Grapes are a delicious; edible fruit that have been cultivated for thousands of years. They are grown in temperate climates around the world and are available in green; red; black; yellow and pink varieties. The grapes are eaten whole; processed into juice and wine; and dried to make sultanas.
They may be one of the most versatile fruits available; but grapes are much more than just a sweet snack that; when fermented; can cause intoxication.
Grapes also have an impressive nutritional profile. They contain high amounts of vitamins C and K; as well as thiamin; riboflavin; potassium; vitamin B6; copper and manganese. One cup also contains 1.1 grams of protein and 1.4 grams of fiber. All these good properties can reduce the risk of cancer; diabetes and heart disease; so eating grapes every day is a good habit to get into.
Here are some of the most impressive things that can happen if you eat this fruit every day. After two months; you’ll definitely be hooked – wait until you see number 3!
The beneficial compounds in grapes may also help protect the eyes from common degenerative diseases. The resveratrol in red grapes has been shown to reduce the risk of glaucoma; cataracts and diabetic eye disease.
In test tube studies; resveratrol also protected human retinal cells from damage caused by ultraviolet light. Minimizing this damage may even prevent the development of macular degeneration. Grapes also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin; which further protect eye health; especially from blue light emitted by cell phones.
Grapes Slow aging
We all want to feel young for as long as possible; and grapes can help us achieve this goal. Certain plant substances in grapes; including resveratrol; have a proven effect on the aging process and life expectancy. Resveratrol activates a gene called SIRT1; which has been associated with increased life expectancy in animal studies.
While resveratrol takes care of internal organs; the vitamin C in this fruit helps maintain skin health. It plays an important role in the production of collagen; the substance that keeps skin smooth; elastic and wrinkle-free.
Grapes Reduce Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is the hallmark of diseases like arthritis; but it’s actually a factor in all diseases. Swelling is an important immune response in some circumstances; but when it occurs by mistake or becomes chronic; it can damage your cells. This can open the door to cancer; heart disease and other autoimmune diseases.
Grape powder has been the subject of several studies on inflammation. In a study of 24 men with metabolic syndrome (a cluster of risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease); a daily dose of grape powder equivalent to 1.5 cups of fresh grapes was found to significantly increase the level of anti-inflammatory compounds in the blood.
A sharper memory
Several interesting studies have examined the effects of grapes on learning and memory. A 12-week study of 111 healthy older adults showed that 250 mg of a grape supplement per day significantly improved baseline scores on a cognitive test. The test measured memory; language ability and attention.
Another study found that consuming 8 ounces of grape juice a day could improve mood and increase recall speed. (However; we still recommend consuming the whole grapes; not just the juice; as you need fiber to avoid blood sugar spikes). More research is underway to determine if grapes can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Improved bone health
Grapes contain many minerals important for bone health; including vitamin K. Vitamin K plays an important role in retaining calcium in the bones and preventing it from passing into the bloodstream.
In a nice synergy; grapes also contain some calcium; as well as phosphorus; magnesium; potassium and manganese. Studies in rats have shown that resveratrol can also lead to improved bone density; but more human studies are needed to confirm this.
Grapes are A stronger immune system
The immune system is primarily responsible for defending the body against foreign invaders; such as bacterial or viral infections. But a strong immune system is not only able to wage war when you are sick; it can also repel parasites before they attack. And with a daily dose of grapes; you too can be one of those pesky people who never seem to catch a cold or flu. Forget about an apple a day.
they contain several substances that can protect against viral and bacterial infections; including good old vitamin C and the amazing resveratrol. Test tube studies have shown that other compounds in grapes can ward off fungal infections; herpes virus and chicken pox. Grapes may also offer some protection against foodborne illnesses.
The almost magical effect of grapes lies in their potent combination of vitamins; minerals; fiber; protein and antioxidants. From disease prevention to memory enhancement to life extension; there is virtually nothing in this fruit can’t do. Best of all; they’re sweet and delicious; without spiking your blood sugar when you eat them.
Whether whole or dried (sultanas); red or green; it’s easy to put grapes in your bread bag or on your breakfast plate. During the summer months; frozen grapes are a great way to add variety. They can even be used to chill drinks without diluting them; as is the case with ice.
Grape juice does not contain the fiber of whole grapes; but the red variety contains resveratrol. The same is true of red wine. With so many ways to enjoy and so many health benefits; you should always have some on hand.