- Grapes are one of the most valuable fruit that is known to revitalize our entire system. They are delicious, highly nutritious and very easily digestible.
Grapes can be eaten fresh or dried (raisins) or can be consumed as a grape juice. Although seedless grapes are highly sought after for table grapes, the absence of seeds does diminish the phytochemical content of the grape. To receive the maximum nutrients from grapes, it is recommended that the seeds are also consumed.
Many of the health benefits attributed to red/purple grapes are due to the pigments that are concentrated largely in the skin and seeds, which have about 100 times higher level than the pulp of the grape.
Grapes are rich in content with water, protien, fat, minerals (calcium, phosphorus, iron) and vitamins (Vitamin C, Vitamin A and P). Due to its rich content of sugar which is formed of glucose, they are easily absorbed in the body soon after its consumption thus supplying heat and energy within a short time.
Health benefits are massive and can be illustrated as follows:
Grapes seem to be very good cancer fighting fruit. (They are an excellent source of health promoting flavonoids. Usually, the stronger the color of the grapes, the concentration of flavonoids are found higher.)
Grapes are also rich in ellagic acid, a potent flavonoid that helps fight cancer. Besides there is a substance found in the skin (not flesh) of grapes, called "resveratrol". Researchers reported in a study that resveratrol is converted in the body to a known anti-cancer agent that can selectively target and destroy cancer cells.
Besides, red grape skins and seeds contain recently isolated compounds shown to reduce the size of estrogen-dependent breast cancer tumors.
Still more interesting fact is that grapes acts as a preventative agent in prostrate, lung, liver, and breast cancer.
- Heart Disease:
Grapes are abundantly useful in the treatment of heart disease as they tone up the heart and are effective in cardiac pain and palpitation of the heart. Besides grape juice is highly valuable for a person who is suffering from a heart attack which will avert serious consequences and by reducing the pain and palpitation.
Also eating fresh grapes may prevent the accumulation of harmful oxidized cholesterol as well as the development of atherosclerotic lesions. According to the study, as reported in the Journal of Nutrition (vol. 135, pp. 722-728, 2005.), naturally occurring antioxidants in fresh grapes known as polyphenols are believed to be responsible for this beneficial impact.
The flavonoid compounds found in grapes called resveratrol appear to decrease the risk of heart disease by:
-Reducing platelet clumping and harmful blood clots
-Protecting LDL cholesterol from the free radical damage that initiates LDL's artery-damaging actions
-Boosts good type of HDL cholesterol
They are also known to keep heart flexible and healthy.
- Blood Pressure :
The intake of grapes regularly in our diet reduces the risk of hypertension.
- Alzheimer’s disease: Resveratrol, a beneficial polyphenol present in grapes reduces the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Studies suggest that grapes can enhance brain health and stall the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.
As grapes are a laxative food, it is valuable in relieving constipation. It tones up the stomach and intestine and relieves the most chronic cases of constipation. When fresh grapes are not available, raisins soaked in water can be used.
- Dyspepsia :
Grapes constitute a light food that eliminates indigestion and irritation of the stomach and, is valuable in dyspepsia.
- Asthma :
According to Dr. Oldfied, grapes and their juices are beneficial in the treatment of asthma.
- Body building fruit:
Grapes are very good for the blood and a body builder - it is also a quick source of energy.
The grape juice is very effective home remedy for severe migraine.
- Kidney Troubles:
It is an excellent food remedy in acute and chronic nepthritis and bladder stones. Also grapes help to decrease the acidity of the uric acid greatly and, lends itself further in aiding the elimination of the acid from the system, thus benefiting the kidneys greatly.
- Antibacterial activity: Red grapes have strong antibacterial and antiviral properties and can protect you from infections. They have a strong antiviral property against poliovirus and herpes simplex virus.
- Liver Disorders:
Grapes activate liver to glycogenic functions and bile secretions and is highly useful for all types of liver disorders.
- Pyorrhoea :
The organic acid of the grapes are strongly antiseptic and has a strong effect on the gums. According to Johanna Brandt, “Every tooth may be loose in its socket and pus may be pouring from the gums, but after a few weeks on the exclusive grape diet, it will be found that teeth are firmly set in the jaws and that every trace of pyorrhea poisoning has disappeared”.
- Alcoholism :
Grapes are an effective remedy for those craving alcohols as it is the most purest form of alcohol. So grapes must form an exclusive diet in treating the alcoholics.
Grapes can contribute to reducing the risk of loss of eyesight (a major problem among the elderly). By increasing grapes intake we can reduce the risk of macular degeneration (the main cause of vision loss) by 30-40%.
Flavonoids present in grapes have antioxidants, which can reduce and fight the damage caused by free radicals such as cataract.
- Anti-aging & Life-prolonging properties :
The resveratrol found in grapes seems to influence genes controlling the aging process. According to Harvard Medical School researchers, this substance can restrict calories intake. It activates enzymes that slow aging, thus increasing DNA stability and extending life span by 70%.
In short, for taste and for health, put either some grapes or grape juice in your daily diet that will do wonders to your overall health and immune system!
(However, a word of warning, grapes have many health benefits, but have a high sugar content and should therefore be eaten in moderation or choose the less sweet ones).