Grapes: Properties and Benefits

Grapes

The grape, fruit with antioxidant properties, is the product  of the vine, scientific name  Vitis vinifera. It is made up of many berries or grains attached to a bunch which together form a bunch. Today there are three main grape species: European grapes ( Vitis vinifera ), North American grapes ( Vitis labrusca  and  Vitis rotundifolia ) and French hybrids.

Grapes: properties and benefits
Grapes: properties and benefits

The grapes are classified as table grapes, wine grapes, raisins and so on, with edible or seedless seeds.

L ‘ grapes  can be divided into two large families. The white one with light colored berries and shades from yellow to green. The red one with colors from pink to black. Italy is the world’s largest grape producer, the main grape producing regions are Puglia and Sicily.

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The grape has origins are uncertain but its properties and benefits have been known since ancient times when this fruit was the symbol of life. If consumed fresh , like table grapes, or dried, like raisins, it contains absolutely no alcohol. Typical wine ingredient, it does not addictive nor in any way alters a person’s psychophysical balance.

Studies suggest that the consumption of grapes or grape products has been associated with various health benefits. ( 1 ) All fruit and vegetables contain a variety of phytochemicals, many of which are ubiquitous and common. The resveratrol, for example, is less common in fruits and vegetables but the grape it is a good source. This compound has recently been studied thanks to its therapeutic properties and its health benefits .

Studies suggest that grape consumption is associated with a lower incidence of degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer. ( 2 )

Polyphenols are the most important phytochemicals in grapes because they have many biological properties and health benefits. ( 3 ) Phenolic compounds mainly comprise anthocyanins, flavanols, flavonols, stilbenes (resveratrol) and phenolic acids. ( 45 )

Reported evidence of beneficial health effects of phenolic compounds includes inhibition of certain degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease. ( 67 )

Chemical Composition

Chemical composition for 100 gr of grapes

Water g 80,54
Protein g 0,72
Carbohydrates g 18,10
Fat g 0,16
Sugars g 0,15
fibers g 0,9
Ashes g 0,48
Minerals
Calcium mg 10
Copper mg 0,127
Fluorine mcg 7,8
Iron mg 0,36
Magnesium mg 7
Manganese mg 0,071
Phosphorus mg 20
Potassium mg 191
Selenium mcg 0,1
Sodium mg 2
Zinc mg 0,07
Vitamins
Vitamin A IU 66
Vitamin A, RAE mcg 3
B1 mg 0,069
B2 mg 0,070
B3 mg 0,188
B5 mg 0,050
B6 mg 0,086
Vitamin C mg 3,2
Vitamin E mg 0,19
Vitamin J mg 5,6
Vitamin K mcg 14,6
Beta Carotene mcg 39
Lutein Zeaxantina mcg 72
Folate mcg 2

Source: Nutritionvalue

Amino acids : aspartic acid, glutamic acid, alanine, arginine, glycine, phenylalanine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, proline, methionine, serine, tryptophan, valine and threonine.

Phenolic acids: ferulic acid, gallic acid, caffeic acid, coumaric acid.

Relevant the presence of polyphenolic substances responsible for countless benefits to human health. Flavonoids such as anthocyanins and tannins and non flavonoids such as phenolic acids. In this fruit we also find some acids that have a determining role in the transformation of wine, malic acid, tartaric acid and citric acid.

One of the most important components is certainly a substance (a phenol) present in the peel. His name is  resveratrol and has  truly beneficial properties for health.

Calories  

Taking into consideration 100 grams of fresh pulp, the grape provides 69 kcal.

Grapes: Properties and Benefits

Free radicals

Grapes  contain flavonoids with antioxidant properties , two of these in particular, quercetin and resveratrol, counteract the negative effects of free radicals . The latter can be responsible for diseases related to aging of the eyes such as cataracts or cardiovascular and other diseases related to aging. The antioxidants in many cases can prevent and combat these harmful processes in health. ( 89 )

Antitcancer

Numerous tests have shown that the extracts of grapes and its derivative products had anticancer properties. ( 10 ) There are several studies that support the anticancer properties of different grape varieties. ( 1112 )

The anticancer properties of grape phenolic compounds have been extensively studied by researchers and the results appear to confirm their beneficial effects. ( 13 ) From the results it appears that high concentrations of phenolic compounds have a toxic effect on cancer cells and induce their death by apoptosis. ( 14 )

Research conducted on resveratrol has confirmed its anticancer properties. Its activity is particularly effective in preventing breast and colon cancer.

