The many health benefits of grapes make them an excellent choice for a more satisfying, healthier diet. Fruit is an essential part of your daily diet supplying essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall good health. The latest USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend the following: fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables. You can also add them to your diet with a variety of grape recipes ranging from salads to guilt-free desserts.
Grapes are loaded with nutrients and contain antioxidants. Here are seven great reasons to snack on grapes or add them to your meals:
Grapes are rich in health-protecting antioxidants, including resveratrol and flavonoids. These antioxidants are found mainly in the skin, stem, leaf and seeds of grapes. Some research suggests that whole grapes deliver the same amount of antioxidants that are in grape juice and wine but have the added benefit of providing dietary fiber. These are just a few of the many vitamins and nutrients in grapes.
The polyphenols found in grapes have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, and support a healthy heart by promoting relaxation of blood vessels to help maintain healthy blood flow and function.
When you’re striving for weight loss, the goal is to eat foods that are low in energy density, like grapes. Eating a greater volume of lower calorie foods can help you feel full on fewer calories. Research also shows that eating flavonoid-packed fruits like grapes can help maintain a healthy weight and even lead to weight loss.
Research suggests that regular grape consumption may play a role in eye health by protecting the retina from deterioration. Specifically, a grape-enriched diet resulted in a protective effect on retinal structure and function.
Grapes are naturally full of potassium, an essential dietary mineral and major electrolyte. Your average seedless green grapes contain right around 175 milligrams of potassium per cup, red grapes nearly 290 milligrams, and black grapes 200 milligrams. It may be that low potassium intake is just as big of a risk factor in developing high blood pressure as a high sodium intake. Plus, potassium can help combat excessive sodium in the body. Grapes are recommended to those with high blood pressure to help negate the effects of sodium in the body.
Grapes do not tend to highly elevate your blood sugar when eaten, nor do they highly increase insulin levels- so diabetics can eat grapes. Since high insulin levels cause insulin resistance, choosing foods with a lower insulin response rate, like grapes, can help prevent you from developing the insulin resistance characteristic of Type 2 diabetes.
In a small study of colon cancer patients, those who consumed a grape-enriched diet were able to inhibit certain genes that promote tumor growth in the colon. This benefit was observed in the healthy tissue of the subjects’ colons, not the cancerous, indicating a potential role for grapes in helping to maintain a healthy colon.