Health Benefits of Grapes
Grapes are known as ‘The Queen of Fruits’. They are also packed with nutrients and antioxidants and have high amounts of the phytonutrient resveratrol, which is good for the heart. While grapes are good for your overall health, they are especially lauded for their heart benefits. Here are a few useful health benefits of grapes.
A 2013 study published in the BMJ suggests grapes may have preventive properties when it comes to diabetes. The study looked at a large cohort of women over the course of nearly two decades and found that a greater consumption of whole fruits, particularly grapes, blueberries, and apples was significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Fruit juice consumption, however, was associated with a higher risk.
Rumsey noted grapes’ fiber content, which can help ensure smooth digestion. Though one cup of grapes only accounts for 5 percent of your daily fiber needs, it is an easy snack that, when combined with other high-fiber foods, can make a big difference in your regularity and colorectal health. According to the Mayo Clinic, a high-fiber diet may help reduce the risk of hemorrhoids and diverticulitis (small, painful pouches on the colon).
According to a review in Genes Nutrition, the resveratrol in grapes is associated with the expression of three longevity genes. The review noted that muscadine grapes are especially effective in this regard. It also noted that other components in grapes might be affecting the gene expression because the positive results were seen in those who consumed white wine as well as red.
A small-scale 2010 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition looked at 12 older adults who had memory issues but not dementia. The study found that those who drank one or two cups of Concord grape juice every day for 12 weeks showed “significant improvement of verbal learning” compared to those who did not. Another study, published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2009 reported similar findings.
According to a 2009 review in the Journal of Nutrition, studies have shown that grapes and grape-based products are “excellent sources of various anticancer agents.” Of particular note is grapes’ possible ability to help prevent breast, colon and prostate cancers. Many studies have linked resveratrol to inhibiting breast cancer cell growth and spread, according to a 2008 Molecular Nutrition and Food Research article.
Vitamin K may play a role in keeping bones strong and preventing breaks or fractures. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who consumed at least 110 micrograms of vitamin K daily were 30 percent less likely to break a hip than women who consumed a lesser amount. According to a study in Nutrition, vitamin K increases the effectiveness of osteocalcin, a protein involved in bone mineralization, and promotes healthy calcium balance.
Research suggests that copper also helps maintain strong bones. A study in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society explained that copper is essential for enzymes involved in the synthesis of bone components, and could possibly help prevent bone loss.