Grapes: Versatile fruit with health benefits



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(Natural News) Grapes are berries that grow on a vine. Because of their versatility, variety and portability, grapes are popular all over the world. More than 72 million tons of grapes are grown annually around the globe – more than bananas, oranges or apples.

Grapes can be crimson, black, dark blue, yellow, green, orange and pink. They grow in clusters and come in seeded and seedless varieties. Grapes can be eaten fresh, used for making wine, jam, grape juice, grape jelly, grape seed extract, vinegar and grape seed oil, or dried as raisins, currants and sultanas.

You can buy grapes and grape products any time of the year. Wine is the most popular form of grape consumption, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

A diet that is rich in fruits like grapes has been linked to a reduced risk of various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity. Like other fruits, grapes are a good source of fiber (insoluble fiber, in particular) and water.

Grapes are packed with nutrients and antioxidants and have high amounts of the phytonutrient resveratrol, which is good for the heart. Resveratrol is said to support healthy circulatory and cardiovascular systems and healthy brain function. Grapes also contain vitamin C, beta-carotene, quercetin, lutein, lycopene and ellagic acid, which are powerful antioxidants.

In addition, grapes contain anthocyanins that help reduce swelling. Bioflavonoids — nutrients that play a key role in linking collagen fibers together (in connective tissues, such as cartilages, bones, tendons, ligaments and skin) — are found in high quantities in red grapes. They contain more than one-quarter of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamins C and K. (Related: Facts about grapes and their amazing health benefits are proven.)

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Health benefits of grapes

Here are some of the amazing health benefits of grapes, according to studies:

Support healthy circulatory and cardiovascular functions

One of the best-known benefits of resveratrol in grapes is improved heart health. You may have read that drinking red wine from grapes (specifically from fermented grape juice) helps stabilize blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease. Scientists believe that resveratrol, found in the skins of red and black grapes, is what gives red wine its heart-healthy properties.

Support healthy digestive function

Grapes support a healthy digestive system by helping the body eliminate or flush out toxins. Resveratrol may also protect you against foodborne illnesses. When added to different types of food, it was shown to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, such as Escherichia coli.

It is worth noting, however, that grapes are high in natural sugar, which can give you loose stool if you eat too much. Also, grapes are rich in insoluble fibers, an overdose of which can interfere with digestive functioning, leading to diarrhea or constipation.

Support a healthy immune system

Numerous compounds in grapes have been shown to fight bacteria and viral infections. Grapes are a good source of vitamin C, which is well known for its beneficial impact on your immune system.

Grape skin extract has been shown to protect against the flu virus in test tube studies. Additionally, compounds in grapes stopped the herpes virus, chicken pox and yeast infections from spreading in test tube studies.

Support healthy brain functions like memory and attention

In a 12-week study in 111 healthy older adults, 250 mg of a grape supplement per day significantly improved scores on a cognitive test measuring attention, memory and language compared to baseline values.

Another study in healthy young adults showed that drinking about 8 ounces (230 ml) of grape juice improved both the speed of memory-related skills and mood 20 minutes after consumption

Support healthy eye function

In a test-tube study, resveratrol was found to protect retinal cells in the human eye from ultraviolet A light, lowering the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common eye disease.

According to a review study, resveratrol may also help protect against glaucoma, cataract and diabetic eye disease. Additionally, grapes contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, compounds that help protect the eyes from blue light.

Support healthy, glowing skin

The antioxidants from grapes help to protect the skin from free radical damage and support the skin’s natural DNA repair system. Antioxidants purify the skin and protect it from particle pollution. They also enhance skin complexion, giving it a healthy glow.

Support healthy bones, joints and tendons

Grapes contain many nutrients important for bone health, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K. The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research has released a study linking grape consumption to bone health.

Support reasonable weight management goals

Resveratrol and another compound in black grapes called pterostilbene help the body improve gut bacteria and regulate energy.

Support a healthy endocrine system

Although grapes are high in sugar, they have a low glycemic index. Grapes support a healthy system by maintaining blood glucose levels that are already within the normal range. According to a study conducted by researchers from Harvard University that was published in 2013, grapes are one of the three most effective fruits for preventing diabetes.

The researchers also discovered that replacing fruit juice with grapes can lower diabetes risk by 19 percent.

Support a healthy sleep cycle

Grapes contain high levels of quercetin, which can help maintain healthy levels of serotonin. Serotonin, best known as a neurotransmitter, is said to be responsible for stimulating the parts of the brain that control sleep and waking.

Uplift your mood naturally

Recent research had found certain compounds in grapes have therapeutic properties and may help fight depression. Results of this research were published in the online journal Nature Communications. It reported that some compounds present in grapes may help ward off depression by targeting some newly discovered mechanism that led to mental illness.

Eating just a handful of grapes every once in a while may improve your mental well-being.

Quercetin, a flavonoid in grapes, helps maintain healthy levels of serotonin and dopamine (both known as happiness hormones) and their levels affect moods directly.

Watch the video below to learn more about grapes.

This video is from the Natural News channel on Brighteon.com

Learn more about the health benefits of fruits like grapes at FoodIsMedicine.com.

Sources include:

LiveScience.com

Healthline.com

FruitNet.com

Brighteon.com


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