Are grapes bad for you? Grapes are not bad until you eat too much than necessary. They are nutritious high water content fruit with a sweet and sour taste.
Grapes come in a variety of colors such as yellow, red, pink, purple, and green. Not all grapes have seeds, some are seedless.
Also, they grow in clusters and forms. A cluster of grape can be useful in making currents, juice, jelly, grape seed extract, raisins, wine, jam, vinegar, and grape seed oil.
Grapes are convenient fruits that do not require peeling or chopping before eating them. Like every other good fruit, grapes have positive health benefits and negative side effects. Instead of being good, they can be bad for you when you eat too much or excess quantity.
Reasons grapes are good for you
Grapes are delicious and incredible fruits with loads of health benefits. As a matter of fact, they have been researched to be good for weight loss, hydration, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, constipation, and many other health problems. Continue reading to get all the health benefits of these fruits.
1. Weight Loss
Grapes are fat-free fruit; meaning they are low in calories. Calories are units of energy required by the body to perform daily activities. Eating fewer calories from this fruit daily affects the number of fat deposits in your body. As a result, your body has to source energy from the fat reserves, which overtime induces weight loss. Grapes are also rich sources of dietary fiber — eating them can keep you full for a longer period.
Make do with a cup of Concord grapes as a snack if you are on a calorie diet plan or want to lose weight. A cup of this fruit provides only 62 calories, which is just five percent of the recommended daily caloric intake.
Adding grapes to your diets daily can be a solution to dehydration. Fresh grapes contain around 90% water while dry grapes have 20% water. These fruits are widely available in summer and owing to their small sizes make a great snacking option. You can eat grapes alone or add some to your salads, yogurt, and cereal.
The skin of purple, green and red grapes is known to exhibit powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are very effective in combating all kinds of cancer. These antioxidant properties are — called resveratrol and flavonoid quercetin. They are thought to have destructive effects over growing cancerous cells.
A number of studies in agreement with this claim have shown that the resveratrol and flavonoid quercetin in this fruit may help slow or prevent the growth of tumors in the liver, lymph, stomach, breast, colon, bone marrow(leukemia) and skin.
4. Heart Health
Diets rich in grapes may just help in preventing heart disease. According to studies, their consumption can decrease the risk of atherosclerosis and other heart problems. Atherosclerosis is a type of heart disease resulting in the buildup of low-density lipoprotein, LDL, or bad cholesterol in artery walls.
These benefits are likely due to classes of phytonutrients in grapes called polyphenols and phenolic acids. They are thought to have lipid-lowering and anti-inflammatory actions that may help lower the risk of heart failure. These antioxidants may achieve this by preventing platelet build-up and reducing blood pressure and the risk of irregular heartbeat.
ALSO READ: 10 Best foods for heart health
5. High Blood Pressure
Grapes are rich sources of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They have been researched to be an effective first-line defense for preventing high blood pressure. This benefit may be due to its potassium content. Just as it means, the work of potassium is to help neutralize the negative effects of too much sodium in diets. Hence eating foods rich in grapes may help lower high blood pressure readings.
Though everyone has different bowel habits, with constipation, the situation may worsen. People who are constipated usually have fewer than three bowel movements per week. Grapes contain lots of water and fiber which makes its consumption great for people with bowel movement problems. Hence, eating a cupful of raw and clean grape can help keep bowel movements regular, and reduce the risk of constipation.
7. Bone Health
Calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, vitamin K and other important minerals required for good bone health can be found in grape products. According to animal studies, the resveratrol compound present in grapes can improve bone density. However, this result is lacking human researched evidence as studies are still on-going to determine the effect of these fruits on human bone health.
Cholesterol functions as a vital substance in the formation of cell membranes and also is responsible for producing vitamin D and other significant hormones in your body.
However, an increase in cholesterol levels may damage your entire physical condition. For this reason, controlling cholesterol is important.
Low cholesterol can be achieved by adding non-fat and low-fat foods to your diet. Grapes and their products are fatty less. Which means they can help lower cholesterol significantly. Therefore, increase your intake, including for grape juice, and wine to decrease cholesterol levels.
