Interesting facts about grapes
- The world’s most widely grown grape variety is Kyoho from China. It is like the Concord variety.
- The largest single bunch of grapes was grown in Spain, and it weighed 10.12kg.
- In one bunch, there are 75 grapes on an average.
- A plantation of grapes is called a vineyard.
- Grapes contain 80% water and 20% dietary fibre.
- China is the world’s top grape-producing country, followed by Italy and USA. India holds the seventh position.
Health benefits of eating grapes
Grapes have plenty of health benefits. Here’s a look at some of them:
Resveratrol’s antioxidant properties inhibit the growth of bacteria that causes acne. It also strengthens blood vessels, thereby enhancing skin elasticity.
Grapes have vitamin C which is essential for the formation of collagen, which helps in the growth of cells and blood vessels. Resveratrol protects the skin from harmful weather, and improves the strength and firmness of the skin. Grapes also contain antioxidants that can help with inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
The antioxidants in grapes increase blood circulation in the scalp which results in good hair growth. Grape seed oil is used to get soft, shiny and manageable hair. It also acts as a good moisturiser and cures dandruff.
The antioxidants and vitamin C present in grapes protect the skin from the effects of free radicals. This tones the skin, eliminates wrinkles and dark spots, and reverses the signs of ageing. Grapes also speed up metabolism which induces perspiration and gives a radiant appearance.
Grapes contain resveratrol, a phytochemical which acts against the growth of cancer cells. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, resveratrol can slow the growth of cancer cells and inhibit the formation of tumors in the lymph, liver, stomach and breast cells. It can also trigger the death of leukemic and colon cancer tumors.
Resveratrol can reduce hypertension by improving the dilatation of blood vessels, which allows a free flow of blood. This avoids clogging of the blood vessels which is the main cause of heart diseases.
A research article titled, ‘Grapes and Cardiovascular Disease’, states that the various polyphenol compounds present in grapes, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, and resveratrol, play a crucial role in curing cardiovascular diseases. They reduce blood pressure and prevent irregular heart rhythms.
Resveratrol helps in bringing down the blood sugar levels in non-diabetics and plays an important role in preventing diabetes. It also reduces the risk of heart ailments in diabetic patients. Although grapes contain sugar, their low glycaemic index doesn’t increase blood sugar levels.
Grapes have dietary fibre which relieves indigestion and irritation in the stomach. The fibre also facilitates the smooth passage of stools. It also helps reduce dyspepsia which causes bloating, nausea, burping and discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen.
The polyphenols in grapes have antioxidant properties and relieve conditions such as congestion and inflammation of the airways, and swollen sinuses. Grapes also increase the level of moisture in the lungs, which helps provide relief in asthma.
Grapes contain lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are vital for good eye health. They reduce the levels of inflammatory protein, while simultaneously increasing the levels of protective protein in the retina, thus improving eye health.
Grapes are low in calories and have no fat at all. In addition to this, the presence of resveratrol and dietary fibre make them ideal weight-loss foods. Resveratrol lowers the ability of the cells to store fat and causes fat cells to disintegrate. This plays a significant role in aiding weight loss.
Since grapes provide vital nutrients such as vitamins, antioxidants, fibre and folic acid, they can be consumed during pregnancy. However, they should be had in moderation, since excessive amounts of resveratrol might cause toxicity in pregnant women.
Resveratrol speeds up the mental response of the human mind by increasing the blood flow to the brain by 200%. Grapes also reduce the oxidative stress in the brain, which promotes memory and overall brain health.
Grapes contain the compound pterostilbene, which can lower the blood cholesterol and triglyceride level, and prevent cardiovascular diseases. The antioxidants in grapes also prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol which is responsible for causing coronary diseases.
Minerals such as copper, manganese and iron are present in grapes. These promote the growth of bones and strengthen them as well. They also improve bone calcium retention and collagen formation, which prevents conditions like osteoporosis.