Grapes, or “the queen of fruits”, as they are popularly called, are extremely delicious, juicy fruits which are power-packed with numerous health benefits.
Consumed by people in different manners, these berries come in a lot of colourful variety and flavours. Known for its digestive properties and low calories, Grapes offer several health benefits that we have identified and collated in this article. Read on to find out more.
In case you or someone known to you is diabetic, did you know that they can consume grapes in a manner that it is not just un-harmful but also beneficial for their health?
Extremely popular, juicy and delicious, grapes are often called the “queen of fruits” owing to their beautiful appearance. However, it is not just the appearance but the numerous health benefits of grapes that make is so popular across the globe. Grapes have been cultivated not only to be used as a fruit, but as a cash crop as well for making wines. Some of the world’s major economies have grapes and wines at the heart of their economy. Due to the huge popularity of wines and other drinks derived from grapes, it is one of the largest traded food items along with coffee and cocoa.
These tiny berries contain numerous health promoting phyto-nutrients such as poly-phenolic antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is, therefore, no surprise why so many of us often include them in our diet, be it in the form of fresh table fruits, dry fruits, juices or salads.
Packed with nutrients, grapes are considered to be very effective against cancer. Ongoing research suggests that these fruits can be really beneficial in fighting breast, colon and prostate cancer. Some of the research also indicates that darker grapes such as red or black grapes may be more beneficial in fighting colon cancer.
The health benefits of grapes are numerous and include some of the most chronic diseases with which every modern society is dealing. Eating grapes can help you in controlling your blood sugar levels!
‘Diabetics Associations also recommend consuming green grapes for diabetics. Green grapes have higher levels of fiber than red or black grapes. They are also rich in vitamin C and K, potassium, and polyphenols. They also contain antioxidants that are excellent for diabetics. There is no relationship between grapes and blood sugar. However, since they do not cause a spike in your blood glucose levels, they are not really harmful for you even if you have diabetes. The ideal way to consume grapes is to mix together green, black and red grapes and have a portion of this with each meal.’ (Original Source: Diet Health Club)
There are different varieties of grapes classified into different categories on the basis of their colours and whether they contain seeds or not. Grapes are available in many colours such as red, crimson, pink, blue, purple, black, golden and green. Most grapes contain seeds, while some are seedless. The seedless varieties of grapes are often used as table fruits and consumed directly while the ones with seeds are typically used to make drinks such as wine.
There are multiple ways in which grapes can be enjoyed:
- Consumed as-is as a fruit.
- Added to salads or blended with other fruits to make healthy juices and punches.
- Dried grapes are used while baking cakes, breads, puddings, etc.
- Grapes can also be used for producing jams, juices.
- Last but not the least, you would be surely aware of the fact that you can enjoy grapes even in the form of wines.
Read on to discover the numerous nutritional and health benefits of grapes, as well as some storage tips and our favorite recipes.
Interested in learning more about health benefits of grapes? Read these links.
Fresh grapes can be readily available in stores all around the season.
Storage: Grapes have a tendency of spoiling quickly, even at room temperature. Thus, in order to keep them fresh for longer periods, store them in a refrigerator after wrapping them in a paper towel in a plastic bag.
Cleaning & Cutting: Just before eating, wash the whole bunch to remove any pesticide residues and dirt by rinsing in cold-water for couple of minutes. Place then in fresh cold water and gently swish them around few times. Pat dry using a soft cloth.
How to Buy: It is important to select grapes that are plump and free from any kind of wrinkles. The skin must be intact and should have no signs of cuts, cracks or leaking juice. In short, pick up a cluster of grapes that are firmly attached to a healthy looking stem.
Special Tip: If you are not going to consume the whole bunch at one go, then separate it into small clusters using scissors. This way, you can keep the remaining berries fresher by preventing their stem from drying out.
Grapes are rich in polyphenolic phytochemical compound resveratrol. Resveratrol is one of the powerful anti-oxidant which has been found to play a protective role against cancers of colon and prostate, coronary heart disease (CHD), degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease and viral/ fungal infections.
