Q: Why aren’t grapes ever lonely?
A: Because they come in bunches!
Growing up grapes were my favorite fruit. I loved them in my lunch box. Now I love them frozen and dropped in my wine glass. Do you love grapes? You should, they are so good for you!
Grapes have been eaten since the prehistoric era and were cultivated far back in 5000 B.C.E. In the ancient Roman and Greek civilizations, the fruit was worshipped for its use in wine making. The fruit is packed with antioxidants which have profound benefits like enhancing immunity and protecting against life threatening diseases like cancers and cardiovascular disorders. Grapes are rich in health promoting flavonoids and provide the body with countless benefits. Grapes protect the body against atherosclerosis and cancer.
Grapes provide nutritional benefits similar to a lot of berries. However, their nutritional quality can be augmented by eating the seeds, which are found in some varieties. The following are the outstanding benefits provided by grapes.
Nutritional Benefits of Grapes
Grapes have so many vital nutrients and powerful antioxidants, that can stop the occurrence of several deadly diseases and have remarkable benefits in the treatment of so many disorders.
- Grapes are loaded with flavonoids, which are wonderful anti-oxidants. The darker the color of the grape, the higher is the concentration of flavonoids in it. Wine also contains these flavonoids, so an occasional glass of wine is very good for you.
- They are rich in resveratrol, a compound which is a potent antioxidant, and is being touted as an anti-aging agent. The resveratrol, (lutein and zeaxanthin also), may protect against common age related eye diseases.
- Grapes also supply lots of thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium, all necessary for healthy bones, energy, healthy skin, and joints.
- Grapes can prevent atherosclerosis: The flavonoids present in grapes are really strong and forceful anti-oxidants, and have the capacity to reverse atherosclerosis and its devastating effects. Atherosclerosis is the build up of plaque within the arterial walls, leading to constriction of the arteries, subsequent increase in blood pressure and a range of lethal cardiac disorders. Grapes protect against vascular damage, oxidative damage, they prevent platelets from aggregating together, thus, putting a stop to the formation of clots, which could be potentially dangerous, and reduces the plaque and cholesterol build up in the arteries.
- Grapes can exert powerful anti-cancer effects: Studies demonstrate that flavonoids and resveratrol offer significant protection from cancer and avert its development. These antioxidants are powerful free radical scavengers and fighters, that stave off DNA damage.
- Grapes can boost immunity: Resveratrol boosts the immune system functioning and defense mechanisms of the body. It increases the body’s resilience to environmental stressors, adverse weather and checks bacterial/viral infections.
- Many natural health advocates claim grapes treat varicose veins: Grape seeds extracts, packed with flavonoids, have been used extensively to treat varicose veins. These extracts manage the varicosity of the blood vessel, prevent inflammatory conditions and handle most venous disorders successfully.
Some Fun Snacking Ideas for Grapes
Grapes, when bought, should be plump, firm and wrinkle free. Always wash your grapes and any produce really.
Salads: grapes make wonderful additions to fruits salads, green salads and juices. Chicken salads with grapes are awesome too.
Curries and stewed vegetables can be given an added punch and fruity flavor, by including fresh grapes in the recipe.
Stewed grapes can be served with poached chicken breast as a light and wholesome dish.
For more information on the health benefits of grapes, Healthline has an awesome post on the healing benefits of grapes.
Read my last health benefits post on Oats.
One cup of red or green grapes contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 104
- 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