&noscript=1""/>
Foods

A Healthy Snack to Have on Hand: Grapes!

A Healthy Snack to Have on Hand: Grapes!
Author
Chelsea Clark

Grapes have been around for thousands of years, and they have long played important roles in dining and social traditions. These days, they are popular to pack in a lunchbox, to eat as an afternoon snack, or to take on a picnic.

Grapes are well loved for their texture and flavor, along with how convenient, not messy, and versatile they are to have around. But grapes offer far more than just convenience and great taste. This fruit is actually packed with a ton of healthy nutrients that are wonderful for your body.

Grapes – full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals


Grapes are a nutrient-rich food source that contain healthy fiber and are low in unhealthy things like sugar, fat, and carbs. Grapes also have a high water content (they are over 80% water) and can help keep you hydrated.

Grapes contain important vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • B vitamins
  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Calcium [1]

Probably most notable when it comes to the nutrient profile of grapes is their antioxidant content. Grapes are natural sources of phytochemicals (compounds found in plants that have various health benefits). One of the most important phytochemicals in grapes is called resveratrol. This is a powerful antioxidant that has amazing health benefits. Grapes contain other types of beneficial antioxidants as well.[2-4]

Red grapes can have higher levels of antioxidants, because antioxidants are often found in high amounts in the reddish/purple pigment of plants.[5,6]

Grape health benefits


Many of the health benefits of grapes relate to their antioxidant content. The antioxidants in grapes help to combat oxidative damage in the body, which is at the heart of many different chronic health conditions like heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. It is also involved in the aging process. When we consume antioxidants, we are able to fight off that kind of damage and protect our cells and our body from long-term problems.[7]

Resveratrol, which is one of the prominent antioxidants found in grapes, is well-known for a wide variety of health benefits. In fact, there is a large body of research in humans and animals showing the wonderful health benefits of grapes and their powerful phytonutrients like resveratrol.

For example, grapes may help to:

  • Protect heart health (lowering blood pressure, keeping lipids in the healthy range, maintaining blood vessel health, and more)
  • Lower blood sugars and fight diabetes
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve cognition and memory
  • Boost mood
  • Have anticancer effects against certain types of cancers
  • Keep your bones healthy
  • Promote healthy gut microbiota
  • Encourage longevity [2-4,7-11]

Adding more grapes to your regular diet


Grapes are an incredibly healthy food that makes for a great snack. Instead of turning to chips, cookies, candy, or other tempting options, why not try out grapes instead?

Not only do grapes have a delicious flavor and a crunchy texture, they are also very versatile and easy to transport without a mess.

Here are some of our favorite ways to eat grapes:

  • Eating them fresh off the vine
  • Freezing them whole and enjoying them on a hot day (they turn into a slushy-like snack that kids will love!)
  • Mixing them into yogurt
  • Putting them on a cheeseboard or appetizer tray for color, texture, and flavor
  • Slicing them and putting them on salads to mix things up

As with anything, it’s important to eat grapes in moderation. Although they aren’t super high in sugar, eating too many grapes at a time can provide you with too much sugar at once. This isn’t a good idea, especially if you have prediabetes or diabetes. Certain kinds of grapes are especially high in sugar, like cotton candy grapes. This extra-sweet grape variety contains about 12 times more sugar than regular grapes.[12]

You’ll also want to stay away from raisins. Even though raisins come from grapes, they are far less nutrient-dense and contain way more sugar than fresh grapes do.

Conclusion


If you are looking for a nutrient-rich, natural snack, then grapes are a great choice. They are high in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin K, copper, and potassium. And they are a great source of antioxidants that have various important health benefits.

So next time you are trying to pick out healthy snack options at the grocery store, consider picking up some grapes! Whether you snack on them right off the vine, pop them in the freezer for a special treat, or incorporate them into your cooking, grapes will be sure to please the whole family while being a healthy choice at the same time.