March 16, 2017

11 Health Benefits of Grapes, According to Science

The texture, flavor, and aroma of grapes is what will pull you towards it many health benefits. It’s been a part of this world for over 8,000 years, when the first grape vines were seen in the Middle East. There are all kinds of grapes you could think of; red, green, purple, and seedless grapes. (1)

If not consumed as fresh fruits, or as a whole, they’re transformed into grape jellies, jams, wines, and raisins. Such a versatile fruit must have surprising health benefits to boast of, right? Over the past years, science has proven that consumption of grapes can do you good, beyond what you could have possibly imagined. It helps with the prevention of heart diseases, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and gastrointestinal diseases.

1. The Resveratrol Compound in Grapes Enhance the Body’s Immune System

Grapes contain natural antioxidants to a high degree. These antioxidants are beneficial for supporting and protecting your body against unwanted immune damage. Such immune damage makes you a liability for various diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and liver damage.

According to the study, the resveratrol paired with vitamin D present in grapes have a telling impact on the body’s immune function. It reduces inflammation, fights bacteria, and defends against harmful cancer cells and heart disease. (2)

The most fundamental role of an immune system is to provide support for metabolic activities while protecting against damaged cells from reproducing quickly.

The vitamin D and resveratrol antioxidant in grapes suggest better defense against the spread of chronic diseases and impaired cells. It even helps heal wounds and infections faster.

Key Takeaway: Grapes contain a good amount of resveratrol antioxidants that work well with vitamin D to provide protection against many diseases. The daily consumption of grapes will help you fight infections, recover from injuries and diseases faster, and overall transform your health back to normal. They dramatically strengthen the immune system.

2. The Daily Consumption of Grapes Inhibit the Risk of Developing Heart Diseases

Heart diseases such as atherosclerosis are characterized by the hardening and thinning of the artery muscles.

Factors such as high cholesterol levels, heart attack, stroke, smoking, and high blood pressure cause the narrowing of the blood vessels responsible for carrying blood from the heart to other parts of the body.

It can cause plaque buildup in the arteries, and if left untreated for a long time, it could lead to permanent blockages.

A simple study on healthy individuals claimed that people over the age of 50 were most likely to be diagnosed with this heart disease. That said, the in the initial stages, there are hardly any symptoms to determine the cause and treatment. (3)

Which is why you need something strong and healthy to combat this disease before it happens to you. The polyphenols present in grapes are powerful antioxidants that inhibit oxidation, inflammation, and platelet aggregation in the body. (4)

They’re good nutrients for proper activation of proteins in the body that restrict cell damage.

Key Takeaway: Grapes are loaded with nutritive polyphenols that can improve your cardiovascular health. Studies show that grape eaters have a lower risk of developing atherosclerosis, which is a harmful cardiovascular disease.

3. Eating Grapes Regularly Prevents Age-Associated Memory Loss

Cognitive fitness is as important as physical fitness, especially for adults. While you go outside for a walk or a run everyday to prevent age-related physical breakdowns, a healthy diet is one of the best ways to remain focused as you get older.

Fruits high in unsaturated fats, low in cholesterol, and contain powerful antioxidants such as resveratrol have a potential of preventing age-related memory loss.

Resveratrol is good for the heart, as I’ve already discussed above, but a lesser known fact is that it’s beneficial for the hippocampus of the brain. The hippocampus is responsible for memory, mood, and learning abilities of the brain. And while age-related memory loss is a part of many aging disorders for older adults, anything that has a positive effect on cognitive ability is a good thing.

This antioxidant significantly improves your chances of resisting Alzheimer’s disease as you get older. It improves blood flow and prevents excessive inflammation in the memory centre of the brain (that is the hippocampus). (5)

Key Takeaway: A study conducted on aged rats showed that resveratrol-rich diets showed both memory improvement and spatial learning enhancement within 25 months of treatment. Hence, it can improve overall memory loss disabilities for people embracing the old age streak.

4. Grapes Fruit Juice May Protect You From Type 2 Diabetes

If you didn’t already know, not all fruit juices are good for diabetic patients. The consumption of only a few fruit juices lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while some indicate a higher risk.

To determine which fruits’ juice is beneficial for people struggling with type 2 diabetes, BMJ conducted a simple study. The main outcome was determined by studying women with type 2 diabetes. It varied from whole fruit consumption of bananas, grapes, raisins, strawberries, apples, pears, and many other fruits.

