A grape is a fruiting berry from the woody vines of the botanical genus Vitis. Mutations in two regulatory genes of white grapes turn off production of anthocyanins, which are responsible for the color of purple grapes. Anthocyanins and other pigment compounds of the larger family of polyphenols in purple grapes are responsible for the varying shades of purple in red wines.
Here are seven health benefits of grapes.
1. Grapes may help your brain fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating, irreversible disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills to the point where the patient cannot perform simple tasks. Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant found in grapes. Research, published The Journal of Biological Chemistry, showed that resveratrol could enhance the clearance of beta-amyloid, a peptide highly associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Another study found in the British Journal of Nutrition found that 12 weeks of consuming red grape juice may enhance brain function in older adults with early memory decline. The researchers saw improvement in a measure of verbal learning and non-significant enhancement of verbal and spatial recall.
2. Grapes can help you fight infections.
One cup of grapes has 27 percent of the vitamin C daily requirements. Vitamin C is a powerful natural water-soluble antioxidant that helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents. This is done by stimulating the activity of white blood cells and acting as an antioxidant to defend against the harmful effects of free radicals.
Research from Food Research International, suggests that red grapes have powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties against Bacillus cereus, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa,the herpes simplex virus, and the polio virus.
3. Grapes can help protect the hair and skin.
Sufficient vitamin C intake helps your body create and maintain collagen, an essential protein found in hair and skin. Also, a high vitamin C content helps heal wounds and injuries to the body rapidly.
Red grapes, in particular, contain an antioxidant called resveratrol that had antimicrobial properties. Research, published in the Dermatology and Therapy, suggests that resveratrol possessed antibacterial activity that can inhibit the growth of Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria causes the inflammatory response in acne.
4. Grapes could help improve your digestive health.
Grapes contain a substantial amount of fiber and water that can help promote regularity in the bathroom. Fiber prevents constipation with the aid of water that can cause your body to eliminate toxins from the body. The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women are 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively.
5. Grapes could help people manage their type 2 diabetes.
The glycemic index ranks food and drinks based on their blood sugar increase potential. Foods high on the glycemic index like white rice and white bread will break down easily and cause blood sugar and insulin level spikes after meals, which is followed by rapidly dropping blood sugar levels. The sugar from grapes is slowly absorbed into the bloodstream, which prevents sugar crashes, sugar cravings, and mood swings.
A large cohort study, published in the British Medical Journal, sought to determine the association between whole fruits and type 2 diabetes. Results found that greater consumption of specific whole fruits like blueberries, grapes, and apples is linked with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas greater consumption of fruit juice is connected with a higher risk.
6. Grapes can help you maintain a healthy blood pressure.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2 percent of United States adults meet the daily 4700 mg recommendation for potassium. Grapes have a great potassium to sodium ratio. A potassium-rich diet helps the blood vessels relax and maintains a healthy blood pressure. A high potassium intake is associated with a 20 percent reduced risk of dying from all causes.
7. Grapes may help you fight cancer.
Research, published in Science, suggests that resveratrol has cancer chemopreventative activities in three stages of carcinogenesis, the initiation of cancer formation, in humans. Other studies show that resveratrol may prevent breast cancer and prostate cancer.References:
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- Aburto, N. J., Hanson, S., Gutierrez, H., Hooper, L., Elliott, P., & Cappuccio, F. P. (2013). Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses. Bmj, 346, f1378.
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- Sinha, D., Sarkar, N., Biswas, J., & Bishayee, A. (2016, October). Resveratrol for breast cancer prevention and therapy: Preclinical evidence and molecular mechanisms. In Seminars in cancer biology (Vol. 40, pp. 209-232). Academic Press.
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- Jayaprakasha, G. K., Selvi, T., & Sakariah, K. K. (2003). Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of grape (Vitis vinifera) seed extracts. Food research international, 36(2), 117-122.
- Marambaud, P., Zhao, H., & Davies, P. (2005). Resveratrol promotes clearance of Alzheimer's disease amyloid-β peptides. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 280(45), 37377-37382.
- Krikorian, R., Nash, T. A., Shidler, M. D., Shukitt-Hale, B., & Joseph, J. A. (2010). Concord grape juice supplementation improves memory function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. British journal of nutrition, 103(05), 730-734.
Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Sept. 2, 2014
Last updated: May 28, 2016
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