Vitis is the generic name of the grape plant. The plant is a woody vine, non-climacteric type of fruit, generally, occur in clusters. It has been grown in Asia for about 7500+ years.
Grapes are available in various colors like green, yellow, pink, dark blue, black, red, crimson, and purple. Grapes are berries that have a translucent skin and are available in various shapes like round, oval and finger shaped. Witch- finger’s grapes are very popular. They are chilly shaped hybrid variety grapes and they taste very sweet.
In markets nowadays, seedless grapes are also popular. But seeds of grapes are rich in phytochemicals, hence seedless grapes have low health value.
Yellow dried, ripened grapes are called as Raisins. Large dried black grapes are known Currants. The sweet raisin is made from the Sultana variety of grapes. This sultana’s variety of grapes was cultivated by William Thompson for the first time in California hence it is called as “Thompson Seedless grapes.” California grows majorly this variety.
Grapes are eaten raw and in juice form. They are used in making jams, vinegar, wine, jelly, raisins, and grape seed oil. When fresh grapes are unavailable, raisins or currants can be consumed. Dried grapes are rich in glucose and give instant energy whereas fresh grapes are rich in anti- oxidants. Regular consumption of grapes prevents from many diseases.
Grapes are rich sources of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, selenium, magnesium and iron.
The health benefits of grapes include their ability to treat heart diseases, constipation, fatigue, kidney disorders, migraines, cancer indigestion, macular degeneration, asthma and the prevention of cataracts.
Nutritional Value of Grapes
Serving per 100g contains:
|Vitamin K||14.6 μg|
Health Benefits of Grapes
Grapes have a well-known therapeutic value, and they can be used as a cure for asthma. Grapes also have a high hydrating power, which increases the moisture present in the lungs and thus, reduces asthmatic events.
Grapes contain copper, iron, manganese, all of which are necessary for the formation and to strengthen the bones. A regular diet of grapes can prevent conditions like osteoporosis. Manganese found in grapes also aids in everything from collagen formation, protein metabolism, and nervous system functioning. Thus, grapes help to prevent age-related diseases and aids in the functioning of other processes also.
3. Heart diseases
Grapes help to prevent blood clots by increasing the nitric oxide levels in the blood. Therefore, they are effective in reducing the chances of heart attacks. Grapes contain antioxidants that help in preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which blocks the blood vessels and is responsible for coronary conditions. Flavonoids in grapes that are responsible for their color are also very powerful antioxidants. The two main types of flavonoids in grapes are resveratrol and quercetin. These two compounds neutralize the effects of free radicals that stimulate LDL cholesterol’s harmful effects on arteries. Moreover, these two flavonoids act as cleaning machine by reducing platelet clumping and filtering toxins out of the blood.
The juice of ripened grapes is an important home remedy for curing migraines. You need to consume it every morning without adding water or any other thing to it. It is very ironic well, but drinking red wine is often considered a cause of migraines. For a solution to this problem grape juice and grape seed extract is considered. There are many causes behind migraines since they include lack of sleep, changes in weather, or dietary deficiencies. But, grapes have so many antioxidants that help out to treat migraine problems.
Grapes are quite effective in overcoming and eliminating the problems of constipation. They contain organic acid, sugar, and cellulose because of which they are classified as a laxative. They also help in relieving chronic constipation by toning up intestinal muscles. Grapes are high in insoluble fiber, builds up the bulk, which promotes excretion of healthy stool. However, if you suffer from diarrhea, you should not consume grapes.
Grapes are also a cure for indigestion problems. They help in treating dyspepsia. Grapes provide relieve from heat, indigestion, and irritation in the stomach. They are considered a “light food”, reason why they are preferred over other digestive aids.
The juices of light and white grapes supplement the iron content in the body and prevent fatigue. Anemia is generally a problem seen in many people, especially women. Consuming grapes regularly can help in balancing the iron and mineral levels in the body. Iron is an essential mineral that has an impact on a number of bodily functions. Thus, lack of iron in the body can slow your brain functions and make you sluggish.