A study conducted at the University of Milan found that grape extracts regulate the neoplasm of colon cancer cells. ( 1516 )

In another study, the peel extract has been shown to have chemotherapy properties on breast cancer cells. ( 17 )

Metabolic Syndrome

According to the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute , metabolic syndrome is associated with certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of heart disease. ( 18 ) These are:

  • High blood sugar levels
  • Obesity
  • Low levels of good cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • High triglycerides

The polyphenols contained in this type of fruit can help prevent metabolic syndrome. The results of the study suggest that the polyphenols present in grapes, especially in its seeds, help to reduce blood pressure and sugar.

 

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Detoxifying

Grapes also has detoxifying properties,  so that for this purpose there is a diet based on grape that can be useful to people obese to lose weight. This diet consists of eating at least 2 kg of grapes a day by combining it with other types of fruit and also a little vegetables.

The diet should be continued for 5/6 days and is indicated not only for obese people but also for all those who need to eliminate toxins from their body. It is useful for those suffering from gout, arthritis, poor circulation, kidney problems, hypertension and arteriosclerosis.

Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory

The resveratrol due to its  antioxidant properties, brings  benefits to health, in particular, has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. A grape contains active ingredients and nutrients useful for the regeneration of the skin. ( 19 )

The phenolic compounds of the grape, especially its seeds, have shown significant anti-inflammatory effects on rats and humans. ( 202122 ) According to the researchers, those responsible for these benefits are flavonols, flavanols and procyanidins.

Cholesterol

Grapes contain a compound called  pterostilbene which, together with dietary fiber, helps to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol. This compound is therefore useful for preventing the formation of dangerous plaques in the arteries.

Grapes: properties and benefits

It is Good for the Bones

It has a good content of calciumcopperiron and manganese. These components are important for the formation and strength of the bones. Its regular consumption prevents bone- related diseases such as osteoporosis.

Energy

The Quercetin is a flavonoid naturally present in the red grapes with anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidants. This compound is also an excellent source of energy, recommended for chronic fatigue.

Immune System

It is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K which, together with antioxidants and minerals, strengthen the immune system. This results in a better reactivity towards pathogenic attacks.

Diabetes

The worldwide incidence of diabetes mellitus has reached alarming proportions. Persistent hyperglycaemia due to reduced insulin activity and / or insulin resistance affects the cerebrovascular system, kidneys and other parts of the body, which leads to life-threatening complications.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, there are approximately 366 million diabetics worldwide. ( 23 )

Based on the large amount of data available through clinical and epidemiological studies, polyphenols have received considerable interest in their alleged role in the prevention of various degenerative diseases. In particular, the antidiabetic effect is one of the most intensely studied biological roles of these compounds. ( 24 )

Many laboratory studies and clinical studies in animals and humans indicate that plant polyphenols are effective in a complementary role for the management of diabetes. ( 2526 )

Recent studies have shown the benefits that this fruit can have for diabetes. Its regular consumption, thanks to the abundance of phytonutrients, helps regulate insulin and the amount of sugar in the blood. ( 27 ) Estimates say that this figure could increase to 552 million by 2030. ( 28 )

Other studies confirm that grapes or grape products can provide health benefits for type 2 diabetics. ( 29 )

Diarrhea

In case of diarrhea, the leaves of the vine can help. In this regard, it is necessary to boil 50 grams of leaves in a liter of water for an hour. After filtering the whole thing, they drink 2 glasses a day. On the opposite side, if you eat the whole grape with peel and seeds, this has slightly laxative properties.

Mental Health

Its  juice  can improve  brain health and can delay the onset of degenerative diseases related to it. This is supported by a study published in the  British Journal of Nutrition. The study claims that the benefits also extend to older people who show mild signs of degenerative conditions.

Memory

Several studies show that antioxidant- rich fruits help reduce oxidative stress cells. Study results showed that this benefit improved memory and motor function. ( 30 )

Another study showed that taking its juice for 12 weeks improved verbal ability in adults  with decreased memory. ( 31 )

Eye Health

A study at the University of Miami suggests that  regular consumption d’ grapes  helps to maintain healthy eyes. In particular, it has preventive effects against macular degeneration, a pathology typical of old age.

