Grape belongs to the Genus Vitis of the family Vitaceae which consists of about 60 to 80 species all around the world. The plant is native to the temperate zone and includes varieties that can be consumed as a raw fruit, or crushed to make grape juice or wine types. But Wine is produced in the world in small percentages. The main varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Airen, Syrah, Chardonnay, Garnacha Tinta, etc. The major grape growing countries are China, India, the USA, Italy, France, and Spain. Grapes contain a huge number of nutrients and let’s talk about Grapes health benefits for humans.
02. Nutrient Composition of Grapes
Grape is considered one of the healthiest food because of its high content of phytochemicals including carotenoids(beta-carotene, lutein, etc), phenols, polyphenols, and resveratrol. In addition, grapes contain nutrients such as phosphorus, calcium, copper, vitamin C vitamin K, vitamin A many of the B vitamins, fiber, and sugars ( glucose and fructose). (1)
But the quantities are different depending on the variety. Varieties with high sugar content can be fermented to produce wines (red wine or white wines). Usually purple-red, or black grapes are more healthy because they have higher quantities of phytonutrients, and flavonoids due to anthocyanins present in the skin. while most of white varieties contain catechins and epicatechins.(2)
The highest quantities of antioxidants like resveratrol are present in extracts of grape skin and the seeds. Resveratrol is present in high quantities in the skin than the seeds. However, the Flesh of the grapes contains a very less percentage of the above compounds. Although the Phenolic acid content varies with the grape cultivar, basically myricetin ellagic acid, kaempferol, and quercetin are present in all varieties. (2,3)
crushed seeds give grape seed oil which can be used in cosmetic products. Oil from grape seed includes (vitamin E in the form of tocopherols and high contents of unsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid, linoleic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid.
03. Health Benefits of Grapes
Grapes have shown to provide many benefits in the human body in terms of preventing cardiovascular diseases, immunity disorders, high blood sugar effects, respiratory, and nerve disorders. In addition to the above benefits, grapes are very important in the prevention of cancers like breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. (4)
01. High Amount of Antioxidants to Prevent Chronic Disease.
Antioxidants are compounds that can be found in plants. These compounds help in reducing cell damages caused by free radicals that cause oxidative stress for the cells.
Oxidative stress is defined as the imbalance between the elevated levels of reactive oxygen species and reduced activities of antioxidant mechanisms. So, the elevated oxidative stress affect for the cells, and this can damage the cellular structure and destroy the tissues. (5)
Grapes contain a huge number of antioxidant compounds in this fruit. Can you imagine?? It’s over 1600 compounds we can found in this fruit. (6)
Grape seeds and skin are the best sources of antioxidants. So, most of the researches are going on seeds and skin of grapes.
Also, you know about red wine which is made by fermenting grapes. So, after the fermentation also these antioxidants remain. So, you can understand why Red wine is that much good for health. Resveratrol one of antioxidant which classified into polyphenol and this can prevent you from many diseases such as heart diseases, Cancers and also this can reduce sugar level in your blood. (7)
02. Anti-inflammatory effects
Grapes contain compounds with anti-inflammatory properties that lower the risk of excessive inflammation and the production of inflammatory enzymes in the human body. (8)
There are many pro-inflammatory molecules such as tumor necrosis factor and interleukin etc, in which their activity level can be reduced by grape consumption.
Damages to many-body systems are prevented by antioxidants present in grapes as they avoid the oxidative damage to all the body cells. Optimal regulation of the activity of the inflammatory system is important in minimizing the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. (9,10)
Arthritis Foundation Says,
Both white and darker-colored varieties of grapes are a great source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. “Fresh red and black grapes also contain resveratrol, the heart-healthy compound found in red wine that contributes to cardiovascular health by improving the function of blood vessels,” says Dulan.
03. Anti-aging properties and Regulating blood sugar level
7% of the population of the US is affecting with Type 2 Diabetes. This Type 2 Diabetes can occur due to decreased glucose disposal in peripheral tissues due to overproduction of glucose in the liver, insulin resistance, defects in pancreatic beta-cell functions, decreased physical exercise, consumption of high glycemic index foods, etc. (11)
Grapes is categorized as a low glycemic index food. Also, it contains a high number of polyphenols such as flavonol quercetin, anthocyanins, stilbene resveratrol which can improve beta-cell function, protecting against beta-cell loss and these compounds can reduce hyperglycemia. (11)
Phytonutrients such as resveratrol may play a major role in longevity because it has been proven that resveratrol has effects in increasing gene expression of longevity.
