Nutrients in grapes

A bunch of grapes translates, in the nutrition world, to a bunch of goodness. The nutrients that grapes provide are quite the opposite of few and far between; they are many and close to over-flowing! There are red, green, and black varieties of grapes to choose from. Grapes are a very versatile fruit; try them as is, tossed in a salad, dipped in your favorite cream cheese fruit dip, or even in a glass of wine; grapes taste great frozen, too. Yes, this classic drink is made from the finest of grapes (and tasty, too!). Raisins, which are dried grapes, are a good snack choice, too, but be careful because raisins are pretty high in sugar. Read on to learn why you should choose this sweet fruit as a mid-afternoon snack.

Grapes are very diverse in the nutrients that they provide. First of all, a cup of grapes contains just about 100 calories, about 1 gram of protein, 1.4 grams of fiber, and some additional vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, manganese, copper, and zinc are all present in grapes. Grapes also have a little something else that they can offer: phytonutrients and antioxidants.

Fiber: Fiber is a great nutrient for digestive health. It keeps the bowels regular and prevents constipation; fiber, both insoluble and soluble, can also prevent diseases of the digestive system. It is extremely important to get enough fiber in your diet; all fruits offer some amount of fiber.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a great immune system booster; grapes are one of the fruits that contain it. Vitamin C also helps produce collagen, which is a protein that is the main component of connective tissue for the skin, joints, ligaments, and tissues.

B vitamins: The B vitamins present in grapes are B1 (thiamine) and B6 (pyridoxine). The B vitamins are involved in metabolic processes, helping the body turn carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy that the body can use.

Potassium: Potassium is one of the electrolytes in the body, meaning it conducts electricity. Potassium plays an important role in maintaining proper heart function and promoting smooth and skeletal muscle contractions.

Phosphorus: Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body, aside from calcium. It acts with calcium to build and maintain strong bones and teeth.

Magnesium: Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps bones and teeth strong, and supports a healthy immune system.

Selenium: Selenium is needed in trace amounts by the body. Once in the body, it is converted into antioxidant enzymes.

Manganese: Manganese is another trace mineral needed to activate certain enzymes and it also acts as an enzyme itself in certain instances.

Copper: Copper helps, to some extent, transport oxygen in the body, maintain hair color and health, and it is also important for making certain hormones in the body.

Zinc: Zinc, another trace mineral, is involved in many aspects of cellular metabolism. In addition, it is a catalyst for certain enzymatic reactions, plays a role in immune system function, helps synthesize proteins, promotes wound healing, and has a small role in DNA synthesis.

Phytonutrients and antioxidants: Phytonutrients are a type of antioxidant. In addition, grapes contain other antioxidants besides the vitamin A. Antioxidants are agents that neutralize damaging free radicals. Free radicals, over time, can accumulate in the body; they can come from a variety of things, such as air pollutants, environmental contaminants, and even the foods we eat and the beverages we drink. Free radicals can oxidize the cells in our body, and change their chemical structure, making them disease-causing cells. In some cases, this is what causes cancer and other diseases.

Last updated on May 28th, 2011 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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