12 benefits of eating grapes

As well as being a tradition, the 12 grapes can also bring you health.
icon 3 min
© foodspring

You can almost feel the holidays just around the corner. And with them, the family reunions, the feasts, the gifts, the work dinners and, of course, New Year’s Eve. That moment in which “between bells and whistles, the little Spaniards, big and small, just for once, do the same thing all at the same time”, as Ana Torroja sang. And that one thing we all do at the same time is eat 12 grapes at the end of the year. Because if there’s one tradition that everyone in our country follows, it’s this one. Whatever happens and wherever you are, you’ll sit in front of the TV and try to finish the 12 grapes before the last chime of the bell.

You may be able to finish them all, or you may end up choking on some and still have a few grapes left by the time the clock strikes 12. Either way, the tradition of grapes is a celebration full of joy, hugs and kisses. Plus, grapes are fruits full of nutrients and oxidants that can support your health in so many ways. So we’re going to tell you the 12 most outstanding benefits of eating them, according to science. So that you’ve got 12 more reasons to finish them all. Of course, to get all these benefits you’ll have to eat grapes more often than just on the 31st.

#1 Nutritional bomb: Grapes are packed with vitamins and minerals. According to the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, 100 gr of grapes contain vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium and fiber.

#2 Less oxidative stress: Grapes contain antioxidants, especially in their skin and seeds, that help minimize oxidative stress. By oxidative stress we mean the damage done to cells by free radicals. This property in grapes could be beneficial for some diseases such as cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular diseases, as we can read in this study published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

#3 Cardiovascular benefits: Eating grapes can help you take care of your heart. Their high potassium content keeps blood pressure levels stable. Plus, it turns out that one of the antioxidants found in grapes, namely resveratrol, has the ability to lower cholesterol levels. A study published in the journal Nutrients, points out that eating grapes can help improve the intestinal microbiota, increasing beneficial bacteria. This same study corroborated that eating grapes reduces cholesterol levels and bile acids, which play a fundamental role in cholesterol metabolism.

#4 Protection against cancer: Grapes, and especially their seeds, could have a chemopreventive effect in some types of cancer, as we can see in several studies such as those published in The Journal of Nutrition, Nutrition Journal  and the Journal of Oncology. This research shows that eating grapes could prevent skin cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer.

#5 The diabetic’s secret weapon: Despite having high levels of sugar, grapes have a low glycemic index. A study published by the journal Biological Research, points out that taking 20g of grape extract every day reduces blood sugar levels.

#6 More memory and better attention: Eating grapes can help improve attention, memory and even mood. At least so say studies in Frontiers in Pharmacology  and GeroScience.

#7 Healthier eyes: Regular consumption of grapes can help improve retinal function, which directly influences our vision, according to a study from the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. It turns out that the star compound in grapes, resvetranol, has a protective effect on the retina against ultraviolet light. This may also mean prevention of macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.

#8 Strengthen the immune system: Grapes have a considerable amount of vitamin C, which is a good weapon that the immune system has to fight infections. A fascinating laboratory test was carried out, bringing to the table the idea that grape skin extract protects against the flu virus. A study published in the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research showed that grapes were able to slow the spread of herpes, fungi and chicken pox.

#9 Strong bones: Grapes contain manganese, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin K, all essential for good bone health.

#10 Anti-inflammatory effect: A study from 2020 published in Nutrients shows that the consumption of grapes can have an anti-inflammatory effect, which can be extremely beneficial for some chronic diseases, such as arthritis or diabetes.

#11 Natural anti-aging: There are several studies, such as this, that have tested the possible effects of resveratrol, found in grapes as an anti-aging product. While human trials are still to be conducted, these results are encouraging.

#12 Healing power: Again, human trials are yet to be carried out, but it’s encouraging news that a study in mice, conducted by Ohio State University, has shown that by applying grape seed extract to wounds, healing times were reduced.

Learn more about this topic at foodspring:

Sources for this article

We at foodspring use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.