5 Health Benefits Of Grapes

Grapes, just like the colors they come in, have been linked to a variety of health benefits. Whether you pick green, purple, or red, here are some of the protective effects of the tasty fruit you may enjoy.

1. Protective against heart disease

The fruit can help protect against heart disease for a number of reasons. Research has shown that it can help reduce the buildup of fat and fight against risk factors like inflammation and oxidative stress.

The potassium content in grapes — close to 300 milligrams per cup of the fruit — helps reduce blood pressure by countering the negative effects of salt. According to one study published in 2015, consuming red grapes helped participants reduce their levels of LDL cholesterol.

2. Slowing down cognitive decline

Your brain health may also get a boost. Studies have suggested that grapes may have "a protective effect on brain metabolism," and can thus, help in slowing down cognitive decline.

In a small sample of young adults, the consumption of purple grape juice was also associated with enhanced mood. "Potential mechanisms underlying these effects include modulation of cerebral blood flow, glucoregulation, and inhibition of monoamine oxidase activity, all of which require further exploration," the authors of the study wrote.

3. Improvement of skin 

It has been suggested that certain compounds in grapes may help protect against ultraviolet radiation. One study from Spain, for instance, supported the use of these compounds in sun protection products.

However, this does not mean you miss out if you are only eating the fruit. Drinking enough water is important for skin health, as it aids cell regeneration and improves appearances. And as Good Housekeeping points out, grapes are 82 percent water, which means they certainly count toward your hydration.

4. Aiding diabetes prevention

While this excludes fruit juice for obvious reasons, the consumption of grapes and other whole fruits has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in studies.

In addition to the fruit having a low glycemic index, it is said that resveratrol — found in the skin of the grape — can increase insulin sensitivity, which in turn, can help lower blood sugar levels.

5. Possible reduction in cancer risk

"Most of the polyphenols in grapes are flavonoids, which act as antioxidants in the body," Alissa Rumsey, a New York City-based registered dietitian, told Live Science. This explains why, as previously noted, grapes can help reduce oxidative stress in the body.

The effect has been linked to a lower risk of certain types of cancer such as the ones affecting the digestive tract. There have been promising results in animal studies when scientists tested resveratrol, a compound found in the skin of grapes.