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6 Health Benefits of Eating Grapes
Grapes have been eaten for thousands of years across multiple continents and were a staple of many ancient civilizations.
Today, grapes are a popular fruit that many people add into their recipes to create salads, desserts, fruit platters, and drinks.
Here are 6 health benefits that you can get from incorporating more grapes into your everyday diet.
Grapes Can Protect You From Age-Related Diseases
Grape skins are a natural source of resveratrol, a plant compound that acts like an antioxidant. Resveratrol can help protect your body against cancer by limiting the spread of cancer cells and killing them. Resveratrol can also reduce your risk of heart disease as you age because it has been proven to reduce inflammation and lower your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.1
A study found that grape juice is rich in polyphenols, a category of plant compounds that have antioxidant effects. The polyphenols in grapes can help your body fight free radicals, which are unstable atoms that can damage your body’s cells and cause illness and aging, by turning them into stable compounds.2 Giving your body a way to fight free radicals can reduce your chances of brain damage, cataracts, aging, and diabetes.3
Try adding more grapes into your diet to protect your body from illnesses and age-related diseases.
Grapes Assist with Heart Health
Grapes contain potassium, a mineral that can help your body regulate its heartbeat because it helps control muscle contractions. Your potassium levels have an impact on your nerve signals, which affects your muscles and heart.4
Keeping a regular heartbeat is important to maintaining your body’s blood circulation, which can protect you from heart attacks and strokes. One cup of grapes contains roughly 175 mg of potassium, making it a decent source of this mineral.5
Another way grapes assist your body with heart health is they can help your body maintain its cholesterol levels. In one study, 69 people ate 3 cups of red grapes for 8 weeks, which resulted in lower cholesterol levels compared to the control group.6 Removing excess cholesterol is important for your body to maintain its blood flow while protecting you from blood clots.
Incorporate more grapes into your diet to keep your heart healthy and prevent heart disease, blood clots, and strokes.
Grapes can Help Protect Your Body From Diabetes
Grapes are a great snack for individuals with diabetes because they can reduce the body’s blood sugar levels. Nutritionists have given grapes a glycemic index (which measures how fast your blood sugar rises) of 53, which is low and means grapes are safe for diabetics to eat when consumed in regular quantities.7
Grapes lower blood sugar because the compounds found in them can help maintain your body’s insulin levels. The resveratrol in grapes can counteract insulin resistance, which protects your body from diabetes.8
The fiber content in grapes can also protect the body from diabetes because it can help pass food through the digestive system. This can aid your body in removing bad cholesterol while slowing down the amount of sugar that is absorbed from different foods.9
Grapes Can Protect Brain Health
Your brain acts as the control center, which helps your body maintain its everyday functions and tasks. Studies show that grapes can help protect your brain, which can lower your risk of dementia and memory loss.
One reason why grapes can protect your brain health is they can reduce oxidative damage that harms and ages the brain. Grapes have been proven to protect the brain from neurological damage by reducing inflammation in the support cells to the neurons.10
A 12-week study found that those who took a grape supplement compared to the control group had better cognitive performance on a variety of different tests than those who took the placebo. The researchers believe that the grape supplement was a safe way for the older adults in the study to improve their cognitive functioning.11 That means eating grapes can be a natural way to keep the brain healthy.
Grapes Can Keep Your Skin Healthy
Grapes are a great source of Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, which can help keep your skin healthy. One cup of grapes contains approximately 27% of your recommended daily vitamin C intake.7
Vitamin C keeps your skin youthful because it boosts your level of collagen. Collagen is a protein that is essentially one of the building blocks for your cells, bones, and skin. Vitamin C boosts your levels of collagen by replenishing your body’s hyaluronic acid, a key component needed for collagen production.12
Vitamin C can help your skin repair its tissues through the formation of collagen. It also helps with functions such as absorbing iron, healing wounds, and maintaining your body’s cartilage in your bones and teeth.13
Because Vitamin C cannot be stored within the body, eating foods such as grapes can help you achieve the levels of vitamin C you need each day. Not getting enough vitamin C can lead to diseases such as scurvy, which results in bleeding gums and anemia.
Grapes May Protect Your Eye Health
Healthy eyes are important to protecting yourself from cataracts and other illnesses that can affect your eyesight long term. Another interesting health benefit of grapes is they might help protect your eyesight.
The resveratrol in grapes has been found to protect your eye health. A study that looked at red wine’s effects on the eyes found that the resveratrol has properties that can protect the eyes from age-related diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.14
Another study published in Nutrition measured how grape powder protects the photoreceptors inside of the eyes from oxidative stress in rats. Photoreceptors are responsible for helping you see color and also help control your night vision. The result was that the rats who ate the grape powder preserved their eye health compared to the control group.15
While no one food can protect your eyesight completely, evidence shows that eating grapes can be one way to protect your eyes as you age.
Vitamins and Minerals Found in Grapes
Grapes have many vitamins and minerals that have been found to have positive health effects on the body.