As a result, the studies suggested that great consumption of grapes, blueberries, and apples are linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. (6)

Grapes contain anthocyanins, polyphenols, flavonoids, and resveratrol that are good compounds for preventing type 2 diabetes in healthy individuals. They regulate proper blood sugar balance, they lower the glucose index value in the body, and stimulate optimal cholesterol levels. All of which are ideal for preventing chronic diabetic diseases. (7)

Key Takeaway: The overproduction of glucose leads to type 2 diabetes. This is caused by lack of exercise, unhealthy food habits, and high cholesterol levels in the body. Grapes help correct such a characteristic. Consuming greater amounts of grapes fruit juice is associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes in patients.

5. The Flavonoids in Grapes Reduce Cell Damage Caused by Ultraviolet Radiation

Ultraviolet radiation is a significant agent of skin cancer and other symptoms of skin cell damage. Although UV rays are supposedly good for vitamin D and endorphins proliferation in the skin cells, they do carry dangerous risks.

The type of flavonoids present in grapes have showed positive effects on UV-damaged skin cells. Grapes also contain phenolic acids such as gallic acid which increases its protective property to prevent skin cancer and other skin disorders. (8)

UV radiation leads to DNA damage, malignancy, and pigmentary changes. That said, genetic factors also contribute to the severity of skin diseases including skin cancer. (9)

As you already know, skin is the most primary and the largest organ of your body. It possesses two significant layers: epidermis and dermis. Any damage to even one of these layers can cause serious environmentally-induced skin disorders.

Key Takeaway: Grape eaters have a much lower risk of suffering from skin damage caused by harmful UV rays. It appears that the flavonoids present in grapes have a positive effect on the prevention and treatment of skin cancer and other harmful skin diseases.

6. Grapes are the Biggest Source of Vitamin K for Optimal Bone Health

Grapes can combat severe vitamin K deficiency, which is also important for boosting the function of bones in the body. If you often suffer from bone fractures, joint pains, and weakness, you have low bone mineral density.

You need dietary vitamin K in your daily diet to lower age-related and induced bone damage. Diseases such as osteoporosis arise from vitamin K and calcium deficiency. So along with your routine nutritive foods, grapes are extremely powerful for good bone health.

A study published on the positive effects of vitamin K on the human body showed that women who consumed 110mg were 30% less likely to suffer from bone fracture or hip break than those who didn’t consume any or very little vitamin K. (10)

The amount of vitamin K you consume affects your body’s ability to strengthen and boost bone health and performance.

Key Takeaway: Vitamin K intake helps prevent bone damage dramatically. It is incredibly nutritious for protecting the bones from fracture, breaks, and other bone conditions like osteoporosis. Eating grapes regularly has a significant impact on improving bone mineral density.

7. Grapes Have Metabolic Syndrome-Fighting Properties

Metabolic syndrome interferes with the body’s normal functioning, causing cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease, diabetes, and even a sudden heart attack.

The symptoms of metabolic syndrome include unexplained obesity, a high cholesterol level, high glucose level, high blood pressure, and fatigue. Factors such as unhealthy lifestyle choice greatly affect the proliferation of this syndrome. (11)

To decrease the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, grape intake in very necessary. It protects against the damages of metabolic syndrome on different organs of the body.

The polyphenols have a positive effect on the liver, kidneys, heart, and fat tissues of the body. All of these parts are greatly affected by the metabolic syndrome.

A study conducted on obesity-prone rats explained that a higher intake of grapes on a day-to-day basis showed critical improvement in preventing metabolic syndrome and other organ dysfunction. (12)

In a span of 90 days, the study concluded that a grape-rich diet on obesity-prone rats showed drastic improvement in antioxidant defense and anti-inflammatory response. Especially for preventing liver damage and heart failure, this is principally important.

Key Takeaway: High doses of grapes appear to alleviate metabolic syndrome symptoms in people with a higher risk of developing immune disorders. In a study conducted on rats over a span of 90 days, increase in grape intake proved beneficial for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress that gave birth to metabolic syndrome.

8. Various Polyphenols in Grapes Reduce Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress are caused by many factors such as inflammation, environmentally-induced stress, genetic factors, and age-related disorders.

For proper cellular regulation and anti-inflammatory effects, reduced levels of oxidative stress is essential. In addition to medical treatment, a natural medicine such as healthy fruits work well to prevent the ever-increasing symptoms of oxidative stress in the body.

