Grapes are small round or oval berries with semi-translucent flesh and smooth skin. Some types of grapes have edible seeds while the others are seedless. It is covered by a protective whitish bloom and grapes are eaten raw or used in recipes. Grapes are fruiting berry of the deciduous woody vine of the botanical genus called vitis. The berries can be eaten fresh or they can used for making wine, jam, juice, jelly, grape seed extract, raisins, vinegar or grape seed oil. Grapes grow in clusters of 15 to 300 and can be crimson, black, dark blue, green, yellow, orange and pink in colour. The European grapevine is native of the Mediterranean and Central Asia and the North American are native of Eastern United States and Canada. Vitis riparia is a native of Eastern US and north of Quebec and vitis rotundifolia are found in South Eastern US from Delaware to the Mexico. The most important Asian species of grapes are the vitis amurensis. Grapes have an extensive and copious history and they have grown wild in continents liek Europe, Asia, Africa and North America since prehistoric times as early as 5000BC. Grape played an important role in many biblical stories and it is often referred to as the “fruit of the vine” in these stories. Grape production in the five countries of Italy, China, Spain and France accounts to half of the commercial production in the world and 1/3 of the vineyards are found in Italy, Spain and France. The other major grape producing countries are Turkey, Chile, Iran, Argntina, South Africa and Australia.
Nutritional Values of Grapes:
Grapes are filled with phytonutrient richness and it contains many health supportive nutrients like stilbenes called reveratrol, piceatannol, pterostilbene, flavanols called catechins, epicatechins, procyanidins, proanthocyanidins, and viniferones. It has flavonols like quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin and isorhamnetin and phenolic acids like caffeic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid and gallic acid. It contains carotenoids like beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin and it contain hormone and antioxidant melatonin and have unique oligopeptides that have anti-bacterial and other properties. Grapes are good source of vitamin K and copper and also a good source of vitaminB2. Apart from the full array of nutrients grapes have carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fibre, sodium, vitamins, fatty acids, mineral, amino acids and many more.
Health Benefits of Grapes:
Grapefruit Oil provides provide many health benefits to the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, immune system, inflammatory system, blood sugar regulating system and nervous system. Grape’s benefits include cancer prevention with risk of breast, prostate and colon cancer. The seed and skin of the grape contain the richest concentration of antioxidants when compared to the flesh of the fruit. But the fruit is consumed on the whole with the flesh and grape and its components help prevent some oxygen related enzymes from becoming hyper. Grapes have the power to increase the blood levels of glutathione and it also increase the ratio of reduced-to-oxidised glutathione. It helps protect cell membranes from free radical damage and lower levels of oxygen reactive molecules in the blood. Grapes help reduce oxidation of fat and lower biomarkers of oxidative stress.
Anti-Inflammatory Benefits: Grapes have strong anti-inflammatory benefits and it is known to lower the risk of excessive and unwanted inflammation in many ways.
Cardiovascular benefits: Grapes provide protection from potential oxygen damage and also provide strong antioxidant protection to the blood vessel lining. Grape prevents inflammation in the cardiovascular system which is the primary cause of many heart diseases. It regulates the inflammatory system activity and in turn lowers the risk of atherosclerosis and many other health conditions. It better blood pressure regulation including blood pressure reduction if it is high and provides total cholesterol regulation. It reduces the LDL cholesterol levels and LDL oxidation. It helps in regulating the clumping together of platelet cells when it is not normal and provide better inflammatory regulation in the blood.
Blood Sugar Benefits: Grape intake provides better blood sugar balance, better insulin regulation and increases insulin sensitivity.
Anti-Aging and Longevity: There are many phytonutrients in grapes which play a major role in longevity and provide anti-aging benefits.
Anti-Microbial: Grapes are known for its anti-microbial activities and consumption of grapes reduces the risk of microbe-related problems like food-borne diseases.
Anti-Cancer Activities: The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of grapes makes it a natural protection against cancer. By providing rich supplies of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, grapes helps in avoiding the dangerous combination of chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation which is the cause of many kinds of cancer like breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer. It also helps human body to fight many health conditions like fatigue, fever, malaria, constipation, indigestion, urinary issues, excess acidity and many more.
Appetite Loss: Grapes works as an effective appetite suppressant and the smell of grapefruit reduces the feeling of hunger. The high amounts of fibre present in grapes also satisfy hunger and help people not to overeat. Grapes are considered as a bulky food and it stimulates cholecystokinin, which is a hormone which regulated digestive juices and also acts as a hunger suppressant.
Influenza: Grape fruit is a valuable remedy for influenza because it has the ability to minimize acidity in the system. There are bitter properties in grapefruits called ‘naringin’ and it tones up the systems and the digestive process. Naringin is a flavonoid which are powerful antioxidant source in human diet and it has antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory qualities which has powerful ability to help the immune system fight against influenza and many other serious conditions.
Malaria: Grapefruit or the juice contains natural ‘quinine’ which is good for the treatment of malaria. Quinine is an alkaloid which can treat malaria and also lupus, arthritis and leg cramps and this is a component which is not seen in many other foods. Quinine can be extracted easily from the fruits by boiling a quarter of grapefruit and straining the pulp.
Better than many medicines: Consumption of grapefruit is better than many medicines because it has natural sources of medicine to help the body fight many diseases.