Image: Shutterstock Grapes are actually berries! They grow in bunches in temperate climates throughout the world. Grapes are also known as the “Quee
Grapes are actually berries! They grow in bunches in temperate climates throughout the world. Grapes are also known as the “Queen of Fruits”. There are over a thousand varieties of grapes, and each variety offers something unique in taste and flavour. So no matter how you want to use this beautiful, little fruit, you’ll find a grape variety that will fit right into your menu plan!
You want to eat grapes raw? Try Thompson seedless. Looking to sip on a glass of beautifully aged wine? Then try Vintners, who make wine from Cabernet wine grapes. Jams, jellies, juices are more your thing? Concord grapes are used by processors to produce these yummy products. Did we forget raisin? Yup, dried Muscat grapes are used to create raisins.
But grapes are a storehouse of health too! They are rich in vitamins A, C, B6, phosphorus, magnesium folate, potassium, calcium, iron, and selenium. Grapes have high nutrient content that ensures a healthy and active life.
Varieties of Grapes:
There are numerous varieties of grapes to choose from. Each version of the grape has its own taste and goodness. The varieties are split into color categories. Some of the popular varieties of grapes are:
1. White or green grapes: These are the sweetest and most commonly found grape variety. Popular green grapes cultivars are Thompson seedless, Sugarone, and Calmeria
2. Red grapes: These ruby coloured grapes have the simplest flavour. They include Red Globe, Cardinal, Emperor, and Flame seedless grapes.
3. Blue/Black grapes: These grapes taste delicious due to their deep and rich black colour. Concord and Zinfandel cultivate flavourful blue-black grapes.
Top Benefits of Grapes:
Apart from their many varieties and uses, grapes provide many health benefits too!
Migraine attacks can push the sufferer over the edge. These debilitating headaches can be triggered by loud noise, light, or stress. But grapes can prove to be beneficial for people suffering from migraines. Ripe grape juice is an orthodox remedy that can cure migraine. The ripe juice must be consumed pure without dilution every morning for best results.
2. Alzheimer’s disease:
Resveratrol content in grapes can reduce the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in Alzheimer’s disease patients. Grapes can also enhance the health of your brain and delay neurodegenerative diseases.
Grapes are useful to prevent dyspepsia. They can cure indigestion and irritation in the stomach.
4. Breast cancer:
Purple coloured Concord grape juice can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Regular grape juice consumption has shown positive results when it comes to breast tumour mass reduction.
5. For vision:
Grapes are considered the best bet for eyes. Grapes are a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin that maintains good eye health. So, even if your eyesight is diminishing due to ageing, regular consumption of grapes can bring light back into your life!
6. Blood cholesterol:
Pterostilbene compound present in grapes can lower your cholesterol level and prevent numerous cardiovascular diseases.
7. Kidney disorders:
Grapes can reduce uric acid and eliminate it from your body. This reduces pressure on your kidneys and keeps them healthy.
Grapes contain high assimilatory power that can increase the level of moisture in the lungs. This can help an asthma patient breathe easy. Regular intake of grape can even help cure asthma completely!
9. Antibacterial activity:
Red grapes are high in antibacterial and antiviral properties. This protects you from many infections. The antiviral properties of grapes are effective in treating and preventing poliovirus and herpes simplex virus.
Constipation can make you feel heavy and irritable. Grapes are a rich source of sugar, organic acid and polyose, which together give the fruit its laxative properties. So, if you are looking for relief from constipation, try eating grapes or drinking grape juice. These tiny fruits contain organic acid, sugar and cellulose that can help relieve chronic constipation and tone the intestinal muscles. Grapes are rich in insoluble fiber that promotes the formation and excretion of stool.
11. Protection against sunburns:
Grapes and its seed extracts contain proanthocyanidins and resveratrol that are powerful antioxidants. Apply grape seed extract on your skin to protect it against harmful UV radiation. This also works as a sunscreen and reduces the redness caused due to sunburn and minimizes skin damage. Grape seed extracts are popularly used in many commercially produced sunscreen lotions.
12. Anti-ageing benefits:
Ageing is a natural process. But due to ever increasing pollution and stress level, our skin tends to age prematurely. Free radicals are the basic cause of premature ageing that leads to wrinkles and fine lines on your skin. The antioxidants present in grapes along with vitamin C protect your skin from free radicals and reverses the signs of ageing. Grapes for skin also help tone the skin, when the pulp is rubbed on the face in a circular motion. So no more worries about wrinkles and dark spots, you can now look forever young with these tiny gems.
13. Skin softener:
Grape seed extract contains vitamin E that helps in retaining the moisture in your skin. This also acts as an exfoliate removing dead skin cells to provide healthy and smooth skin. Grape seed oil is very gentle on the skin and acts as a good moisturizer. You can massage your skin with this oil to nourish it thoroughly.
14. Rejuvenates the skin:
Grapes are a warehouse of Vitamin C. This essential nutrient helps in collagen formation that helps in the growth of cells and blood vessels. This also adds to the strength and firmness of your skin. Grapes can give diseases free skin by removing all toxins from the body. Resveratrol in grapevines can protect the skin from harmful weather and can help rejuvenate it. It can also reduce skin discolouration.
15. Cures uneven skin tone:
Green grapes are very beneficial when it comes to managing uneven skin tones. Squeeze green grapes juice and apply it evenly on the skin. Rinse off after 15 minutes to tone the skin.
16. Lightens scars:
Green grapes can lighten the scars caused due to acne. Vitamin C helps in scar tissues and ligaments formation and repairs the skin.
Green grapes can also speed up your metabolism to induce perspiration. This gives you a youthful and radiant appearance.
