We all understand that consuming fruit and vegetables is critical to your overall health. One such fruit that often gets overlooked is grapes. Grapes are high in water and nutrients, as well as having relatively little calories. They are also a great source of potassium, vitamin c and vitamin B6. Grapes are also high in antioxidants which has a range of health benefits. So ok, we understand they are healthy. But what are the actual health benefits?
Grapes are known to increase the level of nitric oxide found in ones blood. By doing so the risk of blood clots is decreased. The antioxidants that are found in grapes also help to prevent the blockage of blood vessels. Grapes are also high in potassium, and whilst we all know the high sodium levels can cause blood pressure, the affects of a diet with low levels of potassium is often ignored. Many studies show that having a deficiency of potassium in ones diet also be a cause of high blood pressure.
**Note: If you are on medication for heart disease, make sure you consult your doctor before consuming a diet high in potassium. Whilst high potassium foods can often be eaten in moderation whilst on these types of medication, too much potassium can be extremely harmful. If you are on medication for heart disease, ensure you discuss this with your doctor before making changes to your diet.
It is believed that heart benefits from grapes are most likely due to an antioxidant called resveratrol which is found in grapes. The Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmology also concludes that pronanthocyandins (another antioxidant found in the actual grape seeds) may also be another positive factor for heart health.
In short, Resveratrol is known to reduce stroke risk by the changes it has upon blood vessels. It is able to protect against natural hormones that can actually cause blood vessels to narrow causing higher blood pressure. It also increases nitric oxide in the blood which helps blood vessels relax.
Our cardiovascular system also experiences a range of benefits from including grapes in our diet. Some of these include:
- Improved regulation of blood pressure
- Cholesterol reduction
- Enhanced release of nitric oxide (as previously discussed)
- Higher levels of gluthaoline
Grapes are great for your intestinal muscles. They have a high amount of insoluble fiber that helps to produce a healthy stool. Whilst grapes should not be used alone to treat issues with your bowel movements, in a balanced diet grapes play a great role. However if you have a loose stool or issues with diarrhoea they may be a food to avoid, but do so with consultation with your doctor. However for the majority of people, grapes will be of benefit for bowel or constipation issues. Grapes are also known to help with indigestion and the fact they are light and low in calories makes them an even better choice.
Hair & Skin Benefits:
We will touch on this more in an upcoming article (so stay tuned), however the natural antioxidants in grapes have been known to have a positive affect on hair growth, dandruff treatment, hair-loss and oily skin.
Including this magical fruit (ok it’s not really magical) in your diet can help keep your iron levels in check. Just remember though, this refers to white grapes. Dark grapes may decrease iron levels, we are no suggesting to avoid dark grapes, but just keep this in mind. Low levels of iron often lead a general flat feeling and can certainly cause tiredness if the body is low on iron.
Grapes can have a huge impact on contributing to and preventing a range of different health issues as discussed in this article. They are not a magical fruit that will fix a poor diet and lifestyle, however they are loaded with nutrients and can help treat a range of disorders. They should be high on the priority list when in the supermarket. And of course, finally, they actually taste pretty damn good!
Resveratrol is found naturally in grapes.