Grapes are sweet and small berries that are cultivated in many countries. There are thousands of grapes cultivars, with a wide variety of health benefits and taste. They can be eaten raw, however they can also be mashed or cooked. There are many food products that use grapes as the main ingredients, such as molasses, vinegar, oil, raisins, wines, jellies and jams. Grapes originally grew wild and they were first cultivated about 6000 years ago. There are grape cultivars that are commonly consumed fresh and some are primarily used for the wine production. Regardless of the cultivar, grapes could promote longer living and greater health.
Grapes could be consisted of up to 85 percent water. The sweet taste is due to the presence of fructose and the simpler glucose. There are other substance found in grapes, such as folic acid, phosphoric acid, glucosides, gallic acid and others Common minerals found in grapes are calcium, iron and manganese. Grapes are consumed all around the world and they could improve our lifestyle. By consuming grapes and other fresh fruits regularly, we should be able to avoid spending a lot of money on prescriptions drugs at later stages of our lives. In general, grapes could improve three areas in our lives, specifically aging, cancer and heart disease.
In general, grapes could prevent or at least, slow down the progression of heart disease. In many countries, heart diseases are considered among the primary killers, other than cancer, stroke, diabetes and car accidents. One controversial thing about health benefit is French Paradox. French people are known for their affinity for meat-based products. However, it is shown that they have lower risks of having heart disease. It is believed that the condition is caused by regular consumption of red wine. For people who abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages, they could consume dark purple fresh grapes to get the same benefits.
Coronary heart disease is among life-threatening conditions and it is caused by plaque build up in our artery wall. If the condition is left unchecked, the flow of blood could be slowed down or it could stop entirely, causing people to collapse and death could be imminent if they are not treated immediately. Grapes have a special type of polyphenol called resveratrol and it prevents our arterial wall to get damaged by cholesterol. Pterostilbene is another nutrient found in grapes and it could lower the level of triglycerides in our body. This will further reduce the possibility of heart attack. It should be noted that resveratrol is found in higher amount in grapes seeds, so we could consider eating them.
Skin of grapes contains saponin and it is able to bind cholesterol. Alpha tocopherol is one of the antioxidants found in grapes and they could increase the anti-oxidative activity in our body by about 50 percent. Dark and red grapes appear to be the healthiest, although green and other light-colored grapes could still provide us with tremendous benefits. Caffeic acid is another substance that can eradicate cancer right down the cellular level.