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Grapes are one of the most popular table fruits and since earlier times they are considered as the “Queen of fruits”. The origin of these tiny berries is in Europe and the Mediterranean. Grapes contain various phytonutrients which are responsible for promoting health such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Grapes are included in the diet majorly because of their health benefits and their taste.

They are small round berries which grow in clusters on the deciduous woody vine of grape plant, scientifically called Vitis. They are cultivated widely all around the world under supervised vineyards and orchards. Structure-wise, each berry of the grape has a semi-translucent flesh under a smooth thin skin. Various polyphenolics present in grapes are responsible for the colour of the fruit. The pigments responsible for the color of red grapes is anthocyanin whereas white and green grapes mostly contain tannins specifically catechin. All of these are antioxidant compounds and are densely concentrated in the seeds and the skin of the berries. The three major variants of grapes that are grown around the world are; North American ( Vitis rotundifolia and Vitis labrusca),  European (Vitis vinifera) and French hybrids.

Some Basic Facts About Grapes:

  • Scientific Name: Vitis vinifera
  • Family: Vitaceae
  • Common Name: Angoor, Grapes
  • Native Region: European grapevine is native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia. In India, a few varieties of grapes are grown in some places in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.
  • Some Interesting Facts About Grapes:
    Some of the popular green varieties of grapes include Thompson seedless, Calmeria and sugar one.
    Red variants include cardinal, flame seedless, red globe and emperor.
    Some of the popular blue-black cultivars are Concord and Zinfandel.
    Commercially, different cultivars of grapes are grown keeping in mind their various purposes like wine production or for eating it as a table fruit, fresh or dried (currant,  sultana, raisin)
  1. Grapes nutrition facts
  2. Grapes health benefits
  3. Grapes side effects
  4. Takeaway

Grape berries contain a very low-calorie content. There is no cholesterol present in grapes but 100 grams of grapes contain 69 calories. Grapes are rich in micronutrient minerals such as iron, copper, and manganese. Grapes are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin K, Vitamin C and B complex vitamins like thiamin (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and pyridoxine.

Nutritional values in 100 g of grapes as per the USDA Nutrient Database is as follows.

Nutrient Value per 100g
Water 80.54 g
Energy 69 kCal
Protein 0.72 g
Fats 0.16 g
Carbohydrate 18.10 g
Fiber 0.9 g
Sugar 15.48 g
Minerals  
Calcium 10 mg
Iron 0.36 mg
Magnesium 7 mg
Phosphorus 20 mg
Potassium 191 mg
Sodium 2 mg
Zinc 0.07 mg
Vitamins  
Vitamin C 3.2 mg
Vitamin B1 0.069 mg
Vitamin B2 0.070 mg
Vitamin B3 0.188 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.086 mg
Vitamin B9 2 µg
Vitamin A 3 µg
Vitamin E 0.19 mg
Fats/Fatty acids  
Total saturated 0.054 g
Total monounsaturated 0.007 g
Total polyunsaturated 0.048 g

Grapes are not just another delectable addition to your breakfast salad. This fruits possesses potent medicinal properties that have been scientifically evidenced to be effective in alleviating various health conditions. Let us have a look at some of the evidenced-based health benefits of grapes.

  • Natural antioxidant: Grapes are one of the best antioxidant foods that you can add to your diet. These antioxidants are effective in neutralising free radical damage in body and preventing various health conditions specifically those related to ageing.
  • Reduces blood pressure: Grapes contain ample amounts of potassium, a mineral responsible for regulating blood pressure levels in body. Thus, regular consumption of grapes may be beneficial in preventing fluctuations in blood pressure.
  • Improves brain function: Clinical studies suggest that people who consume grapes daily have better retention power and improved cognitive skills than people who don’t. It has also been found to improve mood.
  • Delays ageing: Apart from preventing health problems, the antioxidant effects of grapes are also helpful in delaying the first signs of ageing including wrinkles and dark spots. This is because the active compounds present in grapes reduce oxidative stress on skin cells, which is considered as a major cause of skin ageing.
  • Promotes heart health: It has been scientifically proven that the anthocyanin content of grapes helps reduce the risk of various cardiovascular diseases. Also, it lowers cholesterol and blood pressure levels in the body, which are two of the most common reasons behind heart diseases. So, regular consumption of grapes may keep your heart healthy and young.
  1. Grapes antioxidant properties
  2. Grapes for blood pressure
  3. Grapes for cholesterol
  4. Grapes for diabetes
  5. Grapes benefits for eyes
  6. Grapes benefits for brain
  7. Grapes for anti ageing
  8. Grapes have antibacterial and antiviral properties
  9. Grapes for heart

Grapes antioxidant properties

Antioxidants help in repairing the free radical damage caused to the cells due to an excess oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress is sometimes responsible for causing various chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Grapes contain many powerful antioxidants like Vitamin C, beta-carotene, lutein, quercetin, ellagic acid, and lycopene. Surprisingly, more than 1600 plant compounds which are beneficial for health have been discovered in this fruit.

Maximum research on grapes is done using the extracts of its seed or skin. Anthocyanins which are responsible for giving colour to the red grapes is also an excellent antioxidant. Even after fermentation, these antioxidants remain present in the grapes which is the reason why red wine too is high in such compounds. 

