Did you know about grapes being one of the most widely consumed fruits in the United States, coming after bananas and strawberries? It’s not really that surprising. Grapes are sweet as candy, are portable due to their lack of utensils required, and are simply pleasurable to consume. Not to mention, they’re chock-full of various health benefits, so you can generally feel good about eating them.
Grapes, like any other fruit, are nutritious in moderation, according to Shirlene Reid, RD, MA. The only thing you need to be concerned about is the high sugar content, which could add up quickly if eaten in large handfuls. Remember that one serving is half a cup (or 16 grapes). You may want to portion out 16 grapes in a plastic bag so that you don’t eat too much.
Have you ever pondered how eating grapes might impact your body? According to specialists, there are both benefits and drawbacks to consuming them. Here are some of the most typical side effects to be aware of.
1 — Your brain will thank you.
Would you want to keep your brain in excellent working order as you get older? Then consider bringing some grapes to work.
“Grapes improve focus and memory,” claims Danielle McAvoy, RD of Strong Home Gym. “The antioxidant chemicals in grapes protect your brain from cognitive deterioration and memory loss as you get older.”
Grapes can also help your brain get the blood it needs by improving blood flow to it, according to Melissa Mitri, RD with Zenmaster Wellness.
Resveratrol, a particular antioxidant present in grapes’ skin, has been found to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease by lowering inflammation in the brain and eliminating the amyloid-beta peptide, which has been linked to the development of this illness when it builds up.
2 — Inflammation might go down in your body.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to a variety of illnesses, including cancer, asthma, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Grapes are high in antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin K, catechins, polyphenols, and anthocyanins – all of which can aid in the reduction of inflammation.
“Additionally, grapes—particularly red ones—are high in resveratrol,” adds Feder. “This chemical has been studied and found to protect against oxidative stress and inflammation.”
Resveratrol, in particular, helps to maintain the health of blood vessels by generating a protective sheath that protects them from injury and inflammation.
3 — Your blood pressure may improve.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for the top two causes of death in the U.S.: Stroke and heart disease. However, there are several simple methods to prevent and treat high blood pressure. McAvoy and Mitri recommend snacking on grapes, which can help to regulate blood pressure because they are high in potassium and low in salt.
Potassium has been shown in a 2016 research in Nutrients to help lower blood pressure by dilating veins and arteries and eliminating extra salt.
4 — You might get a better night’s sleep
Grapes are a fantastic late-night snack since they may help you drift off and achieve quality sleep, according to McAvoy. Why? Melatonin, the hormone that regulates the body’s sleep-wake cycle, is found in this fruit in tiny amounts.
Grapes are an excellent nighttime snack. I enjoy them after a long day of study or working at the office, but I also like grapes as a bedtime treat. You could eat grapes an hour or two before bedtime – and keep in mind that you should moderate your portion size to avoid overloading on sugar, which might affect the quality of your sleep.