In this way, grapes can improve your health by preventing your blood sugar level.
Also, you can eat these foods to reduce Blood sugar level. Legumes, Garlic, Oatmeal and oat bran, Most nuts, Greens, Greek yogurt, cheese, eggs, and lean meats. (12)
04. Anticancer Properties
What is cancer?? It’s the uncontrolled growth of the cells in the human body. And there are many categories of cancers. But Skin cancer is one of the most frequent cancer in human population.
Studies have found that resveratrol in Grapes a the best source of preventing cancers. It can reduce the multiplication cell nuclear antigen. It also can suppress anti-apoptotic proteins. With these functionalities, resveratrol has shown 98% diminution in skin tumors.
Also, studies have shown that resveratrol can prevent the development of a mammary tumor, and this inhibited tumor growth reduced angiogenesis and induced apoptotic cell death. (13)
This way you can understand how much potential have on Grapes in preventing cancers.
Also, you can add these foods which helps in preventing cancers. Broccoli, Carrots, Beans, Berries, Cinnamon, Nuts, Olive Oil, Tumeric, Beans
05. Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases
In the US one person dies every 37 seconds from cardiovascular disease. About 647,000 of US Population die from heart diseases each year. You can understand the severity of this disease and you should ready for this kind of disease just by doing a small change in your diet. (14)
Studies have shown that oral dose of grape extracts (100 and 200 mg/kg) can provide significant cardioprotection by enhancing post-ischemic ventricular recuperation. (13)
Also, tannins in grape seeds can exhibit anti-hypercholesterolemic properties by incrementing bile acid extraction, lowering reducing cholesterol transportation and animal studies show that this reduces the absorption of intestinal cholesterol. (13)
Resveratrol in grapes also does an excellent job of preventing heart diseases. (15)
Potassium in grapes is an essential element in regulating blood pressure in the human body. Studies show that lower potassium level in blood can affect mostly for heart diseases. (16)
One study shows that eating three cups of red grapes a day for eight weeks, can reduce ‘bad’ LDL Cholesterol. (17)
This way Grapes can help in preventing heart diseases in various ways. Like grapes, you can add these foods to your diet which also can prevent heart diseases.
Also, you can add these foods which helps in reducing heart diseases, Omega-3 fatty acids, Nuts, Berries, Oats, legumes, Soy, Green veggies, Dark Chocolate, Oranges, Papaya. (18)
06. Healing of Wounds
One study shows that Resveratrol in grapes could boost wound curing and tightening amazingly. Resveratrol is the best source that can induce vascular endothelial growth factor by working as H2O2 and this boosts curing wounds. (17)
Also, add these to your diest which may beneficial in curing wounds. Meat, poultry or fish, Tofu, Cheese, Soy, Greek Yogurt. (19)
07. Boost Your Memory and Attention
A study was going around 12 weeks with 111 healthy adults with 250mg of grapes per day. They found an amazing improvement in memory and attention with this treatment. (20)
Grape is a huge source of resveratrol. This antioxidant has given positive effects on the hippocampus, an area of the brain essential to memory, learning, and mood. Researchers have found that this effect can improve learning ability, mood, and memory. These changes could be identified significantly within 4 weeks. (21,22)
Also, you can use these fruits in boosting your memory. Walnuts, Olive Oil, Blueberries, Tumeric, Broccoli, Dark Chocolate, Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds. (23)
08. Improve EYE Health
Grapes contain antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein which can improve the health of Eyes. They can neutralize free radicals and this will reduce the oxidative stress and damages for the retina. Also, these can prevent cataracts. (24)
Resveratrol also protects eyes from glaucoma, diabetic eye diseases, etc.(26)
You can add these foods which may help in improving eye health. Oranges, Oysters, Eggs, nuts, Green leafy vegetables like kale, collards, spinach.
This way you can prevent many more diseases by adding Grapes to your diet. Start today for a happy, healthy future.