Grapes ‐ Vitamin Information
Grapes are a succulent, sweet, and easy-to-eat fruit that can be eaten raw, juiced, or used as an ingredient in a variety of recipes. Grapes have been consumed for thousands of years, with evidence suggesting they originated in either the Middle East or Central Asia. With its bright colors and subtly tangy taste, grapes offer much more than just flavor – they are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that promote a healthy diet and lifestyle. This paper will explore the many vitamins and nutrients found in grapes, their benefits to human health, how their levels vary among different grape varieties, and how best to incorporate them into your daily routine.
Vitamins Found in Grapes
Grapes are one of the most overlooked fruits when it comes to their nutritional value. They contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals, which make them a good choice for those looking to boost their nutrient intake. High in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, grapes play an important role in supporting overall well-being.
The two main vitamins found in grapes include Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Vitamin A is essential for eye health, skin health, and immune system health. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of green seedless grapes contains 53 international units (IU) of Vitamin A, which is about 6 percent of the recommended daily allowance. Red seedless grapes also provide some Vitamin A, although at lower levels: 17 IU per 100 grams, or 2 percent of the U.S. RDA.
Vitamin C is known for its antioxidant properties, which protect the body from free radical damage, boost immunity, and reduce inflammation. The USDA reports that 100 grams of red or green seedless grapes contain 11.3 milligrams of Vitamin C, or 19 percent of the recommended daily amount. Of note, unripe grapes contain even higher concentrations of Vitamin C.
In addition to Vitamins A and C, grapes offer several other vitamins that may help improve overall health. One such vitamin is B6, which helps form red blood cells, support healthy brain function, and maintain balanced hormones. Berries, apples, and raisins all contain B6, but research suggests that grapes possess slightly greater amounts; 100 grams of grapes provide 0.07 milligrams of B6, equivalent to 5 percent of the US RDA.
Folate is another micronutrient found in abundant quantities in grapes. Folate plays an important role in fetal development, DNA production, energy metabolism, digestion, and nerve cell functioning. For pregnant women, the extra folate provided by consuming fresh grapes during pregnancy may help reduce the risk of birth defects. Adults 18 years and older need 400 micrograms of folate daily. Fortunately, 100 grams of red seedless grapes provides 24 micrograms of folate, equivalent to 6 percent of the RDA.
Grapes are also high in certain types of flavonoids, which act as powerful antioxidants. These compounds work to neutralize harmful toxins and combat oxidative stress while promoting anti-inflammatory activities. One particular type of flavonoid present in grapes is Resveratrol, which has been linked to improved heart health and decreased risks of stroke and cancer. However, further research is needed to determine the exact benefits of resveratrol.
Presence of Minerals
In addition to the various vitamins inside of grapes, the dried versions come with many minerals as well. Some of these minerals include iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium. Iron is an essential mineral that carries oxygen throughout the body and supports proper growth and cognitive development. About 90% of adults struggle with getting enough daily iron. Fortunately, 100 grams of black raisins contain 1.32 mg of iron, making them an ideal source of this mineral due to the concentration.
Zinc has multiple functions in the human body and participates in numerous biochemical reactions critical for health. Zinc deficiency can affect wound healing, mental alertness, and fertility. Dried grapes contain over twice the recommended daily goal for zinc, providing about 0.4 mg of zinc per 100-g serving.
Magnesium is required for muscle contraction, respiration, nerve conduction, and many other processes. Magnesium deficiencies occur in up to 80% of Americans, so while ordinarily not fortified, adding grapes to your diet could assist in helping meet daily needs. Each 100-gram serving of sultana raisins provides 60.1 milligrams of magnesium, meeting 16% of the recommended daily allowance.
Calcium is required for bones, teeth, hormonal balance, and is integral to the functioning of muscles and nerves. Raisins are an excellent provider of calcium, containing 68.2 milligrams of calcium per 100 g of sultanas. That’s 12% of the recommended daily amount.
Grapes are often overlooked for their nutritional benefits, yet they contain an array of vitamins and minerals that can positively influence human health. Containing Vitamin A, B6, folate, and Vitamin C, grapes offer various health benefits, including better eyesight, improved immune response, strengthened cells, tissue, and organs. In addition to these vitamins, raisins, prunes, and other dried forms of grapes contain essential minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium. To get the most out of grapes, try incorporating them into your snacks or meals, using them in baking, or juicing them.