Delicious help for your health.
Grapes have been grown as far back as 6500 BC, and in many cultures their clusters symbolise abundance and fertility. As well as being delicious and a key ingredient in everyone’s favourite wine, grapes have a number of health benefits. Here’s why it’s worth adding grapes to your diet, if only for a season.
Rich in nutrients
One cup of grapes provides a quarter of the daily requirement for vitamin C, almost 20% of vitamin K and at least 10% of copper. As well as immune support, vitamin C is essential for DNA repair, collagen production and the ‘happiness hormone’ serotonin.
Vitamin C also helps significantly increase iron absorption from plant foods; studies have linked high blood levels of vitamin C to increased fat burning, both during exercise and at rest. Vitamin K is essential for bone formation, and its deficiency is associated with an increased risk of fractures. Copper plays an important role in energy production, as well as in the formation of collagen and red blood cells. Grapes also contain small amounts of several key nutrients, including B vitamins, potassium and manganese.
Strengthens the immune system
In addition to the above-mentioned vitamins C and A, which are essential for a strong immune system, grapes support the immune system because of their natural antimicrobial properties. And the water found in large quantities in berries is important for hydration, circulation, healthy blood flow and the elimination of toxins from the body.
Provides the body with antioxidants
Grapes contain several different antioxidants that, prevent inflammation and improve blood flow. Antioxidants also stimulate brain function (including memory and thinking speed), have anti-ageing properties and can reduce the signs of ageing. Quercetin, found in black and red grapes, protects against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Natural melatonin contained in grapes ensures longer and better quality sleep. Without proper levels of melatonin, healthy sleep is impossible, and lack of melatonin is associated with a number of health risks, including depression, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Grapes are not high in fibre, with one to two grams in a cup. However, even these small amounts, when mixed with water, help keep the gut running smoothly and the polyphenols help grow a healthy microbiome.
Improves heart health
Grapes are good for the heart in a number of ways. They have been proven to prevent vascular calcification, lower blood pressure, improve circulation, thin the blood and reduce inflammation. Studies show that grapes also help reduce “bad” cholesterol by reducing its absorption into the blood.
Good for your eyes
Lutein and zeaxanthin contained in grapes protect the retina and the lens of the eye. They increase the range of vision, prevent the development of dry eye syndrome, increase visual contrast and reduce the time it takes the eyes to recover from the stress of bright light. This duo also helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration of vision and cataracts, two common eye diseases.