18. Encourages hair growth:
Grapes contain antioxidants that increase the blood circulation in your scalp which leads to good hair growth. Grape seed oil is easily absorbed into the scalp and gives you soft, shiny and manageable hair.
19. Treatment of dandruff:
Apply grape seed oil regularly to cure seborrheic dermatitis. This also acts as a good moisturizer to remove dry flakes from your scalp and improve blood circulation.
20. Treatment of hair-loss:
Grapes, with an abundance of vitamin E and linoleic acid can help treat hair loss. Using grape seed oil helps in strengthening the hair follicles for strong and healthy hair. This beneficial oil can also treat split ends, brittleness and hair fall caused by rough handling of hair.
Grape seed oil has a non-greasy texture that doesn’t leave any residue on the scalp. This healthy oil is very light and has emollient properties, which is suited for all types of skin. This is why grape seed oil is immensely popular in aromatherapy.
22. Power up Your Weight Loss:
Resveratrol found in grapes work on your body to assist you in your weight loss efforts. It also lowers the cells’ ability to store fat and causes fat cells to disintegrate. What a yummy way to lose weight!
23. Protect Your Heart:
Resveratrol in grapes has the ability to improve blood vessels dilatation that allows the blood to flow very easily in the blood vessels. This also relaxes blood vessels walls and lowers blood pressure. Low BP and relaxed blood vessel walls help protect the heart from any kind of trauma and keeps it healthy.
24. Mop Up Brain Damaging Plaques:
Grapes contain resveratrol that works as brain-protecting agent. This mops up the brain-damaging plaques and free radicals that cause Alzheimer’s disease.
25. Cancer radiation:
A recent study by a University of Missouri researcher shows that resveratrol found in grape skins and red wine, can make certain cancer cells more vulnerable to radiation treatment. This will make cancer treatment more reliable. Nothing better could ever come out of grapes! If this fruit can really help in cancer treatment, then it should really be hailed a super food!
26. Improve Brain Power:
Resveratrol increases the blood flow to your brains by 200% , which speeds up the mental response of the human mind. Brain food indeed!
27. Longevity Gene:
Resveratrol found in grapes activate the human gene that helps in survival and longevity. Ah, so grape actually can be the elixir of life!
28. Fight Diabetes:
Pre-diabetics patients consuming grapes can experience 10 percent drops in their blood sugar levels, due to the presence of Resveratrol. So, if you are looking to prevent diabetes, consume grapes!
29. Turn Down Inflammation:
Resveratrol has anti-inflammatory property that very effective in curing heart disease by treating inflammation in the arteries.
30. Supports Muscle Recovery:
Grapes act as a potent antioxidant that helps the cells and organs eliminate uric acid and other harmful toxins from the body. This supports muscle recovery even for pro athletes.
31. Bone Health:
Grapes are the best source of micro-nutrients such as copper, iron, and manganese that helps in the formation and strengthening of your bones. You can add grapes to your diet to prevent osteoporosis. Manganese aids in protein metabolism, collagen formation, and proper nervous system functioning.
32. LDL cholesterol:
Grapes increase nitric oxide levels in your blood to prevent blood clots and reduce the chance of heart attacks. Antioxidants in grapes prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol that blocks the blood vessels causing coronary diseases. Grapes have many flavonoids like resveratrol and quercetin, which fight free radicals. This also works as a cleaning-up crew and reduces clumping of platelet to filter toxins from the blood.
Grapes are important in curing dyspepsia. They can relieve and treat indigestion and irritation in your stomach. They also act as a digestive aid.
Juice of Light and white grape is packed with iron content that prevents body fatigue. Anaemia patients eat grapes to promote good iron and mineral levels in the body. Deficiency of iron can make you feel tired and your mind can’t work as quickly. Drink grape juice to get instant energy boost.
39. Grapes Macular degeneration:
Grapes help in preventing age-related loss of vision and macular degeneration. Consume grapes every day to reduce the risks of macular degeneration by 36 %. Grapes and wine can help in reducing loss of vision organ systems.
40. Immune System:
Grapes are packed with flavonoids, minerals and vitamins. They are rich in Vitamin C, K, and A, all needed for healthy organ systems and immunity. This can also reduce the chance of common colds and many more serious health issues.
42. Dried grapes:
Dried grapes, called raisins, are very nutritious and treat many disorders such as constipation, anaemia, fever, acidosis and sexual dysfunction. Raisins can also be useful to gain weight quickly and protect your health.
USDA nutrition chart of grapes:
|Grapes, red or green (European type, Thompson seedless), Nutritive Value per 100 g,
ORAC Value 3,277 (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.16 g||0.5%|
|Dietary Fiber||0.9 g||2%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.050 mg||1%|
|Vitamin A||66 IU||3%|
|Vitamin C||10.8 mg||18%|
|Vitamin E||0.19 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||14.6 µg||12%|
Tips to use grapes:
- Wash the whole bunch just before eating to discard any pesticide residues
- Rinse in cold-water for some time.
- Place them in cold water and pat dry with a soft cloth.
- Seeds are also rich in nutrients that are pleasant to eat.
- You can add them in salads
- Dry grapes can be used in confectionary, bread, puddings, cakes, muffins
- You can also prepare jams, jellies, juice and wine.
- Choose plump, wrinkles free and firm healthy-looking green stem grapes.
- Always buy ripened berries
- They tend to spoil and ferment early at room temperature
- Store them in the refrigerator.
- You can also loosely wrap them in a paper towel and keep in a zip lock pouch in refrigerate.
The tiny grape packs in a bundle of health benefits! So, the next time you feel like snacking on something tasty, try grapes. Not only are they tasty, but they give your body all the goodness of nature. And if alcohol is what you are craving, drink wine!