What vitamins are in grapes?
It is recommended that you eat around 2 cups of fruits and 3 cups of vegetables per day, to get your “5 a day”. Even though most fruits and vegetables are made up of water, they are packed full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Grapes are not only one of the most delicious fruits you can eat, they are also chock-full of nutrition. They can be eaten on their own, chopped into salads or added to smoothies.
Vitamins found in grapes
Grapes contain a number of vitamins that are vital for your body to function optimally. The amounts listed below are per 1 cup of grapes (151 g).
Vitamin C (16.3 mg, 27% DV)
Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins required by your body. Here are a few reasons why it is needed:
- It helps wounds heal faster because it is required for the production of collagen, a protein found in connective tissue such as tendons and ligaments.
- It is an antioxidant that protects against damage caused by free radicals and other toxic chemicals. If damage by free radicals is not stopped, more serious diseases such as cancer can result.
- Even though vitamin C may not be able to cure colds, studies have shown that it can help prevent further complications like lung infections.
- It promotes younger and healthier looking skin. A study looked into the vitamin C intakes of over 4000 women and the results showed those who consumed more vitamin C had fewer wrinkles and dry skin.
- It could help lower high blood pressure and slow down the hardening of arteries.
Eating one cup of grapes will provide you with 27% of your daily requirement of vitamin C. Other great sources of vitamin C include strawberries, oranges, broccoli and kale.
Vitamin K (22.0 mcg, 28% DV)
Like vitamin C, vitamin K is also very important for your body:
- It helps prevent and fight cancer. Studies have shown it to be effective at fighting stomach, colon and oral cancers.
- It helps blood to clot. This is very important as the loss of large amounts of blood can result in many different complications.
- Deficiency in vitamin K can result in osteoporosis, tooth decay, infections and brain health problems.
Eating one cup of grapes will provide you with 28% of your daily requirement of vitamin K. Other foods rich in this vitamin include Swiss chard, spinach, rapini and kiwifruit.
There are a number of different vitamins that are collectively known as the B vitamins. Grapes contain thiamin / vitamin B1 (0.1 mg, 7% DV), riboflavin / vitamin B2 (0.1 mg, 6% DV) and vitamin B6 (0.1 mg, 6% DV). Each of these vitamins are required by the body for a variety of functions:
- Thiamin helps the body produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule required for energy transportation within cells.
- Riboflavin assists in the metabolism of the food you eat, turning it into energy.
- Similar to riboflavin, B6 is important for energy production.
Minerals found in grapes
Together with the vitamins mentioned above, grapes also contain decent amounts of certain minerals (measurements are again per cup of grapes).
Copper (0.2 mg, 10% DV)
Copper may be a mineral that you didn’t know your body needs, however it does have a few key roles:
- It helps with the production of red blood cells, which are required to transport oxygen throughout your body.
- It is an antioxidant, helping to fight off damage caused by free radicals.
- Copper keeps your immune system running well, fending off infection and repairing damaged tissues.
Potassium (288 mg, 8% DV)
Potassium is probably best known for the benefits it brings to your heart.
Additionally it also brings these benefits:
- It could play a role in preventing osteoporosis and may help keep your bones healthy
- Potassium may help lower high blood pressure
- It also reduces your chances of suffering from stroke
There is no shortage of foods that are high in potassium and grapes are considered to be at the lower end in terms of the amount they contain, however eating one cup of grapes will provide you with 8% of your daily requirement.
Other compounds found in grapes
The skins of red grapes are rich in resveratrol. This compound is effective at protecting your arteries, reducing oxidative stress and suppressing cancer.
Grapes also contain quercetin, a flavonol that has been shown to prevent or alleviate the symptoms of conditions such as heart disease and respiratory infections.
Why you should add grapes to your diet
Besides the benefits brought about by the vitamins and minerals listed above, the consumption of grapes does have other advantages:
- They could help with weight loss – grapes are mainly made up of water and are therefore low in calories, but extremely sweet at the same time thanks to their high sugar content. This is good news if you are trying to lose weight but have a sweet tooth. Rather than eating a bar of candy, you can eat a cup of grapes and ingest only a fraction of the calories.
- They keep your digestive system running smoothly – the fiber and high water content of grapes keeps your gut in tip top shape, helping to keep you regular and preventing constipation.
- They might be able to fight Alzheimer’s disease – thanks to the resveratrol they contain.
Grapes are by no means the best fruit you can eat in terms of the vitamins they contain, there are certainly other fruits that are more nutrient dense. However with that being said, grapes do contain some unique compounds and should definitely be enjoyed in moderation.