It’s a lot easier to eat well when the healthy foods are also the tasty ones. Grapes have this advantage, coming in as the third most popular fruit for Americans. And while they may not be the healthiest fruit of them all, they are pretty good for you, and as such they are very popular.
Globally, grapes outsell almost every other fruit with more than 77.8 million tons consumed annually according to the International Organization of Vine and Wine.
Grapes also have the distinction of being connected to weight loss, but only as part of an otherwise healthy diet and lifestyle.
What are the health benefits of eating grapes?
Grapes have a host of health benefits on their own, but are also often part of popular foods and drinks ranging from jams and jellies to juice and wine. Though there are literally thousands of different grape types all over the world, red seedless grapes and green seedless grapes are the most popular varieties in America.
Different types of grapes have some different nutritional compositions. The skin of red grapes, for instance, are especially good sources of resveratrol, a compound that supports cardiovascular and cognitive health. But all grapes are packed with antioxidants and have anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory benefits that make them one of the best fruits for one’s heart.
“Grapes are also a good source of vitamin K and fiber,” says Josh Redd, NMD, the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness and author of “The Truth About Low Thyroid.”
Lisa Young, PhD, an adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University and author of “Finally Full, Finally Slim,” praises the antioxidants in grapes that “help decrease one’s risk of cancer as they fight against free radicals,” and the vitamin C in the fruit that contributes to a stronger immune system. “Grapes are also very low in sodium and high in potassium,” she explains. “This contributes to lowering blood pressure because it helps to ease tension in your blood vessels.”
Are grapes good for weight loss?
Research shows that eating fruit daily helps reduce weight gain, and that may be especially true with grapes. Grapes are primarily linked to weight loss because they have high water content, making one feel fuller. The fiber in grapes also contributes to feelings of fullness. And they have low caloric density, meaning lower calorie volume than other fruits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that a full cup of grapes contains the same number of calories as a small box of raisins – their dried counterpart.
Audra Wilson, MS, bariatric dietitian at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, agrees that “grapes can be a filling food,” but says that the fruit is especially helpful as part of a well-rounded diet. “Pairing grapes with a lean protein like low-fat cheese or yogurt is a great snack because of the combination of filling fiber and satisfying protein,” she explains.
How many grapes should I be eating?
Though the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate daily intake guidelines for grapes vary by age and gender, a recent study shows that two cups of grapes per day may be the ideal amount – an amount the research shows could even help one live longer.
Walter Willett, MD, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, suggests “enjoying grapes in modest amounts but not loading up on them as way to control weight.”
Redd agrees and warns as well that the fruit does have a higher amount of fructose than some realize. “Keep in mind that grapes and other fruits today have been bred to be much sweeter than they originally were,” he says. “Due to their high sugar content, grapes are best enjoyed in moderation.”
Read more about fruits, foods and your health here:
How to start eating healthy:Experts say you should start small, keep it simple
What is the healthiest rice? Here’s the problem with that question, a nutrition scientist says.
What is the healthiest vegetable? There isn’t one ‘best,’ but these are great nutrient-dense options.
What is the healthiest fruit? This one is high in antioxidants and has cognitive and cardiovascular benefits.
What is the healthiest nut? Add these two to your daily diet for cognitive benefits and much more.