 

Grapes: Properties and Benefits

According to another 2004 study, regular consumption of this fruit protects the retina from deterioration. Deterioration leads to diseases of the retina such as macular degeneration. ( 32 )

The study was conducted in mice but bodes well thanks to unexpected results. In fact, after the experiment in which the mice were fed 3 times a day with grapes, their retina increased in thickness.

Skin Aging

Research has shown that some essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid are able to protect the skin from sunlight and prevent inflammation. These properties are therefore able to slow down the aging of the skin. ( 33 )

Heart Health

According to scientific research, postprandial hyperlipemia and oxidative stress, two risk factors for atherosclerosis, could be reduced with grape seed extracts or grape juice rich in phenols. ( 3435 )

Studies have shown that the anthocyanins in the wine and in the  grapes skins have inhibited the activity of phosphodiesterase-5, which has reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease through vasodilation. ( 36 )

Other studies have found that phenolic compounds significantly improved plasma lipid levels with benefits for heart health .

Hemodialysis patients are offered grape phenols to prevent inflammation. In one study, red grape juice significantly reduced an inflammatory factor involved in the risk of cardiovascular disease. All this after three weeks of consumption. ( 37 )

Difference Between White and Red Grapes

From a nutritional point of view, there are no particular differences between white and red grapes. Both have roughly the same calories. However, if we take into account the therapeutic properties, the  red one has a greater amount of important nutrients. In particular, it contains greater quantities of iron, flavonoid substances and antioxidants than white grapes.

The Screws

The most important vine species for the production of grapes are 2:

The Vitis vinifera, from Europe and from which all the vineyards come.

The Vitis labrusca, of American origin, and mainly used for the production of table grapes.

The Ampeloterapia 

This term derives from the Greek word ampelos  which literally means vine and indicates an almost exclusively grape based diet . This cure, whose purpose was to cleanse the intestines and liver thoroughly, was already known in ancient times to the Roman, Arab and Greek population.

Grapeseed Oil

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The oil seeds or oil extracted from the seeds , has excellent nourishing properties. This plant food is in fact rich in Omega-6 polyunsaturated acids, in particular linoleic acids . At the same time it is rich in vitamin E and is an excellent moisturizer for skin and hair.

Curiosity

Thanks to their wealth of sugars and carbohydrates, this fruit represents a good source of natural energy. It is therefore useful to all those who need an extra energy boost such as sportsmen and students. This energetic property increases 3 times when raisins are consumed.

Even the leaves of lives contain substances useful to the functioning of our body. Did you know that the leaves contain omega-3 fatty acids and a good amount of calcium and magnesium?

With the leaves of the vine you can prepare rolls inside which you put rice and any other dish you like.

Due to its high sugar and cellulose content, grapes are a food not recommended for people suffering from diabetes. Not recommended even for very young children as the cellulose contained in the peel can cause digestion problems.

Even with grapes it is possible to produce oil, in fact from its seeds the grape seed oil is extracted, rich in unsaturated fats and used in the cosmetic field.

The use and cultivation of grapes in Europe is attributable to the Phoenician population.

If the Grape fresh provides 69 calories per 100 grams, the pass or disclose 260 !

All medical-scientific research carried out in this regard have confirmed that red wine has absolutely beneficial properties for health. This thanks to the presence of polyphenols and flavonoids having undisputed antioxidant properties. For this reason, a glass of red wine a day is almost a must.

The first cultivation of this vegetable seems to have occurred between the seventh and fourth centuries BC in the regions between the Black Sea and Iran.

Maybe not Everyone Knows That

Sardinia is the region that hosts the largest number of people over the age of one hundred. A research was carried out on them to understand what the secret of such longevity was. It was discovered that one of the few things that everyone had in common was a glass of red wine consumed during meals.

If taken excessively, the peel can have laxative effects. For this reason it is good to pay attention to the smoothies which, in addition to the peel, also contain the seeds having the same effect.

The various phytonutrients present in this fruit, especially resveratrol, interfere positively with the genes of longevity.

The regular intake of grapes, in theory, could result in a lengthening of the life span.

Grapes: Properties and Benefits

See also:

Uva Spina

Ursina grapes

Italian language version

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