Mineral Content: Grapes are rich source of micronutrient minerals like copper, iron and manganese.
Vitamin & Compounds: Grapes are a good source of vitamin-C, vitamin A, vitamin K, carotenes, B-complex vitamins such as pyridoxine, riboflavin, and thiamin.
Water Content: Grapes are 81 percent water by weight.
Carbohydrate Content: Grapes provide 61 calories per 100 g.
Cardiac Health: The cardiac health benefits of black grapes are probably most noteworthy, as studies indicate that they can drastically reduce heart disease risks. Research at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center suggests that grapes can be used to treat as well as prevent heart diseases. These benefits can be traced to the action of the phytochemicals in grapes that actually trigger a protective process in certain genes, reducing damage to the heart muscles. This is why the effect of black grapes on heart health is considerably greater than the simple blood pressure lowering effect of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. The consumption of grapes also reduces and regulates cholesterol levels.
Digestive Properties: Due to a high concentration of organic acid, sugar and cellulose, grapes are regarded as a laxative food, effective for treating constipation. By strengthening the stomach and intestinal walls, these fruits promote regular and healthy digestion.
Blood Sugar: Black grapes have glycemic index values that range from around 43 to 53and so they are listed as low GI foods. A low glycemic index isn’t necessarily indicative of blood sugar benefits but in the case of black grapes, their low GI value is clearly reflected in significant blood sugar benefits.
Cancer prevention: Resveratol and anthocyanin in grapes have anti-inflammatory effects and can decrease the risk of contracting colorectal, lung and breast cancer respectively. Further, research has been ongoing with positive results for benefits of grapes in fighting breast, colon and prostate cancer.
Alzheimer’s: Resveratrol contained in grapes is useful in reducing the ayloidal-beta peptides in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Besides, they are a known remedy for stimulating brain health and preventing the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.
Source of Energy: The iron content in grape juice replenishes the body and hence keeps fatigue at bay. The antioxidants are necessary for boosting the immune system, providing instant energy.
Assist in proper functioning of Kidneys: Due to their cleansing properties, grapes are important for the proper functioning of kidneys. They purify the bladder, thereby improving urination and eliminating waste materials from the body.
Extends Life Span: Studies have shown grapes activate certain enzymes, which restrict calorie intake and slow down the ageing process. This leads to an increase in DNA stability and an extended life span by almost 70%.
Cures Asthma: Grapes are known for their eminent therapeutic value making it a tested cure for asthma. Also, since the assimilatory power of grapes is high, it helps in stimulating the moisture present in lungs.
Cures Migraine: Another significant remedy of grapes is in curing migraine. For best results, consume it early in the morning without dilution.
Benefits of Raisins: When taken in the dried form, known as raisins, grapes are extremely nutritious and help in overcoming several disorders such as acidosis, anemia, fever, sexual weakness, eye care and weight gain.
Allergies: Grape Allergies are extremely rare but it is the most serious side effect of grapes. Even touching grapes can trigger allergic reactions in some people. Allergy symptoms include hives, red patches, wheezing difficulty in breathing, and sneezing.
Weight Gain: Although grapes are low in calories, due to their small size, people tend to overeat the fruit, which can result in unwanted weight gain.
Indigestion: Eating large quantities of grapes, dried or as raisins and sultanas, can lead to indigestion. In some cases, it can even cause diarrhea.
Here are some recipes that you can try at home with ease.
1) Grape Surprise ( Exotic Diabetic Recipe ) – If you are diabetic and have the craving for a juice, this recipe is not just non-harmful; but can bring you benefits as well. Continue reading the recipe>>>
2) Red Grape and Strawberry Coleslaw: Whip up a batch for your next barbecue in lieu of regular coleslaw or less-than-good-for-you potato salad. It’s full of flavor: rich, creamy and satisfying. Continue reading the recipe>>>
3) Ajo Blanco – White Garlic Soup – Add a little Spanish flare to your next dinner party. Continue reading the recipe>>>
4) Sweet Roasted Grapes: Roasted grapes??? Read the complete recipe to know how delicious can this be?