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.
6 Delicious Grape Recipes
The use of grapes in foods such as jellies and jams is something that has been around since the Biblical times. But there is so much more that you can do and make with these green and red jewels than just jellies, jams, and even wine. You can make grapes the centerpieces of all kinds of meals. These include savory suppers and sweet desserts.
Now that you know how healthy they are for your body and mind, you can start to look beyond grapes being only a snack. So it’s time to unleash their potential by adding them to desserts, main dishes, salads, and appetizers.
1. Sweet Breakfast Salad Topped with Grapes
There’s nothing better than this sweet, healthy recipe to get you energized for the rest of the day.
1/2 pound of seedless grapes
2 oz of softened cream cheese
2 oz of sour cream
1/2 tbsp of brown sugar
1/2 tbsp of pecan pieces
1/4 tsp of vanilla
1/8 cup of white sugar
Apart from the pecan pieces and brown sugar, mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
Sprinkle the pecan pieces and brown sugar on top.
Place the bowl in the refrigerator the night before. Then take it out the following morning and toss it properly. The salad is ready to be served cold.
2. Grilled Tuna with Caper and Grape Salsa
An unusual tangy and sweet salsa with capers and grapes can jazz up your favorite grilled tuna.
1/4 cup – lemon juice (fresh)
1 tbsp – olive oil
2 tbsp – chopped parsley (fresh)
1/3 cup – rinsed and drained capers
2 cups – grapes, halved
1 minced shallot
4 tuna steaks
Some black pepper and salt
Preheat your outdoor grill at medium-high and oil the grate.
Mix together parsley, shallot, capers, grapes, as well as olive oil. Add some seasoning of black pepper and salt. Set it aside.
Brush lemon juice on the tuna steaks. Sprinkle seasoning on top of that too.
Cook the steaks on the grill until they are done. You can cook them for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Then serve the grilled tuna with the caper and grape salsa.
3. Rosemary Grape Focaccia
Enjoy a delectable combination of sweet and salty grapes with rosemary and Parmesan cheese.
1 pound – whole wheat pizza dough (prepared)
1/2 cup – Parmesan cheese (shredded)
2 cups – grapes
1 tbsp – olive oil (extra-virgin)
2 tsp – rosemary leaves (fresh)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply some cooking spray on a baking sheet.
Stretch and pat the dough on a mild floured surface using damp hands. The dough might not stretch easily. So you need to wait for at least 10 minutes before trying to stretch it once again. Then move the dough onto the baking sheet.
Drizzle some oil over it along with rosemary and Parmesan cheese. Place the grapes on top of that and lightly push them into the soft dough.
4. Bake this until it turns golden at the edges. This is also the time when some grapes will burst. The approximate baking time is somewhere between 20 to 30 minutes. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes before you serve it.
4. Chicken Crostini and Caramelized Grapes
This delicious recipe is proof that you can caramelize more than just onions.
2 tbsp – chopped flatleaf parsley (fresh)
3 tbsp – sherry (medium-sweet)
2 tbsp – olive oil (extra-virgin)
1 tbsp – rinsed and drained capers (small)
Leaves from a large rosemary sprig (fresh)
Only one garlic clove
500g of grapes, small and seedless
25g of butter
1 thinly sliced French baguette
4 finely chopped shallots
350g of chicken livers, chopped
Preheat your oven at 200 degrees. Spread out the grapes on a baking tray, preferably non-stick. Then roast the grapes for not more than 30 minutes. To prevent them from sticking, you might have to shake the baking tray once in a while. Wait for the grapes to caramelize.
Then lower the temperature to 140 degrees and roast the grapes for another 45 minutes. By this time, they will have shriveled up. Remove them and keep them aside.
Now it’s time to toast some bread slices. Rub garlic on the slices and sprinkle some oil on top. Set it aside.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a pan. Place the shallots in it and cook them gently until they become soft and light brown in color.
Then add the chopped pieces of chicken livers with rosemary. Cook this on high heat for at least 2 minutes.
