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Grapes Are the Superfruit Your Fridge Needs, According to Nutritionists

We know them as the sweet fruit fermented for wine and dried to become raisins, but are grapes good for you? Absolutely. In addition to their versatility, grapes are a healthy fruit, rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients, with the skin of red grapes containing resveratrol, which supports heart function.

Because of their excellent health benefits, grape (and wine) production date back to at least 2400 BCE with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics portraying the vine-grown fruit. Today, more than 77 million tons are grown every year, with China, Italy, and the United States leading the charge.

So how exactly are grapes good for you? We asked nutritionists to break it down.

Grapes nutrition

For a small fruit, grapes pack a lot of punch. “There are 100 calories in a one cup serving of grapes, which makes them a high-volume, nutrient-dense snack,” says May Zhu, RD, LDN, a registered dietician nutritionist. For every cup of grapes, there is 1.1 grams of protein, 1.4 grams of fiber, 27.3 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of sugar, and 0.3 grams of fat, according to the USDA.

Health benefits of grapes

There are many health benefits of grapes. “Grapes tend to get a bad rap because they taste sweet, but they are very nutrient-dense. Grapes contain a variety of antioxidant phytonutrients, including stilbenes, flavonols, phenolic acids, and carotenoids,” says Tamar Samuels, M.S., R.D., a registered dietician and co-founder of Culina Health.

These high levels of antioxidants can help protect the body’s cells against oxidative stress, but it’s best to consume them whole rather than as a juice. “Keep in mind that most of the antioxidants in grapes are found in the skins and seeds of the fruit,” says Samuels. Here’s what else makes grapes a healthy fruit:

1. Packed with vitamins

“Grapes are packed with vitamin C, K, and potassium which all help support skin, bone, and heart health,” says Zhu. One cup of grapes provides approximately 27% of your daily intake of vitamin C, which supports your immune system, boosts collagen production, and helps to increase the absorption of iron.

2. A great source of fiber

A cup of grapes contains 1.4 grams of dietary fiber, which is 5% of your recommended daily intake. “When consumed in adequate amounts, the fiber in grapes can support digestion and help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels,” says Zhu.

3. Contains immune-boosting antioxidants

According to Samuels, grapes are most well known for their high concentration of resveratrol, which is a phytonutrient with well-known antioxidant properties. The resveratrol in grapes helps to improve your immune system, according to research.

While many of the studies on the health benefits of resveratrol have not been conducted on humans, they do give us insight into the health benefits of grapes. “Research has found that resveratrol may help prevent and delay cancerous tumors, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, and protect against diabetic neuropathy,” says Samuels.

Green grapes vs. red grapes

When you’re at the supermarket, you might be confused about whether to reach for the green grapes or the red grapes. But nutritionally speaking, how do they compare? “When we compare the nutritional profile of green grapes and red grapes, both contain the same vitamins, minerals, and fiber and provide around 100 calories per 1 cup serving,” says Zhu.

But there is research to support that red grapes might have the advantage. The difference in the color of the grape color essentially comes down to antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which are responsible for the deep, purple pigment in red grapes.

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