Grapes’ abundant beauty appeals not just to the eye but also to the palate. Grapes, used to make wine, come in various forms, colors, and sizes, with flavors ranging from sweet to sour. The Vitis vinifera family includes most grapes high in disease-fighting antioxidants, and these antioxidants are what give the wine its heart-healthy reputation. Fresh grapes are a naturally sweet snack high in vitamins C and K and other phytonutrients.
Grapes provide 67 calories, 0.6 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbs, and 0.4 grams of fat per cup (100 grams). Grapes are high in vitamins C and K and are a good source. The USDA has provided the following nutritional information.
Grapes Nutrition Facts
A grape is a berry-like fruit found on the deciduous woody vines of the Vitis genus of flowering plants. Grapes can be consumed fresh as table grapes or dried as raisins, currants, and sultanas. They can also be used to make wine, jam, grape juice, jelly, grape seed extract, vinegar, and grape seed oil. Grapes are a sort of non-climacteric fruit that grows in bunches. Grapes have been farmed for thousands of years, and they were treasured by various ancient cultures for their use in winemaking.
Grapes are also a quick and tasty snack that can be enjoyed at home or on the go. Green, red, black, yellow, and pink are just a few colors available. They’re also available in various forms, including raisins, jellies, and juice. There are seeded and seedless variants. Grapes are high in nutrients and antioxidants, which provide various health benefits.
What are the Health Benefits of Grapes?
Here are some of how the nutrients in grapes may boost health.
Polyphenols, which are found in grapes, are potent antioxidants. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects are thought to exist in these. Resveratrol is one of them. It can be found in red grape skins. Resveratrol has been shown in lab experiments to reduce or prevent the growth of cancers in the lymph nodes, liver, stomach, breast, colon, skin cancer, and leukemia. Red wine contains resveratrol as well.
Few studies have looked at the link between red wine and cancer risk in humans; however, it has been demonstrated that consuming large amounts of alcohol regularly can raise cancer risk. The key to success is moderation.
Quercetin and resveratrol have been shown in animal experiments to lower the risk of atherosclerosis and protect against the damage caused by low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. The doses of these flavonoids utilized in this research were typically significantly higher than those taken by humans.
Grape polyphenols, such as resveratrol, have antioxidant, lipid-lowering, and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). They could do so via inhibiting platelet aggregation, lowering blood pressure, and lowering the risk of abnormal cardiac rhythms. Grapes are high in fiber and potassium, suitable for your heart.
Increasing potassium consumption may assist in counteracting the detrimental effects of a high salt diet. Potassium is abundant in grapes, and this shows that they may be able to help persons with high blood pressure lessen the effects of salt. Fiber is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system, including heart health and blood pressure, according to Grapes are a high-fiber food.
Grapes contain water and fiber. These can help people stay hydrated, keep bowel movements regular, and reduce the risk of constipation.
The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin found in grapes can help maintain eye health. They are supposed to neutralize free radicals, which are unstable chemicals. They may be able to minimize oxidative stress and retinal damage in this way and assist prevent cataracts and other problems. In laboratory testing, resveratrol has been shown to protect against age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye diseases. However, it’s still unknown how it works and how it could be advantageous to humans.
How to Safely Store Grapes?
Bloomed grapes, which have a powdered white coating, are safe to consume. Grapes are protected from moisture loss and decay by the coating, a naturally occurring substance. It is sometimes challenging to wipe off, but it is safe to eat.
If stored correctly, grapes can keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. To maintain optimal freshness, follow these steps:
Inspect the Exterior
Check for signs of mold, fading, or poor stem attachment. Any grapes with these signs are likely to deteriorate faster and affect the others. Discard any grapes that may not be in good condition.
Keep them Cold
Grapes keep best if they are cold. Place them near the back of the refrigerator (the coldest place) and away from savory foods such as onions, as they can absorb odors.
keep the Original Package
Keeping grapes in their original container will prevent them from being squashed. In addition, the container they were put in typically has the right amount of covering and ventilation to help extend shelf life.
Store them Unwashed
Like many fruits, grapes should be stored unwashed, and washing before storage can promote moisture, speeding up the decaying process. Instead, rinse your grapes right before consumption.
To get even greater use of your grapes, freeze them to use later in smoothies, cocktails, or even as an excellent, refreshing snack.
When are Grapes Best?
Because different grapes are harvested throughout the summer and fall, what’s available at the grocery store varies on the time of year and where you reside. On the other hand, imported grapes are always available whenever you need them.
When buying grapes, avoid those that have mold or are faded. Choose grapes with a deep hue. When green grapes are yellow-green in hue, they are the tastiest and most flavorful. The best red and black grapes have a deep, rich hue.
Grapes are most commonly consumed as snacks, either independently or in a fruit salad. Fresh grapes can also lend a sweet twist to savory salads and balance off the saltiness of various cheeses and olives for a tasty appetizer. You may even roast grapes in the oven and serve them as a side dish with meat.
What are the Side Effects of Grapes?
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes the Dirty Dozen, a list of fruits and vegetables with the highest amounts of pesticide residue. On this list, grapes are presently ranked number eight. Pesticide exposure can be reduced by purchasing organic grapes. For heart problems, beta-blockers are frequently administered, and potassium levels in the blood can rise due to them. Foods high in potassium should be consumed in moderation by people who use beta-blockers.
People who take blood-thinning medications should consult their doctor before eating a lot of grapes, like resveratrol, like Vitamin K, which might increase their anticoagulant activity. Warfarin, also known as Coumadin, is a widely used blood thinner. Potassium overdose can be dangerous for people whose kidneys aren’t entirely functional, and it can be fatal if the kidneys cannot eliminate excess potassium from the blood. Women should drink no more than one glass of wine each day, while men should drink no more than two.
Because of quercetin’s anti-inflammatory properties, some people believe that eating grapes can assist with allergy symptoms like runny noses, watery eyes, and hives. However, there have been no human studies to back up this notion.
Grapes include several essential minerals and potent plant chemicals beneficial to your health. Even though they contain sugar, they do not harm blood sugar regulation when consumed in moderation. Most of the advantages of grapes come from antioxidants like resveratrol, which have anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anticancer characteristics.
They’re also delicious and simple to incorporate into your diet. Rather than grape juice or wine, fresh grapes provide the highest health benefits. The black grape is thought to be the most nutritional health benefits, and most health experts and nutritionists favor black grapes compared to red grapes. Grapes are also abundant in antioxidants and have a high carbohydrate content.