Aren’t grapes the best? Apart from tasting great, grapes are full of essential vitamins and minerals that can give your health a nice boost. One of the healthiest fruits on Earth, grapes can be consumed fresh or in a variety of other ways. Additionally, you can get grapeseed oil, wine, grape juice, jam, and vinegar from them.
Around 70% of the grape production in the world is cultivated for wine. There are many types of grapes, each one with a different color and nutritional profile.
Nutritional Profile of Grapes
All types of grapes are full of phytonutrients – some grapes contain more, while others have less of these powerful compounds. Phenols, polyphenols, carotenoids, and resveratrol are among the phytonutrients that can be found in grapes, each one with great benefits for our health.
Phytonutrients are part of the complex metabolism of fruits and vegetables are have been researched enough for science to confirm their nearly miraculous health benefits.
Apart from phytonutrients, grapes are full of vitamins B, C, and K as well as copper. Additionally, the tasty fruit contains a lot of fiber which is great for your digestion. And, although the fruit itself contains a solid level of nutrients, most of the vitamins and minerals are found in the peel.
Consuming grape seeds is generally the best for our health, while the central part of grapes holds no more than 6% of antioxidants.
What Are Antioxidants?
Most of the phytonutrients in grapes are flavonoids which have powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can prevent and reverse oxidative damage done to the cells. Free radicals “steal” electrons from our cells, effectively destroying their structure and function.
Apart from phytonutrients, the other antioxidants in grapes are vitamin C, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, manganese, and resveratrol.
How Do Grapes Affect Our Cardiovascular System?
In many studies, grapes have shown strong and positive effects on our cardiovascular system. Thanks to the high potassium content, consuming grapes can bring down your high blood pressure.
Lack of potassium has been associated with higher risk of a hypertension (high blood pressure) as well as cardiovascular diseases, so it’s a good idea to keep your potassium levels in check.
Another great benefit of consuming grapes is their ability to lower cholesterol levels. According to studies, the Mediterranean diet which is full of resveratrol-rich foods including grapes is the best for our cardiovascular system.
The antioxidant properties of resveratrol can bring your cholesterol levels down, in that way protecting your heart and full cardiovascular system.
Can Grapes Prevent Diabetes?
There are around 20 simple carbs in a handful of grapes, something which doesn’t suit people suffering from high blood sugar levels. However, grapes rank pretty low on the glycemic index list.
This means that they won’t raise your blood sugar levels instantly, but do it in a slow and steady way. In this way, grapes can regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes. Of course, only if you don’t go overboard with them.
Studies have shown that resveratrol also has the ability to control blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance. So, to answer the question, grapes can prevent diabetes if you’re careful with it.
Apart from these health benefits, eating grapes often will also improve your memory and mood and prevent aging as well. The fruit has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, which means it can prevent a variety of infections.