As one of the most versatile fruits around, grapes are loved by many. They are not only a delicious treat straight off the branch, but they also give us wine, raisins, and peanut butter’s best friend — grape jelly!
They’ve been cultivated and grown for centuries and now come in many different varieties including green, red, black, yellow, and pink. There’s even been a variety created that tastes like cotton candy!
While grapes are very diverse and bring a lot of goodness to our lives in general, in this article, we’ll focus on grapes nutrition specifically. Why have they become such a popular fruit? Because they’re good for you! Grapes are full of nutritious, delicious goodness that we’ll learn all about, so keep reading!
Grape Facts You Might Not Know
Before we jump in to grape nutrition, here are a few fun facts about grapes:
- The oldest known human cultivation of grapes happened about 8,000 years ago in the country of Georgia. From there, their cultivation spread through Europe and the Romans began to call different varieties of grapes by different names.
- It’s been reported that there are over 29,000 square miles of the Earth’s surface devoted solely to growing grapes. Some of the top producers include Italy, China, Spain, and Turkey.
- Not every grape is the same. Most people assume that wine is made from the type of grape you keep in your fridge to snack on through the week, but this isn’t the case. Table grapes, those that you eat raw, have been bred specifically over the years to have a thin skin and to be either seedless or have very small seeds. Wine grapes are smaller with a thicker skin and a lot of seeds. They’re actually naturally sweeter than most table grapes, too!
The rest of this article will look at grape nutrition information and some of the many health benefits of grapes!
Grape Nutrition Facts
Grapes are very high in some critically important nutrients. These nutrients have helped grapes become associated with the prevention of cancer, high blood pressure, constipation, and heart disease. Let’s look at what they’re made of.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s in one cup of green or red grapes according to Healthline.
- Calories: 104
- Carbs: 27 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Fiber: 1.4 grams
- Copper: 21% of the daily value (DV)
- Vitamin K: 18% of the DV
- Thiamine (vitamin B1): 9% of the DV
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 8% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 8% of the DV
- Potassium: 6% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 5% of the DV
- Manganese: 5% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 2% of the DV
The number of grapes you can get in “one cup” will vary a little, depending on the size of the grapes that you’re eating. A good rule of thumb as far as calories in grapes go is to assume that one seedless grape will be about 3 calories. Now, you’re probably not going to count up the number of grapes you’re eating and multiply that number by 3, but it never hurts to have a little bit of extra information in the back of your brain, right?
Each grape will give you about one carbohydrate. If you’re diabetic, or just watching your sugar intake, grapes are a fairly good choice for a snack or treat.
Grapes nutrition is not jam-packed with protein. For every cup of grapes, you’re only going to be getting one gram of protein. They’re best enjoyed alongside another snack that has a bit more protein like a hard boiled egg.
When you compare them to most other fruits, grapes are pretty low in fiber. Ounce for ounce, it takes about 30 red grapes to equal the weight of one small apple. When you compare the two, one apple has about 3.6 grams of fiber, while 30 red grapes only have about 1.3 grams. That means ounce for ounce, grapes only have 1/3 the amount of fiber as an apple.
While they may not get you much closer to your fiber goals, there are loads of other nutrients that will make up for it!
Vitamins, Minerals, and Other Nutrients in Grapes
Together with iron, copper enables your body to form red blood cells. It helps maintain healthy blood vessels, bones, immune function, and blood vessels. The right levels of copper in a diet may help prevent heart disease and osteoporosis, too.
Vitamin K plays a critical role in your body by making proteins for healthy bones and tissue. It also is used to create proteins used in blood clotting. If you don’t have enough vitamin K, you may bleed too much.
Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Vitamin B1 enables your body to use carbohydrates as energy. It’s critical for glucose metabolism and it also plays an important role in nerve, muscle, and heart function.
Riboflavin works with all the other B vitamins and is important for healthy body growth and red blood cell production. It also helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates.
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
Pyridoxine helps with many various bodily functions: makes antibodies, helps maintain normal nerve function, created hemoglobin, breaks down proteins, and keeps blood sugar in normal ranges.
Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure by curbing the adverse effects of sodium. Other benefits include a reduced risk of developing kidney stones and a decrease in bone loss.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C is known as a vitamin critical to your immune system, but it’s much more than that. It can also strengthen your bones and improve the firmness and brightness of your skin, as well as help you absorb iron more effectively.
Manganese is important in helping the body form bones, connective tissue, sex hormones, and blood clotting factors. It also plays a part in metabolizing fat and carbohydrates, blood sugar regulation, and calcium absorption.
Vitamin E is another immune boosting vitamin that is so much more than just that. It helps to widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting in them. All of your cells also use vitamin E to interact with each other so they can carry out important functions.
The Amazing Health Benefits of Grapes
Because grapes are so rich in vitamins and minerals, grapes’ nutrition offers several great health benefits.
Aids in Heart Health
Grapes may help in reducing cholesterol and lowering high blood pressure.
Grapes have a lot of potassium in them and potassium can help lower blood pressure by opening up your arteries and veins so that blood can flow more freely.
There’s an antioxidant in grapes, resveratrol, that has been shown to lower levels of bad cholesterol in people who ate 3 cups of grapes a day. The study found that white grapes didn’t seem to have the same effect, however.
May Protect Against Some Cancers
The antioxidants in grapes may help protect against some cancers.
Resveratrol, the antioxidant mentioned to help with heart health, also helps by preventing some cancer cells from multiplying or moving through the body.
Grapes also have other antioxidants that all have some cancer-fighting properties. While it’s not a magic solution, eating more grapes and having more antioxidants in your life is definitely a step towards lowering your risk of cancer.
Grapes are full of minerals that help strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis. In fact, a study done with rats discovered that rats who were fed powder made up of freeze-dried grapes had more calcium in their bones at the end of the 8 week trial than the rats who didn’t get the powder.
Side Effects/Health Risks of Grapes
Here are a few side effects to be aware of before you chow down your body weight in grapes:
Grape allergy symptoms may include a rash, hives, swelling, or a more severe reaction.
Interfering With Blood Clotting
Since grapes are full of vitamin K and vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting, be careful not to overindulge if you’re on any sort of blood thinning medication. An overabundance of vitamin K may interfere with how the medication works in your body.
When feeding grapes to anybody younger than 4 years of age, make sure to take the time to cut the grapes. Quarters is best because half a grape could still block a small windpipe if it went down the wrong way.
Delicious, Healthy Grape Recipes
There are many ways to enjoy grapes, both sweet and savory. While they’re most often enjoyed plain as a snack, here are some great ideas to incorporate them in so many more ways.
Wrapping Up Grape Nutrition
Delicious, nutritious, and oh-so-versatile, it’s not a surprise that grapes have been loved across the world for centuries. They’re full of essential nutrients that are good for bone health, heart health, and a number of other body functions. Grapes are a great addition to any balanced diet.
Excited for more grape content? Next, check out my grape vine page for more growing tips, care guides, recipes, and more!