Did you know that after strawberries and bananas, grapes are one of the most popular fruits in the United States? Grapes come in third place. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise either. Grapes have a sweetness that is comparable to that of candy, are easy to transport because they do not require any utensils, and are simply enjoyable to consume. Not to mention the fact that they are loaded with a wide variety of beneficial nutrients, so eating them will generally make you feel better about yourself.
Grapes, like all other fruits, can be beneficial to one’s health, as long as they are consumed in moderation, as recommended by Shirlene Reid, RD, MA. According to Reid, the only thing that you really need to be careful about is the high sugar content, which can quickly add up if you eat them by the large handfuls. Please keep in mind that one serving is equal to a half cup (or about 16 grapes). You might find it helpful to measure out that serving size and place it in a plastic bag so that you don’t eat too much of it.
But have you ever given any thought to the effects that eating grapes might have on your body? According to the opinions of various experts, eating them has both positive and negative aspects. The following are some common adverse effects that you should be aware of.
Your brain will thank you.
Are you interested in maintaining your brain’s peak performance as you get older? Then you might want to think about putting some grapes in your lunch bag for work.
According to Danielle McAvoy, RD, who works with Strong Home Gym, grapes make one’s memory and ability to concentrate better. “Grapes contain compounds that help reduce oxidative stress in the brain. These compounds are called antioxidants. Your brain will be protected from cognitive decline and memory loss as you get older thanks to this.” Grapes have been shown to improve blood flow to the brain, which in turn can improve one’s ability to concentrate on daily tasks.
Studies have shown that resveratrol, an antioxidant that is primarily found in the skin of grapes, can help reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. It does this by reducing inflammation in the brain and also by removing amyloid-beta peptide, the accumulation of which has been linked to the progression of this disease.
Inflammation may go down in your body.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including cancer, heart disease, asthma, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Fortunately, grapes are loaded with anti-inflammatory nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, polyphenols, catechins, and anthocyanins, all of which can be found in abundance in grapes. Grapes can also help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
“In addition, grapes, particularly red grapes, are known to have a high concentration of resveratrol,” says Feder. According to the findings of recent studies, this compound offers protection against oxidative stress as well as inflammation.
Your blood pressure may improve.
When hypertension is not treated in a timely manner, it can increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease and stroke, which are the two leading causes of death in the United States. The good news is that there are a variety of straightforward approaches that can be utilised to both treat and prevent hypertension. To begin, McAvoy and Mitri recommend eating some grapes as a midday snack. Grapes have a high potassium content and a low sodium content, so they can help maintain a healthy blood pressure.
You might get a better night’s sleep.
According to McAvoy, grapes are an excellent choice for a snack in the evening because they make it easier to nod off and get some good sleep. Why? This fruit has a trace amount of melatonin, which is a hormone that plays a role in the process of regulating the sleep-wake cycle in the body.
You might want to try eating grapes an hour or two before going to bed. Just keep in mind that you need to watch your portion size so that you don’t end up consuming an excessive amount of sugar, which can affect the quality of your sleep.
You could get an upset stomach (if you overdo it).
You might have a stomach ache if you’ve ever lost count of how many grapes you’ve consumed, which, let’s face it, is all too easy to do. If this has happened to you, it’s probably because you ate too many grapes at once. According to Reid, this is a common occurrence and can be attributed to the high levels of fructose found in grapes (about 12.4 grammes per cup, compared to about 3 grammes in a cup of raspberries)
According to Reid, fructose is a type of natural sugar that can be found in fruits and when consumed in large amounts, it can lead to bloating and gas. “If you eat an excessive amount, you may experience stomach pain as a result of the gas. Tannins in grapes may also play a role in an upset stomach. Tannins are naturally occurring polyphenols that are found in the skin and seeds of grapes. If consumed in large quantities, tannins can cause nausea as well as diarrhoea.”
Mitri explains that those individuals who are especially sensitive to the compounds that are found in grapes may experience bloating, constipation, or diarrhoea after consuming an excessive amount of grapes.
Your immune system will get a boost.
Grapes are a staple in Sara Chatfield’s diet, who works as a registered dietitian at Health Canal. This is due, in part, to the high levels of vitamin C, beta carotene, quercetin, and other antioxidants that are known to promote healthy immune function that are found in abundance in this fruit.
If you have a robust immune system, your body will be better equipped to ward off infections and other illnesses. What do you think of that as a justification for munching on some grapes?
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