Grapes are mostly made up of about 80% water. But despite this, we cannot simply ignore the nutritional value of grapes. By just eating a cup of grapes that would be amounting to a 100g would give you one of the five servings of fruits and vegetables that are being recommended for a person to eat daily. Aside from water and regardless of its skin color, it contains a lot of other important nutrients that our body needs.
Each serving of grapes contains about 200 milligrams of potassium and 25% of the daily dietary value for Vitamin C that we need to take in a day. Potassium is very important in keeping the heart healthy and functioning well while Vitamin C boosts up our defenses against illnesses. Aside from that, it can also give you 9 milligrams of phosphorous which is a basic part of nucleic acids that are the basic building blocks of DNA. Every serving also has 4.6 milligrams of magnesium that is important for muscle contractions. There are also trace amounts of minerals like iron, zinc and selenium. Surely there are a lot of grapes nutritional value just on its vitamins and minerals. There’s still a lot more.
Each serving of grapes also contains about 92 international units (IU) of vitamin A which is vital to our eyesight, 0.19 milligrams of vitamin E for our skin and flushing out free radicals and 14.6 micrograms of vitamin K which helps in normal blood clotting.
Most dieticians have been prescribing its patients to avoid eating fruits because they contain a lot of carbohydrates. Good thing is that grapes are not like that. Every serving of grapes contains only about 69 calories compared to 58 calories of an apple with the same size. In addition to that, grapes are not that fatty. It only contains little amounts of fats which can hardly affect your diet. Just like any other fruits, it is also rich in fiber that would help clean out the toxins in our body. It is even cholesterol free so you don’t have to be worried about your cholesterol levels.
Some nutritional value of grapes can also be found in their dried forms which are the raisins. Raisins have been known to contain high concentration of boron. Boron is deemed important like calcium in maintaining healthy bones. Some studies have even showed that it can help delay bone loss in women after menopause.
Grapes have been also known to contain a lot of antioxidants like resveratrol which is found in wines. It had been linked to preventing cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve diseases and even Alzheimer’s disease before they worsen. It had been also found out certain chemicals in red grapes can also open and relax blood vessels which are helpful most especially to those who are suffering from hypertension.
But all of the nutritional value of grapes can only be present if they had been properly cultivated. Their vineyards should be receiving lots of sunshine and are well irrigated. If not, then maybe some nutrients would be lost so it is very important that from the start, these grapes had been tended well so that we would be able to benefit greatly from it.
Kim Drew is a grape vine growing and wine making enthusiast. Visit Grape Vine Growing Tips for more facts on the nutritional value of grapes.
Image by Enokson Photo from nutrition project.
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Celebrate Those Viking Dinners
Image by jurvetson As if we didn’t have enough reason to be upset with corn, now I learn about the omega-6 / omega-3 ratio, and its role in inflammation and disease. I just spent the past couple days with Craig Venter and his companies: Agradis, Synthetic Genomics, and SGVI. The chart above and quotes below are from Artemis Simopoulos’ visit from The Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in Washington, DC. In short, human genetics are optimized for a prehistoric diet where the omega-6/3 ratio was about 1:1. It’s now 17:1, and it’s killing us. We get way too much omega-6 from grains (corn, wheat, margarine) and way too little omega-3 (fish oil, butter, algae). We even feed corn to the farmed fish now, so many salmon steaks are devoid of omega-3’s and may be as unhealthy as beef steaks. The 3 and 6 fatty acids are similar, but very different to our health, much like good and bad cholesterol. On the graph above, the Vitamin C and E lines correspond with the right Y-axis, and all of the others are fat proportions of our diet (on the left Y-axis). While major diet changes occurred during the agricultural revolution, it was much more recently that the omega-6/3 ratio went out of whack. Here are some summary quotes from the recent paper in Experimental Biology and Medicine: “Whereas major changes have taken place in our diet over the past 10,000 years since the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution, our genes have not changed. The spontaneous mutation rate for nuclear DNA is estimated at 0.5% per million years. Therefore, over the past 10,000 years there has been time for very little change in our genes, perhaps 0.005%. In fact, our genes today are very similar to the genes of our ancestors during the Paleolithic period 40,000 years ago, at which time our genetic profile was established. Humans today live in a nutritional environment that differs from that for which our genetic constitution was selected. A lower ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids is more desirable in reducing the risk of many of the chronic diseases of high prevalence in Western societies, as well as in the developing countries. human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6/3 of ~1, whereas in Western diets the ratio is ~17/1. Western diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids compared with the diet on which human beings evolved and their genetic patterns were established. Excessive amounts of omega-6 and a very high omega-6/3 ratio, as is found in today’s Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 (a lower omega-6/3 ratio), exert suppressive effects. In the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, a ratio of 4/1 was associated with a 70% decrease in total mortality. A ratio of 2.5/1 reduced rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer… The lower omega-6/3 ratio in women with breast cancer was associated with decreased risk. A ratio of 2–3/1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and a ratio of 5/1 had a beneficial effect on patients with asthma, whereas a ratio of 10/1 had adverse consequences. Genetic factors determine susceptibility to disease and environmental factors deter- mine which genetically susceptible individuals will be affected. Nutrition is an environmental factor of major importance. The rapid changes in our diet, particularly the last 150 years, are potent promoters of chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, essential hyper- tension, obesity, diabetes, arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, and many cancers, especially cancer of the breast, colon, and prostate. Food technology and agribusiness provided the economic stimulus that dominated the changes in the food supply. Before the 1940s cod-liver oil was ingested mainly by children as a source of vitamin A and vitamin D with the usual dose being a teaspoon. Once these vitamins were synthesized, consumption of cod-liver oil was drastically decreased, contributing further to the decrease of omega-3 intake. A balance existed between omega-6 and omega-3 for millions of years during the long evolutionary history of the genus Homo, and genetic changes occurred partly in response to these dietary influences. During evolution, omega-3 fatty acids were found in all foods consumed: meat, wild plants, eggs, fish, nuts and berries. However, rapid dietary changes over short periods of time as have occurred over the past 100–150 years is a totally new phenomenon in human evolution. Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are essential because humans, like all mammals, cannot make them and must obtain them in their diet. Mammalian cells cannot convert omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids because they lack the converting enzyme, omega-3 desaturase. Both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids influence gene expression. Omega-3s have the most potent anti- inflammatory effects. Inflammation is at the base of many chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis, mental health, dry eye disease and age-related macular degeneration."
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