What is Grape?
A grape is a fruiting berry of the deciduous woody vines of the botanical genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten fresh as table grapes or they can be used for making wine, jam, juice, jelly, grape seed extract, raisins, vinegar, and grape seed oil.
Grapes are a non-climacteric type of fruit, generally occurring in clusters. In structure, each grape berry features semi-translucent flesh encased inside a smooth, thin skin. Some varieties contain edible seeds, while others are seedless. The color of the berry is because of the presence of poly-phenolic pigments in them. Red or purple berries are rich in anthocyanins while white-green berries contain more of tannins, especially, catechin. Interestingly, these antioxidant compounds are densely concentrated in the skin and seeds.
Health Benefits of Grape
Macular degeneration: Grapes can prevent age-related loss of vision and macular degeneration.. Both grapes and wine can both contribute to a reduced loss of vision over time, and as with all of the organ systems, the health and susceptibility to disease or damage is lessened by the antioxidants packed into every grape!
Kidney disorders: Grapes can substantially reduce the acidity of uric acid and they also help to eliminate acid from the system, thereby reducing the stress and pressure on the kidneys. Since grapes have a high water content, they induce urination, which also helps to eliminate the uric acid still present in the body after its acidity is reduced. Grapes have a very cleansing effect on the body, and the antioxidants present benefit all of the body’s systems in peripheral ways.
Blood cholesterol: Grapes contain a compound called pterostilbene, which has the capacity to lower a person’s cholesterol levels. Pterostilbene is closely related to resveratrol, the beneficial antioxidant and coloring flavonoid that is also found in grapes, and early research has shown that it has anti-cancer qualities as well as having a great impact on cholesterol levels. It is also thought to have preventative powers over cognitive decline. Furthermore, the saponins present in the skin of grapes can also prevent the absorption of cholesterol by binding with it.
Antibacterial activity: Red grapes have strong antibacterial and antiviral properties that can protect you from infections. They display strong antiviral properties against the polio virus and the herpes simplex virus. Studies have also shown that grape juice can tackle bacterial infections in the gut and other systems.
Breast cancer: Concord grape juice helps in preventing breast cancer. The antioxidants in grapes are beneficial in the prevention of all types of cancer, but there are some fascinating studies which specifically show grape juice as an effective preventive measure against breast cancer. Certain chemicals in grapes compete for binding sites, and inhibits aromatase from changing androgen to estrogen, which is thought to be a big contributing factor to breast cancer growth in women.
Alzheimer’s disease: Resveratrol, a beneficial polyphenol present in grapes, reduces the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Migraine: Ripe grape juice is an important home remedy for curing migraines. It should be drunk early in the morning, without mixing additional water. Ironically, drinking red wine is often considered a cause of migraines, but grape juice and grape seed extract is considered a solution for the problem. There are many causes behind migraines, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the culprit, since they include chemical imbalances, lack of sleep, changes in weather, or dietary deficiencies
Constipation: Grapes are very effective in overcoming and eliminating constipation. They are classified as a laxative food, because they contain organic acid, sugar and cellulose. They also relieve chronic constipation by toning up intestinal muscles and the stomach. Grapes are high in insoluble fiber, meaning that it remains intact as it moves through the digestive tract. It builds up bulk, which promotes the formation and excretion of healthy stool, so grapes can help make you much more regular
Indigestion: Grapes play an important role in dyspepsia. They relieve heat and cure indigestion and irritation in the stomach. They are also preferred over other digestive aids because they are considered a “light food”.
Fatigue: Light and white grape juice supplements the iron content in the body and prevents fatigue. Anemia is a real problem for many people, and eating grapes can help keep your iron and mineral levels balanced in the body. A lack of iron can make you sluggish, and your mind also doesn’t work as quickly, since iron is an essential mineral that impact a number of bodily functions. However, dark grape juice might not give an iron boost and may actually decrease iron levels. Drinking grape juice also provides a nearly instant energy boost.
Dental Care: Grape seed extract can potentially help prevent cavities
Asthma: Due to their well-known therapeutic value, grapes can be used as a cure for asthma. In addition to that, the hydrating power of grapes is also high, which increases the moisture present in the lungs and reduces asthmatic events.
Bone Health: Grapes are a wonderful source of micro-nutrients like copper, iron, and manganese, all of which are important in the formation and strength of the bones. Adding grapes into your diet on a regular basis can prevent the onset of age-related conditions like osteoporosis. Manganese is an extremely important element in the body, which aids in everything from protein metabolism, collagen formation, and nervous system functioning.
Heart diseases: Grapes increase the nitric oxide levels in the blood, which prevents blood clots. Therefore, grapes are an effective way to reduce the chances of heart attacks. Additionally, the antioxidants present in grapes prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which blocks the blood vessels and is a main contributor to various coronary conditions. Grapes also have high numbers of flavonoids, which are what give grapes their color, but flavonoids are also very powerful antioxidants. The two main types in grapes are resveratrol and quercetin, and these two compounds negate the effects of free radicals that threaten the body and stimulate LDL cholesterol’s harmful effects on arteries. Also, these two antioxidant flavonoids act as a clean-up crew to reduce platelet clumping and filter toxins out of the blood.
Uses of Grape
- They are used to make any fruit/vegetable salads with peach, pear, tomato, lettuce, apricot , berries, currants, apple, pineapple etc.
- Grapes are being used in confectionary, puddings, cakes, muffins, bread, etc.
- The fruit can also be used by food industry for the preparation of jams, jellies, juice and wine