Here is a list of some of the vitamins and minerals that you can get from eating grapes:
- Vitamin C, which can help your body maintain its iron levels. Iron helps your red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body. Vitamin C can also boost your body’s collagen levels, which can help keep your skin youthful.12
- Vitamin K can prevent blood clots and excessive bleeding. Vitamin K can also help protect your body against heart disease and other blood-related illnesses.16
- Thiamine helps your body turn the food that it eats into energy. This helps keep the nervous system healthy. Your body cannot produce thiamine by itself.17
- Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that assists your body with enzyme reactions. It is a large part of our brain health because it plays a role in cognitive development.18
- Potassium is a mineral that helps your body with fluid balance as well as influences our body’s nerve signaling.19
How to Eat More Grapes
Grapes are small and easy to incorporate into some of your favorite everyday meals. Here are a few ways that you can add more grapes into your diet:
- Add grapes into your salad
- Make grapes one of the fruits on your fruit kebob
- Use grapes as one of your ingredients in your smoothie
- Add grapes into your homemade salad dressings and salsas
- Enjoy grapes & cheese
- Make 100% grape juice
- Add grapes into your ice creams, yogurts, and gelatos
- Pack grapes with your lunch
- Incorporate grapes into a breakfast parfait
- Make a veggie salad with grapes
- Make homemade grape jelly for your toast
- Freeze grapes and enjoy them on a hot summer day
- Make ice cubes for your water with slices of grapes in them for flavor
- Add grapes to your chicken sandwich
- Eat grapes on your toast
- Mix grapes into your oatmeal
Eat More Grapes Today!
Now that you know some of the health benefits of eating grapes, consider adding more into your everyday diet.
Here at Saber Healthcare, our dietary team works every day to meet the nutritional needs of our residents. They work to create menus that incorporate different options that give residents the vitamins and nutrients that they need to stay healthy.
To learn more about Saber Healthcare and the healthcare services that we provide, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- Watson, Stephanie. Ambaradekar, Nayana, ed. “Resveratrol Supplements.” 11 November 2020. Accessed 27 September 2021. Link: https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/resveratrol-supplements
- Kim, Min-Ju et al. “Antioxidant activities of fresh grape juices prepared using various household processing methods.” Food science and biotechnology vol. 26,4 861-869. 12 Jul. 2017, doi:10.1007/s10068-017-0120-4 Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6049554/
- Villines, Zawn. Wilson, Rose. “How do free radicals affect the body?” Healthline Media, Medical News Today. 29 June 2017. Accessed 27 September 2021. Link: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269143#Arugula
- Raman, Ryan. “What Does Potassium Do for Your Body? A Detailed Review.” Red Ventures, Healthline Media. 9 September 2017. Accessed 27 September 2021. Link: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-does-potassium-do
- Miles, Hannah. “Are Grapes High in Potassium?” Food FAQ. Accessed 27 September 2021. Link: https://foodfaq.org/are-grapes-high-in-potassium/
- Rahbar, Ali Reza et al. “Comparative effects of red and white grapes on oxidative markers and lipidemic parameters in adult hypercholesterolemic humans.” Food & function vol. 6,6 (2015): 1992-8. doi:10.1039/c5fo00100e. Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26007320/
- Groves, Melissa. “Top 12 Health Benefits of Eating Grapes.” Red Ventures, Healthline Media. 22 August 2018. Accessed 27 September 2021. Link: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-grapes
- Turner, Lisa. “13 Foods to Balance Blood Sugar & Help Prevent Diabetes.” Outside Interactive, Clean Eating. 19 September 2017. Accessed 27 September 2021. Link: https://www.cleaneatingmag.com/clean-diet/13-foods-to-balance-blood-sugar-help-prevent-diabetes/
- Sayrany, Melody. “Are grapes good for diabetics?” Medical News Bulletin. 27 September 2021. Link: https://medicalnewsbulletin.com/are-grapes-good-for-diabetics/
- “Grapes: Good for the Brain.” Jasmine Vineyards. 27 September 2021. Link: https://jasminevineyards.com/recipes/grapes-good-for-the-brain/
- Calapai, Gioacchino et al. “A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Clinical Trial on Effects of a Vitis vinifera Extract on Cognitive Function in Healthy Older Adults.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 8 776. 31 Oct. 2017, doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00776. Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29163162/
- “5 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Vitamin C.” Saber Healthcare Group. 4 September 2020. Accessed 27 September 2021. Link: https://www.saberhealth.com/news/blog/5-vitamin-c-benefits
- “The Benefits of Vitamin C.” WebMD, Nourish. 27 September 2021. Link: https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c#2
- Bola, Christina et al. “Resveratrol and the eye: activity and molecular mechanisms.” Graefe's archive for clinical and experimental ophthalmology = Albrecht von Graefes Archiv fur klinische und experimentelle Ophthalmologie vol. 252,5 (2014): 699-713. doi:10.1007/s00417-014-2604-8 Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24652235/
- Patel, Amit K et al. “Protective effects of a grape-supplemented diet in a mouse model of retinal degeneration.” Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.) vol. 32,3 (2016): 384-90. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2015.09.017. Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26732835/
- Griffin, Morgan. DerSarkissian, Carol. “Vitamin K.” 22 July 2020. Accessed 27 September 2021. Link: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/supplement-guide-vitamin-k
- “Thiamine.” NHS. 28 November 2019. Accessed 27 September 2021. Link: https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/thiamine-vitamin-b1/
- “Vitamin B6.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health. 26 March 2021. Accessed 27 September 2021. Link: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/
- Raman, Ryan. “What Does Potassium Do for Your Body? A Detailed Review.” Red Ventures, Healthline Media. 9 September 2017. 28 September 2021. Link: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-does-potassium-do