Nutritional Benefits of Grapes

Nutritional Benefits of GrapesBy The Registered Dietitians at 2 Your Health

The nutritional benefits of grapes are as numerous as the ways that you can enjoy them.  Whether you like them fresh, frozen, dried, mashed, juiced, or fermented, grapes can be a healthful and beneficial part of your diet.  As part of the Mediterranean diet, it has been enjoyed in one form or another for many years and used in a variety of ways.

Eating them raw or frozen for a sweet, refreshing snack is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to enjoy them. But they can also be dried into raisins, currants, or sultanas. Cooked down with sugar and mashed grapes can become jams or jellies. Grapes can further be made into a delightful beverage such as juice or fermented into wine.

Regardless of how you choose to consume this compact nutritional powerhouse, there is so much more to a grape than a sweet shiny ball of crisp and juicy qualities.

Energy

Depending on the variety you choose, a few grapes can serve as a great, energy-boosting snack. A full cup of grapes will provide about 60 calories and about 94% comes from carbohydrate so those calories will be quite easily utilized by your body. Grapes are naturally low fat and cholesterol free. Because they have a high water content, you can eat quite a few of them without getting too many calories. Of course, keep in mind that this changes as the form you eat them in changes. Dried varieties have most of their water removed so the sugar and calories will be more concentrated. Jams, jellies, and many juices have added sugar and much of the fiber removed. Wine of course will also contain alcohol. All of these are factors to be aware of when choosing grapes to be added in your diet.

Vitamins and Minerals

Aside from the energy boost and taste explosion that grapes offer, they are also rich in a few specific vitamins and minerals. One cup of grapes can provide nearly 30 percent of your daily vitamins C and K, nearly 10 percent of thiamin, and a full 10 percent of copper. Vitamin C has many functions in the body including skin health and wound healing. Aside from this it is an antioxidant and may be protective against many age and inflammation related ailments. Vitamin K helps to regulate blood clotting. Thiamin helps use us the energy we consume, and among other things, copper helps to properly form red blood cells. All in one little, delicious cup.

Phytochemicals (Resveratrol)

Phytochemicals are just chemicals that naturally occur in plants. One of the most famous (and with good reason) phytochemicals is resveratrol, which is found in grapes.6 Resveratrol has been shown in early studies to be protective against cancer, heart disease, nerve diseases, viral infections, and Alzheimer’s disease.7,8 Resveratrol is found more prevalently in red grape varieties than in white and is most prevalent in the skins.6

I bet you never knew grapes held so many health benefits in each sweet little sphere. Grab some of these perfectly packaged natural sweets and enjoy.

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Author: Carla Spencer

Carla Spencer is a Registered Dietitian and founder of 2 Your Health. Her extensive career working with individuals with health challenges led her to create this site dedicated to helping people enjoy their lives while working to prevent or minimize the impact of kidney disease.

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