Like all other fruits, grapes contain several beneficial nutrients—such as fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
For example, one cup of grapes provides more than a fourth of the RDI for vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin vital for blood clotting and healthy bones…as well as vitamin C, necessary for bone and connective tissue health.
Another nutrient that you find in grapes are polyphenols, the antioxidants that give grapes and certain other plants their vibrant colors and give added protection against disease and environmental damage.
Below are some of the ways in which the nutrients in grapes may boost your health.
But before we get started, let’s look at the nutritional value of one cup of grapes…
- Calories: 104
- Carbs: 27.3 grams
- Copper: 10% of the RDI
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Fiber: 1.4 grams
- Manganese: 5% of the RDI
- Potassium: 8% of the RDI
- Protein: 1.1 grams
- Riboflavin: 6% of the RDI
- Thiamine: 7% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 27% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin K: 28% of the RDI
Eating grapes boosts your immune system and protect you from certain diseases—such as the flu, chicken pox and yeast infections—because grapes contain “stuff” that helps fight against harmful bacteria and viral infections.
For example, grapes are a good source of the vitamin C that most of us already know is great for your immune system..
Grapes contain hundreds of antioxidants such as vitamin C, manganese, beta-carotene, melatonin, resveratrol, quercetin, lutein, lycopene and ellagic acid.
These antioxidants are primarily found in the seed and the skin of the grape…and have been shown to do such great things as…
- helping protect cell membranes from free radical damage
- increasing our blood levels of glutathione, a critical antioxidant
- increasing the ratio of reduced-to-oxidized glutathione
- lowering biomarkers of oxidative stress.
- lowering the levels of oxygen reactive molecules in our blood
- preventing certain oxygen-related enzymes—such as xanthine oxidase and catalase—from becoming overactive
- protecting against chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
- reducing oxidation of fat
- repairing the damage to your cells caused by free radicals, harmful molecules that cause the oxidative stress that can lead to several chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease
Red grapes, more specifically contain higher numbers of antioxidants because red grapes contain anthocyanins, the antioxidant that gives them their bright color.
Another important antioxidant found is grapes is resveratrol, another antioxidant, that protects against heart disease, lowers blood sugar and protects against the development of cancer.
Grapes have as a low glycemic index which means that it has great blood sugar benefits—such as helping to control your blood sugar balance, insulin regulation, and insulin sensitivity.
In addition, one cup of grapes contains 288mg of potassium, 6% of the RDI, which is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and preventing your risk of having high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
Potassium also help reduce the negative effects of having too much sodium in your diet.
If you’re considering adding grapes to your diet in order to improve your blood pressure, it’s probably best to choose either Concord or red grapes because their rich color indicates that they contain many flavonoids, such as resveratrol, which help lower your blood pressure, improve the fluidity of the blood, and relax the arterial walls.
Grapes contain many nutrients necessary for maintaining bone health—including calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, vitamin K, and vitamin C. In fact, one cup of grapes contains over 25% RDI for vitamins C and K.
Vitamin K is important because it increases the effectiveness of osteocalcin, a protein involved in bone mineralization, and promotes healthy calcium balance. One study shows that women who consume at least 110mg vitamin K each day are 30% less likely to break a bone than women who consume a lesser amount.
Copper found in grapes is essential for enzymes involved in the synthesis of bone components.