The last food to come to mind when considering foods that promote a restful night’s sleep is grapes. They are the only fruit found to contain the sleep-regulating hormone — melatonin. Melatonin is a substance secreted by the pineal gland in the brain that helps regulate sleep cycles and treats insomnia. Adding them regularly to your diet can help boost the natural sleep-wake cycle in your body. Thus if you are having a problem with getting quality sleep, make it a habit to eat a good dose of these fruits each night.
According to research results, grapes or grape products may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in adults. The Resveratrol found in it modulates the blood glucose response by affecting how the body secretes and uses insulin.
More studies indicated that resveratrol may protect against various diabetic complications such as diabetic neuropathy. A condition that affects nerve function. It is believed that the benefit may be as a result of the neuroprotective effects of resveratrol.
Grapes can also offer protection against retinopathy (study). Retinopathy is a medical condition that can severely affect human vision. Hence they are a good choice for diabetics.
11. Skin Health
The antioxidants present in these fruits, especially black grapes such as proanthocyanidins and resveratrol provides protection against harmful ultraviolet rays. They also help in the reduction of dark spots and wrinkles. Grapes contain vitamin C and E. While vitamin C rejuvenates skin cells, vitamin E secures the moisture in the skin. This fruit is known to increase the elasticity of your skin and improve blood circulation, thus leading to a healthy and glowing skin.
Research studies continue to find more interesting benefits from this water-rich fruit. Resveratrol, as an antioxidant found in the skin of purple grapes, is researched to have anti-aging benefits. What resveratrol does, is to activate a cell’s survival defense enzyme, which prolongs the time cells have to repair their broken DNA.
13. Vision or Eye Health
Grapes contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids, known to help in maintaining good eyesight. According to a study published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, “diet containing these fruits provides significant protection against eye problems, including age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract, and other eye conditions.
14. Immune System
Grapes are rich in essential minerals and vitamins (vitamin A, C, and K) including flavonoids required for human immune-boosting. They are also rich in sugar and organic acids that may help in improving other health issues.
More reasons why grapes are good for you
Apart from the conditions mentioned above, resveratrol in grapes may also help to improve…
- Stroke condition
- Kidney problems
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Teeth and gum health
What are the side effects of grapes?
Though grapes are incredibly good fruit for you to consume, eating too many over-time or in one meal can be unhealthy for you. Here are health issues that may arise when you consume excess of them…
- Gut problems
- Allergy issues
- Carbohydrate overload
- Weight gain
- Abdominal pain
How to select good grapes
Different varieties of grapes are available worldwide on a yearly basis. During selection, pay attention to their color as this is a criterion to select sweet ones. If you are going for green grapes, watch out for a slightly yellowish hue, then red and black grapes should appear deep and rich in color.
To get the highest concentration of antioxidants, select fully riped grapes, free of wrinkles or wounds. Also, these fruits are usually harvested in their ripe state, to get the healthy ones, look for plump clusters that are firmly attached to a good-looking stem.
Avoid storing your fruits including grape at room temperature, else they will decay easily. Refrigerating them can help maintain the freshness and nutrients. Another way to go about the storage is to;
- Wrap unwashed grapes loosely in a paper towel
- Place in a container or plastic bag and store.
- Storage can take up to 5 days.
Also, it is pertinent to rinse them properly when you bring them out from the storage space before serving. Table grapes are best served slightly chilled, as it enhances their crisp flavor. If you are enjoying just a few grapes, use scissors to cut a cluster from the stem. Pulling just a few individual grapes off can cause the stem to dry out.
Grapes are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The key nutrient in this fruit is resveratrol, which is why they offer over a dozen benefits to the human body.
Resveratrol can be best sourced from eating fresh grapes rather than consuming its products including supplements.
However, because of their tiny sizes, you wouldn’t know when you eat too many of them. To avoid the unpleasant consequences that come with eating too many grapes, keep a check on the portions you consume daily.
If you are on a healthy diet and exercise regularly, then go with one serving of grapes a day. A serving contains about 32 grapes. But if you not physically active and not on a diet plan, 8 to 10 grapes a day is perfect.
More about:| Nutrition
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