Other than lifestyle and genetic factors, a major cause of oxidative stress is advanced age. It can cause a wide number of chronic diseases including diabetes, cognitive disabilities, heart diseases, and metabolic syndrome. (13)

Grapes are rich in antioxidants including polyphenols, carotenoids, and flavonoids essential for anti-inflammatory effect. It protects the body from highly reactive oxygen species. These species damage new cells and increase the number of old and damaged cells in the body. This could also lead to apoptotic cell death and mitochondrial damage. (14)

You want to protect yourself from pathogens and harmful toxic chemicals, both of us have detrimental effects.

Key Takeaway: Factors that significantly increase oxidative stress in the body can be treated and controlled with the help of grapes. They contain powerful antioxidants that are essential for the prevention of chronic diseases characterized by oxidative stress. It supports the body’s immune system and may reduce the risk of developing age-related disorders.

9. Grapes Contain Dietary Fiber and Other Powerful Compounds to Relieve Constipation

Grapes are one of the most effective fruits to eat to fight constipation. They contain dietary fiber, organic acid, cellulose, and sugar.

On the whole, increasing your dietary fiber intake has many health benefits, including reducing cholesterol levels, preventing hypertension, reflux disease, and lowering blood pressure.

Gastrointestinal disorders often arise from symptoms such as chronic constipation. This can occur due to lack of fiber intake and lack of water intake. Grapes are dense in both nutrients required to treat and eliminate constipation. (15)

That said, grapes are considered a laxative food because of the combination of antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients it contains. Laxatives are natural remedies for people with irregular bowel movements. So proper grape consumption on a daily basis is most beneficial along with regular exercise.

Chronic constipation is a very uncomfortable condition that often leads to bowel obstruction and hard feces. Chronic constipation is linked with other severe diseases including kidney disease and colorectal cancer. (16,17)

Key Takeaway: Grapes contain dietary fiber and powerful nutrients which have positive effects on your digestive system. It also helps relieve constipation, which is the symptom of bowel obstruction and weak metabolic functioning. People who eat a grape-rich diet show improvements in passing stools without any difficulty.

10. Grapes Can Kill Harmful Cancer Cells

Did you ever wonder why people drink red wine in moderation as a natural health remedy? Extracted from grape, it contains a powerful compound called resveratrol which has a positive effect on killing cancer cells.

To block cancer cells from proliferating, the body needs to block protein from feeding the damaged cells. The resveratrol compound is responsible for proper regulation of protein in the cells.

That said, the anti-inflammatory properties of grapes creates a less oxidative environment, making it difficult for the cancer cells to reproduce and damage other healthy cells in the body.

Grapes also contain special phytonutrients such as catechins, stilbenes, and proanthocyanidins which have positive cancer-fighting effects. (18)

Studies have already established that resveratrol reduces inflammation in the body, curing heart diseases, autoimmune disorders, and other chronic diseases caused by oxidative stress. Grapes help fight prostate cancer, bowel cancer, and colon cancer. It also restricts tumor growth in the brain or bone. (19)

Key Takeaway: Grapes contain compounds that help fight cancer more effectively. They are anti-cancer agents that cause cancer cells to rapidly deteriorate rather than spread throughout the body. Combined with therapy, consuming grapes or grape juice on a regular basis has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits.

11. The Essential Polyphenols in Grapes Can Improve Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a risk factor that causes cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. According to studies, a change in diet is a significant factor in preventing and treating hypertension in individuals. (20)

The intake of polyphenols shows a modifiable improvement in patients with high blood pressure. It protects the body against cardiovascular diseases, hence reducing our body’s inflammation and tendency to fight against free radical damage.

It regulates proper cerebral blood flow levels and it also targets the brain for improving vascular health and stimulation. (21)

Polyphenols are great contributors to blood pressure stimulation. They control excessive inflammation in the body which helps alleviating high blood pressure symptoms of hypertension. Keeping in mind that a spike in high blood pressure could lead to sudden heart stroke or plaque buildup restricting proper blood flow from the heart to different organs of the body.

There’s a direct association between the biological and chemical properties of polyphenols to regulate anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory functions. It increases and enhances optimal blood coagulation factors.

Key Takeaway: A grape-rich diet can reduce the rate of high blood pressure in adults. It increases the body’s ability to fight against hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases, especially in people who have a high blood pressure problems.

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