Grapes have been cultivated for at least 6,000 years, while some sources will go up to 8,000 years. They were used both for eating and wine-making. The earliest evidence of organized wineries was found in West Asia, in the Caucasus region.
Over the years, this fruit was spread across Europe and Africa, and afterwards to the Americas.
Nowadays, the US is one of the top wine producers in the world with more than 1,600 square miles covered in grapes. Most of the grapes in the US are planted in California.
We’ve already covered the benefits and risks of drinking wine on our blog. Now it is time to talk about the health benefits of grapes for older adults.
Rich in Nutrients
Grapes contain high amounts of vitamins C, B1, B2, and particularly vitamin K. Only one cup of grapes can satisfy a quarter of the daily needs for vitamin K.
They are also a significant source of potassium and copper, while one cup contains only around 100 calories.
The combination of resveratrol, anthocyanins, quercetin, and catechins is difficult to find elsewhere in nature. These compounds seem to have anti-cancer effects, resveratrol in particular.
Numerous studies about resveratrol showed it plays an important role in cancer prevention, since it reduces inflammation.
Full of Antioxidants
Resveratrol and quercetin are powerful antioxidants. Apart from these, grapes contain ellagic acid, lutein, lycopene, and beta-carotene.
Antioxidants repair the damage to our cells caused by oxidative stress. Red grapes are particularly rich in antioxidants.
Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
You probably know that a glass of wine a day has benefits for the cardiovascular system. Well, eating grapes keeps your heart healthy, too.
Not only does it reduce your blood pressure, but it keeps your cholesterol level low.
Grapes are rich in potassium, which too low levels of can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. However, it is better to consume red grapes than white. Red grape consumption is linked to a lower level of bad cholesterol.
Decrease Blood Sugar Levels
Around 17% of the grape nutritional content is sugar. This may be the reason why people with diabetes avoid this fruit.
However, grapes have a low glycemic index and may even lower the blood sugar level. Specific compounds may help your body use glucose more efficiently.
Improve Mood and Memory
A study on the link between eating grapes and memory concluded that only a small amount of this fruit each day (for a longer period) could increase your learning abilities. Even drinking grape juice improves both memory and mood.
The effects won’t take place right after you eat a cup of grapes. You need to eat at least 250 grams every day to begin noticing the effects.
Protect Against Eye Diseases
Although further studies are needed, compounds found in grapes (primarily resveratrol) may contribute to eye health. These compounds help to maintain your normal retinal function and stop macular degeneration.
Learn more about the foods for seniors that improve eye health.
Keep You Young
Yes, grapes can slow aging down. And again, this is thanks to resveratrol.
This compound activates a gene in a DNA chain that is linked to longevity.
Think about including grapes in your diet. Considering how many positive effects they have on people, everyone should eat one cup a day.
However, don’t take too much. Whatever you eat in large quantities can have a negative effect.
Is red wine really good for you? Discover the answer here.