Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other conditions. Many studies have shown that increasing consumption of plant foods like grapes decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality.
Grapes can be eaten fresh as table grapes or they can be used for making wine, jam, juice, jelly, grape seed extract, raisins, vinegar, and grape seed oil.
Health Benefits of Grapes:
Grapes contain powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols, which may slow or prevent many types of cancer, including breast, esophageal, lung, mouth, pharynx, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate and colon. Certain chemicals in grapes compete for binding sites, and inhibits aromatase from changing androgen to estrogen, which is thought to be a big contributing factor to breast cancer growth in women.
Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s
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 delay the onset of degenerative neural diseases. Study also claims that grape juice can even improve the brain function of older people who have already displayed mild cognitive impairment.
Grapes are also rich in vitamins as well. The high levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A in grapes gives you a healthy boost to many of your organ systems, particularly your immune system, which means less chance of coming down with common colds, as well as more serious health issues.
Balance Blood Cholesterol
A person’s cholesterol levels can be lowered by a compound called pterostilbene. Pterostilbene is closely related to resveratrol, the beneficial antioxidant and coloring flavonoid that is also found in grapes, and early research has shown that it has anti-cancer qualities and also has a great impact on cholesterol levels. It is also thought to have preventative powers over cognitive decline.
Anti-Aging and Longevity Benefits of Grapes
Several grape phytonutrients may play a role in longevity and may provide us with anti-aging benefits. Best-studied in this area of health benefits is resveratrol (a stilbene phytonutrient presently mostly in grape skins, but also in grape seeds and grape flesh). Resveratrol has recently been shown to increase expression of three genes all related to longevity. (These three genes are SirT1s, Fox0s, and PBEFs.)
Interestingly, some researchers have shown a parallel between activation of these longevity genes by resveratrol and activation by calorie-restricted diets. (In aging and longevity research, our ability to get optimal nutrition for the fewest possible amount of calories is related to our longevity, and the more we can decrease our calories while staying optimally nourished, the better our chances of healthy aging and longevity