.
May Help Lower Blood Pressure
One cup (151 grams) of grapes contains 288 mg of potassium, which is 6% of the RDI (1).
This mineral is necessary for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
Low intake of potassium has been linked to increased risks of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke (19).
A study in 12,267 adults showed that people who consumed higher levels of potassium in relation to sodium were less likely to die from heart diseases than those who consumed less potassium (20Trusted Source).
May Help Reduce Cholesterol
Compounds found in grapes may help protect against high cholesterol levels by decreasing cholesterol absorption (21Trusted Source).
In one study in 69 people with high cholesterol, eating three cups (500 grams) of red grapes a day for eight weeks was shown to lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol. White grapes did not have the same effect (22Trusted Source).
Additionally, diets high in resveratrol, such as the Mediterranean diet, have been shown to decrease cholesterol levels as well (23Trusted Source).
Continue Reading: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-grapes#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5