(Read more: Antioxidant food sources)

Grapes for blood pressure

Fluctuation in blood pressure level has become a common phenomenon among the people of every age. Even the youth has begun suffering from this problem. Although medicines become mandatory in such diseases, it is always good to have a simple home remedy which can be useful to combat such diseases in case of emergencies. Grapes contain high levels of potassium which is beneficial for regulating blood pressure levels in the body. Low levels of potassium in the body may increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. A study conducted among adults had shown that people who had higher levels of potassium in their bodies in relation to sodium had a lower probability of dying due to a heart disease as opposed to those who had lower levels of potassium in their bodies.

(Read more: High blood pressure symptoms)

Grapes for cholesterol

Grapes contain compounds that can decrease the absorption of cholesterol in the body and prove to be protective against high cholesterol levels. In a study, hyperlipidemic people were made to consume red grapes for a period of 8  weeks. At the end of the designated period, a decrease in “bad” or LDL cholesterol was observed. However, a similar effect was not discovered with the consumption of white grapes.

A  recent study suggests that resveratrol, a chemical compound present in grapes is very beneficial in reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.

(Read more: High cholesterol treatment)

Grapes for diabetes

Grapes are a good choice for people suffering from diabetes as they contain a very limited amount of sugar. A clinical study conducted on around 40 men showed that the compounds that are found in grapes can be effective in decreasing blood sugar levels. These men experienced lowered blood sugar levels after consuming grapes each day for a period of 16 weeks.

Resveratrol present in grapes is shown to increase the sensitivity of insulin in the body which may be helpful in reducing blood sugar levels. Furthermore, resveratrol is also responsible for increasing the glucose receptors present on cell membranes increasing the glucose uptake from the blood.

Grapes benefits for eyes

Common eye diseases can be prevented through the regular consumption of grapes. According to an in vivo (animal-based) study, a diet containing grapes showed lower signs of retinal damage and better functioning eyes. The resveratrol content of grapes is very beneficial in reducing the risk of age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Another study suggested that antioxidant properties of resveratrol may be helpful in protecting human eyes against various eye diseases including glaucoma, and cataract. Eyes can also be protected against the harmful effects of blue light through the antioxidants present in grapes like lutein and zeaxanthin.

(Read more: Macular degeneration causes)

Grapes benefits for brain

Eating grapes on a regular basis can prove to be beneficial for the brain and may also boost memory. In a clinical study, healthy adults were made to consume grapes each day for 12 weeks. Significant improvement in the memory and cognition was observed at the end of 12 weeks. Another study among young adults found that drinking grape juice daily improved mood within 20 minutes of consumption. Improvement in memory-related skills was also noted. Animal-based studies claim that resveratrol may improve learning, mood, and memory when consumed regularly for a period of 4 weeks. It was further reported that grape consumption can lead to an increased blood flow in the brain leading to improved brain functions.

(Read more: Dementia causes)

Grapes for anti ageing

Grapes contain antioxidants and other plant compounds which can slow down ageing and increase lifespan. Antioxidants scavenge the free radicals present in the body and reduce the symptoms of premature ageing including blemishes, dark spots, and greying of hairs. A study states that resveratrol present in grapes has shown to lengthen the lifespan of various animal species. This compound contains a family of proteins called sirtuins which are associated with longevity.

Grapes have antibacterial and antiviral properties

A number of bioactive compounds present in grapes have been found to exhibit antibacterial properties. As per a study, the skin extract of grapes can act as a protector against the flu virus. In another study, it was shown that grapes are capable of inhibiting the growth and spread of chickenpox and herpes virus. Additionally, it was also been found to be effective in alleviating common yeast infections

Being a rich source of vitamin C, grapes can stimulate the immune system thus improving the capacity of the body to fight against common infections.

(Read more: Immunity boosting foods)

Grapes for heart

Ingestion of grapes is said to be good for the heart. A clinical study conducted on a group of coronary heart disease 75 patients showed that the regular consumption of resveratrol-containing grape supplement exerted positive cardiovascular benefits.

Additionally, grapes lower the cholesterol content in the body which one of the primary reasons for most heart-related problems including high blood pressure and heart attack.

(Read more: Heart disease causes)

  • Allergy
    Allergy due to grapes is an extremely rare phenomenon. The symptoms of allergy may include red patches, wheezing, sneezing, difficulty in breathing and hives. The allergic reaction might not occur because of the grapes but due to the pesticides sprayed on them or a mold that grows on grapes. That is why it is always advisable to wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them.
  • Weight gain
    Grapes have a low calorie content; a cup of grapes contains only about 100 calories. Because of their small size and delicious taste, it is easy to lose track of the number of grapes one has eaten. Hence, the calorie intake increases unknowingly. Overconsumption of grapes can easily turn into those extra kilos. So, instead of eating the whole bunch in one go, it is best to pluck out a limited number of grapes to enjoy.
  • Indigestion
    Consuming large quantities of grape-related fruits like raisins may lead to indigestion. It may even cause diarrhoea. People having fructose intolerance may experience indigestion along with abdominal pain after consuming grapes. Although the severeness of the reaction might vary from person to person, fructose intolerant people should avoid the consumption of grapes as it may harm their kidney or liver function.
  •  Gas
    Grapes contain a lot of sugars which may lead to bloating and stomach gas in certain conditions.

Grapes promote good health and general well-being. Fresh grapes are the tastiest and the healthiest. Grapes are the best snack option which has zero cholesterol and fewer calories. They may be included in the healthy diet as a tasty alternative to boring diet foods. But overconsumption of grapes may have some side effects. The phrase 'Too much of anything good can turn into bad' must be kept in mind while consuming grapes or any other food item.

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