Juicy, sweet and delightful grapes are possibly one of the oldest fruit known to mankind. From royal courts to local households, this delicious fruit has been a favorite of all. If you go back to classical paintings and texts, the delicious bunch of grapes were quite a favorite of the Gods too. Occurring in clusters on the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus Vitis, grapes are an extremely versatile fruit.

They can be eaten fresh and raw from the bunch, or be used to make wine, jam, juice, jelly, grape seed extract, raisins, vinegar, and grape seed oil etc. Grapes are mostly found in many colors. In terms of the nutritive profile, all of them rank very high across all health charts and are more or less the same. The amount of anthocyanins are more in grapes of darker hues. According to the book, ‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing House, anthocyanins are the most abundant antioxidant in red and black grapes. They have heart protective properties. Black grapes contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids, known to help in maintaining good eyesight.

On the other hand, flavonoid antioxidants also known as catechins, which are most abundant in white grapes. Grapes are actually ‘berries’ that have a semi-solid, translucent flesh inside them; grapes are even enjoyed in their dried forms (raisin). Raisins are basically dried white grape, which is beneficial for the gut, eye health, and energy levels. Grapes are an excellent source of potassium, calcium and vitamin A. These juicy delights are a natural diuretic and packed with healthful antioxidants that could help give you a glowing skin, healthy heart and prevent the free radical damage.

Grapes could prove to be excellent brain foods too. Grapes may improve memory and concentration. Due to riboflavin presence, it is beneficial for people suffering from migraines. Resveratrol found in grapes can reduce the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in Alzheimer’s disease patients. Due to its high potassium content, grapes also help maintain the electrolyte balance of the body and flush out excess water and toxins.

According to book ‘Healing Foods’, grapes may have strong anticancer properties too. The book notes, “The high levels of flavonoids, anthocyanins, stilbenes, and many other antioxidants, especially in dark-skinned grapes, have been found to reduce the risk of cancers of the breast and prostate caused by free radical damage. Grape antioxidant dietary fiber also helps lower the risk of colon cancer.”

Grapes may have strong anticancer properties too and are also one of the safer picks for diabetics. It ensures a slow release of carbohydrates that make sure there are no untimely blood sugar spikes. The fibers present in grapes also assist the regulation further.

In addition to being packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, grapes are also decently low in calories, which makes them one of the best bets for effective weight loss.

Source: NDTV Food