Grapes make wonderful wine, refreshing juices, sweet dried fruits and cakes that are some of the most delicious to have ever been created.
Aside, however, from being used in various recipes, grapes are also wonderful fruits to consume on their own and definitely a type of berries recommended for daily consumption.
The various types of grapes
Grapes are cultivated for specific purposes, and there are thousands of grape varieties, but we can classify grapes based on uses for a clearer understanding.
There are grapes cultivated for consumption as is and these are table grapes.
We then have the types of grapes used in viniculture, which are called wine grapes, and finally, we have raisin grapes which are cultivated to make dried fruit.
All grapes are beneficial and play a very important role in maintaining good health, which is also true in relation to the various products obtained from grapes, the list including juices, raisins, wines, vinegar, jams, and jelly.
How grapes benefit health
The most powerful compounds in grapes are the antioxidants which have been demonstrated to protect against cell damage in the body.
Grapes contain hundreds of antioxidants, some in the more popular category that includes vitamin C and manganese, others less known such as resveratrol – proven to have strong anti-inflammatory impact and to protect against diseases.
Moreover, resveratrol has been linked to slowing down the aging process and promoting longevity. Additional benefits are related to a multitude of other beneficial compounds in grapes.
100 grams of European type grapes, red or green, contain the following:
Vitamin A 66.0 IU
Vitamin C 10.8 mg
Vitamin E 0.2 mg
Vitamin K 14.6 mcg
Thiamin 0.1 mg
Riboflavin 0.1 mg
Niacin 0.2 mg
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg
Folate 2.0 mcg
Pantothenic acid 0.1 mg
Choline 5.6 mg
Betaine 0.1 mg
Calcium 10.0 mg
Iron 0.4 mg
Magnesium 7.0 mg
Phosphorus 20.0 mg
Potassium 191 mg
Sodium 2.0 mg
Zinc 0.1 mg
Copper 0.1 mg
Manganese 0.1 mg
Selenium 0.1 mcg
Fluoride 7.8 mcg
Important to note is that grapes are extremely low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol, having a low glycemic index with values varying from 43 to 53. Also, there are 69 calories in 100-grams serving with a large percentage of the calories being provided by the sugar content.
Because grapes contain natural sugars, they provide blood sugar benefits and are known to promote positive blood sugar balance, something of particular relevance for people with diabetes. A good blood sugar balance is translated into proper insulin regulation. Thus grapes are very good food for people who need insulin shots to regulate their blood sugar levels.
Other health benefits linked to consumption of grapes
The highest amount of antioxidants in grapes comes from the skin and the seeds of the fruit, which is why, for health purposes, it’s best to consume seeded grapes.
That being said, due to the large concentration of these antioxidant nutrients, grapes reduce the risk of various oxidative stress-related diseases including cancer, diabetes and heart attack.
The polyphenols in grapes are believed to prevent prostate cancer, colon cancer, esophageal and lung cancer among other types.
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in grapes and other fruits and vegetables, long known to provide protection against cardiovascular disease. The potassium content also contributes to good heart health and in addition better bone health.
Berries are generally known to protect against type 2 diabetes as are other types of fruits. Grapes are a type of berry that diabetics can consume safely on a regular basis with some moderation to help them regulate insulin levels in the body.
Furthermore, people who consume grapes everyday have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.