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Black Grapes Health Benefits


Black grapes have been associated with health and nutrition for centuries and they even appear in ancient literature and works of art. The very word ‘grapes’ conjures up images of bunches of plump black grapes, the jeweled wine goblets of the ancient Romans, and the splendors of a bygone era. The nutritional value of black grapes however, has stood the test of time and in fact new research only helps to uncover more health benefits of this fruit. Here are some of the black grapes health benefits that deserve a mention:

  • Blood Sugar – Black grapes have glycemic index values that range from around 43 to 53and so they are listed as low GI foods. A low glycemic index isn’t necessarily indicative of blood sugar benefits but in the case of black grapes, their low GI value is clearly reflected in significant blood sugar benefits.
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    Several studies show that the consumption of grapes, as well as grape juices and extracts promote better blood sugar balance, improved regulation of insulin, and increased insulin sensitivity.
  • Cardiac Health – The cardiac health benefits of black grapes are probably most noteworthy, as studies indicate that they can drastically reduce heart disease risks. Research at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center suggests that grapes can be used to treat as well as prevent heart diseases. These benefits can be traced to the action of the phytochemicals in grapes that actually trigger a protective process in certain genes, reducing damage to the heart muscles. This is why the effect of black grapes on heart health is considerably greater than the simple blood pressure lowering effect of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. The consumption of grapes also reduces and regulates cholesterol levels.
  • Brain Function – The regular consumption of black grapes improves brain function, enhances memory, and concentration. Studies also seem to suggest that individuals who consume grape juice on a daily basis are less likely to succumb to brain diseases like Alzheimer disease.
  • High Flavonoid Content – So, what’s so special about flavonoids? Flavonoids don’t just lend grapes their great taste, but they also are responsible for most of the health benefits. The color and juiciness of the grapes derive from these nutrients, which are phytochemicals. So, higher the flavonoid content, the darker and juicier the quality of the grapes. Correspondingly, black grapes are believed to be the healthiest.
  • Resveratrol – This is one of several grape phytonutrients that is believed to affect longevity, because of its effect in slowing oxidization of cells and molecules, a property that also offers protection against degenerative conditions like cancer. Grape skins, grape seeds and grape flesh, all have high concentrations of this phytonutrient.
  • Quercitin – This is another phytonutrient present in grapes that has been found to demonstrate anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Research also indicates that this particular property could lower the risks of developing a blood clot.

Nutritional Information On Black Grapes


Black grapes aren’t just delicious; this tiny fruit is packed with nutrients. Juggling between the various choices of foods to meet those varied nutritional requirements can be quite a challenge, but including just a handful of black grapes in your daily diet can get you a lot closer to your nutritional goals.

The nutritional value of black grapes makes it an extremely valuable health food, with a single serving of around 80 g containing:

  • Calories – 60 kcal
  • Carbohydrates – 14.0g
  • Vitamin C – 15% of the average RDA
  • Protein – 1.0g
  • Dietary Fiber – 1g

Side Effects Of Black Grapes


There are no known black grapes side effects from the moderate consumption of black grapes, or any other variety of grapes, unless you suffer from a grape allergy. Grape seed and grape seed extracts however do have counter indications, so check with your doctor if you suffer from any pre-existing condition or if you are on any medications. 

Black Grapes Juice Medicinal Benefits:

With many fruits, the health benefits are best obtained from the consumption of the fruit itself, but with black grapes, the juice too offers medicinal benefits that are just as vast. The juice of black grapes retains the nutritional value of grapes in their raw form, and consequentially offers the same health benefits. Methods of extraction and processing vary however, and the presence of additives and preservatives could compromise the health benefits of the processed product.

Black Dry Grapes Nutrition Benefits:

Black dried grapes are known as raisins and are often added to breakfast cereal and desserts. Black dry grapes nutrition benefits include protection against osteoporosis (due to their boron content) and protection from eye vision loss.

Advantages of Eating Black Seedless Grapes:

According to research in the 2008 "Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology", one of the main health benefits of black seedless grapes is their ability to reduce cancer risks because of their polyphenols content. There is little difference in the nutritional value between black grapes with seeds and the seedless varieties.

Black Grapes vs Green Grapes & Red Grapes:

The main differences in grapes based on skin color, such as between black grapes or green grapes, are in the context of their antioxidant properties. Darker colored grapes are found to display higher anti-oxidant activity as compared to lighter varieties. As most of the health benefits in grapes derive from flavonoids and phytonutrients that lend them their color, black grapes are thought to be even more nutritious as compared to most other varieties. Black grapes also derive some of their special health benefits from the presence of nocyanosis, a substance that lends it its distinctive color and tonic properties as well!

References:

  1. A History of Food -  Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, Pg 231,PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, 2009
  2. Alcolea, J. F., Cano, A., Acosta, M. and Arnao, M. B. (2002), Hydrophilic and lipophilic antioxidant activities of grapes. Food / Nahrung, 46: 353–356. doi: 10.1002/1521-3803(20020901)46:5<353::AID-FOOD353>3.0.CO;2-B
Submitted on January 16, 2014
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