Many fruits are considered healthy and bursting with boundless nutrients. Things such as blueberries, raspberries, and Aronia to name a few.
Some more exotic fruit such as dragon fruit and pomegranate are also well-considered for their health qualities.
There is a more common fruit of which little is said of its health benefits, although it is very commonly consumed in many ways for many different reasons.
We are talking of course of grapes. These little juicy fruits have been a popular nibble since ancient times.
Grapes are probably the original snack food, and as you know, they are also responsible for one of the most popular beverages in human history, wine!
But through the millennia and all the way down to the present age, grapes have managed to get a bit of a bad reputation for themselves.
Why Grapes Get A Bad Rap
You might be thinking about the bad reputation we’re associating with grapes has something to do with alcohol.
While alcohol abuse is a real and bad thing, we can’t blame grapes and wine for that since the effects are well known and should be considered.
What we’re actually talking about is the use of grape juice before it’s been fermented into wine.
Fresh grape juice is a popular commercial base fluid for fruit-based beverages. And why is that?
Well, grapes, and specifically their juice, have a relatively neutral flavor compared to other fruit. They are also tremendously sweet.
Added to this, grape juice is cheap and easy to extract, making it a cost-efficient option to add to “fresh juice” blends.
All well and good right? It is fruit juice, after all, so what the problem, you might be wondering?
You see, the sweet sweetness of grape juice indicates high levels of sugar. Sugar, which in the absence of the fiber found in the pulp of the actual grape means there is nothing to control the rapid uptake of glucose.
Such high and drastic spikes in blood sugar over long periods can lead to an increased risk and onset of type 2 diabetes. You may as well be drinking a soda.
But enough of all that doom and gloom. We’re here to reveal the good side of grapes. The benefits you can get by eating whole, unprocessed, organic grapes.
Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits.
5 Health Benefits Of Grapes
The antioxidant profile of grapes is pretty impressive.
This is the result of the numerous vitamins present as well as the various phytochemicals or plant-based chemicals.
Most of the phytochemicals from grapes are found in the skin.
One popular one, in the skin of red grapes, is resveratrol. This antioxidant is known for its powerful anti-aging qualities.
Antioxidants act by limiting the damage caused by cells and tissues by oxidative stress.
Grapes have a high concentration in the soluble fiber pectin.
This fiber is a great way to maintain proper gut health as well as to mediate the uptake of sugar into the bloodstream.
The management of blood sugar helps decrease the risk of obesity and diabetes.
Pectin is also prebiotic, meaning its a substrate for the respiration of your good gut bacteria.
It provides them with energy which in turn results in them producing useful nutrients such as short-chain fatty acids and a few vitamins.
Full of Essential Nutrients
Grapes are a nutrient warehouse.
Aside from the antioxidants mainly present in the skins, grapes are packed full of other vital nutrients, especially vitamins K and C.
Here's the nutrient profile of a typical grape in a nutshell:
Immune Boosting Qualities
Because of this nutrient profile, grapes have a significant effect on the immune system.
Vitamin C is especially pronounced in its efficacy when it comes to the power of grapes for immunity.
Good For Sleep
The effects grapes have on healthy sleep are quite special.
That is because grapes are the only known and edible fruit to contain the sleep-regulating hormone, melatonin.
Grapes, for this reason, can be described as nature’s sleeping pills.
Good For Your Eyes
Several of the phytochemicals found mainly in the skin of the grape have direct antioxidant effects on the retinas of the eye. This activity has been shown to slow down age-related macular degeneration or AMD.
The antioxidants responsible for this eye protection are zeaxanthin and lutein.
Aside from this, the fact that grapes can help reduce the risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes, also has a positive influence on overall eye health. That’s because one of the effects of diabetes is retinopathy or eye disease.
So there you have it, grapes and why you should eat more of them.
Just remember, it’s better to eat grapes than to drink them unless it’s after a long week and it’s just one or two glasses of Merlot, who are we to judge?
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