Grapes are vines which were cultivated in Europe more than six centuries ago.
Grapes are rich in vitamins and minerals which include B vitamins, vitamins A and C, calcium, magnesium, manganese and iron. But generally each 100 grams of grapes contains 60 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of sugar, 21 grams of protein and 21 grams of fat.
There are four major health benefits of grapes. These are:
1. It helps to prevent heart diseases
Numerous studies have determined that grapes have the ability to prevent or slow down heart diseases.
This was proven about 20 years ago when scientists discovered that French people who drank red wine as part of their daily meals, had less heart related diseases than people from the rest of the world.
Fresh grapes contain polyphenols. These are antioxidants that help to prevent the accumulation of oxidized cholesterols on the walls of arteries. This condition can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
2. It helps to prevent cancer
Grapes are rich in caffeic acid which is classified as a strong cancer fighting substance. It also contains bioflavonoids, a substance that assists the body in absorbing Vitamin C. These substances also act as antioxidants which protect your cells from harmful chemicals and cancer cells.
Resveratrol is another cancer fighting substance from grapes. It helps to protect your body from certain types of cancers especially the ones that affect the liver, lungs, breast and prostate glands.
3. It helps to slow down aging
Reservatrol, the antioxidant that helps to prevent cancer, heart and brain diseases is also believed to play a role in slowing down the aging process. A study conducted by the Harvard medical School suggests that resveratrol is responsible for the activation of certain enzymes that slow down aging. The study stated further that resveratrol can also extend a person's life span by 70 percent because it increases DNA stability.
4. It helps to reduce the risk of eyesight loss in the elderly
By a regular grape intake, you can actually cut your risk of macular degeneration by 30 to 40 percent. Macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision loss among aged people.
Grapes are very useful for our health as they help to nourish us with vitamins and minerals. They also help to protect us from the risk of major diseases which can be fatal.
But health and nutrition experts are giving some precautions regarding their consumption. Among them are:
1. Grapes or grape juice are not recommended for obese persons and those who are suffering from stomach ulcers and diabetes;
2. Eating grapes or drinking grape juice excessively can cause dental problems;
3. Grapes can cause stomach problems when taken with other food products such as milk, fish, beer, melons or mineral water.