8. Kidney disorders
Grapes reduce the stress and pressure on the kidneys by reducing the acidity of uric acid, eliminating acid from the system. The high water content of grapes, induce urination, which eliminates the uric acid. Grapes have a cleansing effect on the body. The antioxidants present in them benefit all of the body’s systems.
A compound called pterostilbene is present in grapes which have the capacity to lower a person’s cholesterol levels. This compound is closely related to resveratrol, the beneficial antioxidant. Some researchers have shown that it has anti-cancer qualities as well. Moreover, the saponins that are present in the skin of grapes also prevent the absorption of cholesterol by binding with it.
10. Antibacterial activity
Red grapes possess strong antibacterial properties that protect you from infections. They also have strong antiviral properties that can fight against polio and herpes simplex viruses. Grape juice can also tackle bacterial infections in the gut and other systems.
11. Breast cancer
In recent studies, it has been discovered that purple, grape juice helps in preventing breast cancer. Grapes contain antioxidants which are beneficial in the prevention of all types of cancer. But some fascinating studies show grape juice as an effective measure against breast cancer. It has been researched that certain chemicals present in grapes compete for binding sites, inhibiting enzyme aromatase from changing androgen to estrogen. Estrogen is considered to be a big contributing factor to breast cancer growth in women.
12. Alzheimer’s disease
Grapes contain a polyphenol known as Resveratrol that works by reducing the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that grapes can enhance brain health and also prevent the degenerative neural diseases. They can improve the neural conditions of old age people.
13. Macular degeneration
Grapes are great for eye problems. They can prevent age-related loss of vision, retinal diseases, and macular degeneration. A daily dose of grape-enriched diet supports eye health. The susceptibility to disease is lessened by the antioxidants packed into every grape!
Grapes are a great source of vitamins. Vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K are present in high levels in grapes which give your system a healthy boost, particularly your immune system. This means that it lessens the chances of common cold, as well as other health issues.
Flavonoids, the strong antioxidants, present in grapes fight the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for many diseases like the development of cataracts, cardiovascular issues, cancer, antioxidants also have anti-aging properties, which makes you look younger, and also feel younger by eradicating these age-related conditions like cataracts.
Grapes have strong anti-cancer properties due to resveratrol. It is mainly effective in reducing colorectal cancer and breast cancer. The anthocyanin’s and proanthocyanidins found in grapes inhibit the growth of cancer causing agents. Grape juice also suppresses the growth and propagation of cancer cells. The pigments in grapes enhance the overall immunity of the body which makes body strong fight against other diseases as well.
17. Dental Health
Grapes are also good for your dental health. Grape extracts help to make teeth strong and also have the potential to prevent the cavities by eradicating harmful bacteria’s.
18. Scar marks
Vitamin C present in grapes helps to lighten scar marks and also repairing skin problems. It also prevents from harsh sun rays which harm your skin. All you need to do to clear your scar marks- Smash green grapes and add alum and 1 tbsp. salt. Bake this mixture by wrapping it into a foil for around 25 minutes. Apply this to your face. Grape juice along with clearing scar marks also cures the acne marks too. Check out 20 Best Natural Remedies for Acne!
19. Hair growth
The natural antioxidants in grapes increase the growth of hairs by increasing the blood circulation in your scalp. Grape extracts are also good in reducing the dandruff issues as it also has moisturizing effects. Check out 25 Home remedies to cure Hair Loss!
Grapes are also considered good for a diabetic patient. There are some nutrients present in the skin of grapes aid in hyperglycemia activity and help treats your diabetes issues.
Precautions while eating Grapes
- Some people are allergic to grapes, even touching grapes can trigger allergic reactions. Well, grape allergies are rare but it is the most serious side effect. Allergy symptoms include hives, difficulty in breathing, red patches, and sneezing. To be sure, get an allergen test.
- Well, grapes are low on calories but their small size sometimes makes you lose track of how many you have eaten. This leads to doubling calories or even tripling. If you keep on consuming grapes like this regularly, the excess calories will turn into extra kilos.
- Eating grapes in large quantities, dried or as raisins and sultanas, can lead to indigestion. People who are fructose intolerant should avoid eating grapes as it may even harm the liver and kidney function.