Once the chicken liver is cooked, add the sherry. Let this cook for another minute. Then bring in the parsley, capers, and seasoning.
Place the pieces of the chicken liver on each toast and top it off with 2 to 4 caramelized grapes. Now your dish is ready to be served.
5. The Perfect Country Grape Tart
If you want to prepare not only a gorgeous but the most delightful pastry, then you should learn how to make this rustic tart with grapes.
1/2 tsp of salt
3-6 tbsp of ice water
10 tbsp of butter, chopped
1 tbsp of sugar
1 1/2 cup – flour
Grapes (keep some extra with twigs attached)
The first step is to prepare the crust (by using the food processor). Process the butter, salt, and flour till it starts to look like bread crumbs. The butter should become as small as tiny peas. Keep adding water to the dough till it holds together.
The second step is to flatten out the dough. So place the dough on a mild floured surface and smear it using your bare hands. Make sure that it has been flattened out completely before you wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it.
After refrigerating the dough for at least an hour, roll it into 6-inch wide small circles or a single 12 inches circle (the latter is better). Then place it in the refrigerator once again for not more than 20 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place some grapes at the center of the rolled dough. Then fold the outer dough on top of the grapes, pleating the whole thing.
Add more grapes and do more pleating at the bottom. Here you can use the grapes with twigs.
Brush some water on the dough and sprinkle the sugar over it.
Bake this until the tart becomes golden brown. This is the time when the grapes will wrinkle and their juices will start to leak. After 15-20 minutes, rotate the baking sheet and let it bake again for another 15-20 minutes. Then let the tart cool for at least 20 minutes before serving it.
6. Grape Pie
A beautiful home-baked grape pie like this is just what you need for a wonderful combination of color and flavor.
To prepare the pastry:
18 tbsp – unsalted, chilled butter chopped into tiny pieces
1 tsp of salt
2 1/2 cups of flour
10 tbsp of ice water
To prepare the filling:
2 pound of stemmed grapes
1 cup – sugar
2 tbsp – tapioca
1 tbsp – butter (unsalted), chopped into tiny pieces
First, you need to prepare the pastry. Whisk salt and flour together. Use two table knives to add the butter into the flour. Work it into the mixture thoroughly.
Drizzle the ice water on the dough and stir it using a fork. Work the dough into a ball and place it on a mild floured surface. Then divide it into 2 separate balls, one should be slightly bigger in size. Wrap both the balls in plastic and refrigerate them for at least 2 hours.
Next comes the filling. Remove the pulp of the grapes and place it on a saucepan. Don’t throw the skins away, just set them aside in a bowl. Cook the pulp on medium heat until it becomes soft. This should take not more than 8 to 10 minutes.
Then add the pulp to the skins placed in the bowl. Make sure to press the solids with the help of the spoon. Now is the time to discard the seeds. Set the mixture aside for a while before you add tapioca and sugar into it.
Preheat your oven at 400 degrees. Place the bigger dough ball on a mild floured surface and roll it into a twelve-inch round. Transfer the grape filling to the pastry bottom and place butter over it.
The other dough ball should also be rolled in the same manner into a ten-inch round with a hole measuring 1 inch in the center. This is for the steam to escape. Then cover the filling with the pastry.
Fold and crimp the edges. Bake the dough for not more than 20 minutes. Following which lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake until it becomes golden brown. This should take at least 40-50 minutes. Let the pie cool for a while before serving it.
Wrapping It Up
Consuming grapes is now a science-approved thing for most of you. You can increase your consumption of grapes and see increased signs of mortality. Grapes are super foods because they contain powerful vitamins, antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber. Plus, they’re water-containing fruits.
Given how healthy grapes are, a few grapes recipes are a part of our feature. As you already know, eating nutritious fruits helps you fight both chronic and age-related diseases, but always eating fruits as fruits can seem boring. I’ve featured a few delicious grape recipes that’ll give you the upper hand at doing your health the right way!
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.