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Black grapes, also sometimes known as Concord grapes or slipskin grapes, are sold fresh or made into fresh juice, jams or jellies. They are rich in a number of nutrients, including natural antioxidants, and can be part of a healthy diet that reduces the number of calories you consume, helping you lose weight.
Fresh black grapes are low in calories, with a 1-cup serving containing only 62 calories and less than 1/2 gram of total fat. While you can eat the grapes whole and raw, making a fresh juice from them by blending 1 cup of grapes with 1/2 cup of fresh water will give you 1 cup of fresh juice that is lower in calories than a commercially produced grape juice, even if unsweetened. One cup of commercial grape juice has 152 calories per serving and also less than 1/2 gram of total fat. Substituting whole grapes or fresh grape juice for a 12-ounce can of grape soda once a week can reduce your caloric intake by over 5,000 calories, or roughly 1.5 pounds of body weight, in the space of one year.
Dietary Fiber Content:
Black grapes are a good source of dietary fiber, which gives bulk to your diet, helping you eat less.Dietary fiber can also help reduce the symptoms of constipation as well as lower your blood cholesterol levels. A serving of black grapes has 0.8 gram of dietary fiber, a high amount for the small serving size. This provides 2 to 3 percent of the recommended dietary intake and can help you meet the daily recommendation, which is important as most Americans have a diet that is too low in fiber.
Black grapes are naturally sweet, with almost 15 grams per cup. The American Heart Association recommends you choose natural sugars, such as those found in grapes, over added sugars because natural sugars have greater nutritive impact. Because of their natural sweetness, you can use grapes as a healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth or sugar craving. In addition to eating them fresh, you can also freeze grapes and eat them as a refreshing, low-calorie and sweet dessert, substituting them for other foods, such as ice cream or cake, that are often high in added sugar.
Antioxidants and Fruit Intake:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends eating between 1 1/2 and 2 cups of fruit each day as part of a balanced diet, which is important for healthy weight loss. Black grapes are also a rich source of the natural antioxidant resveratrol, a type of flavonoid. In 2011, the “Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences” published a report that stated that diets high in resveratrol led to overall reduced body fat levels as well as a decrease in overall weight gain.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that healthy adult men and women consume 2 cups of fruit each day. A cup of most sliced or chopped raw fruits fulfills half of this requirement, including 1 cup of whole grapes – equivalent to about 32 whole seedless grapes. Both the red and green varieties are low in fat, high in fiber and a source of essential vitamins.
Each 1-cup serving of fresh grapes contains 22 micrograms of vitamin K. For a man, this amount supplies 18 percent of his recommended daily allowance; for a woman, a cup of grapes fulfills 24 percent of her vitamin K requirement per day. Your body needs adequate vitamin K to build strong bones and to synthesize several of the proteins required for blood coagulation. If your diet lacks foods rich in vitamin K, you may be more likely to develop osteoporosis or bleed too much when injured.
As an adult, you should get at least 1.3 milligrams of vitamin B-6 each day. Grapes contain 0.13 milligrams of vitamin B-6 in every cup, supplying 10 percent of the required daily intake. Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B-6 is necessary for the production of neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin. Along with other B vitamins, it helps you metabolize the protein, fats and carbohydrates in your diet. People who consume plenty of vitamin B-6 may have a lower risk of depression, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis, according to University of Maryland Medical Center.
Every 1-cup serving of fresh grapes supplies 0.1 milligram of thiamin, or vitamin B-1. Consuming this amount of grapes would fulfill 8.3 percent of a man’s daily requirement of the nutrient and 9 percent of a woman’s recommended intake. Because this isn’t a very good source of the vitamin, you can’t get your daily recommended intake from grapes alone. Thiamin supports the health of your immune system and aids in the production of adenosine triphosphate, the primary compound your cells use for energy. Most Americans aren’t severely deficient in thiamin, says UMMC, but if you regularly don’t get enough, you may have a higher risk of developing cataracts.
Riboflavin, another member of the B family of vitamins, is needed to synthesize red blood cells, to support nervous system function and to help prevent free radical compounds from damaging DNA or cellular tissue. You may have a higher risk of cataracts if your diet doesn’t contain enough riboflavin. You may also suffer from digestive disorders or fatigue. A 1-cup serving of grapes contains approximately 0.1 milligram of riboflavin, or about 7.6 percent of a man’s recommended daily intake and 9 percent of a woman’s. Consume additional sources of riboflavin to meet your DRI.
Black grapes, velvety colored and deliciously sweet and juicy, can be consumed fresh and raw, dried as raisins or as a juice. Rich in nutrients, black seedless grapes are similar in taste and texture to red or green grapes, but because of their skin color, they have a higher antioxidant content. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends between 1 1/2 and 2 cups of fruit each day as part of a balanced diet, and eating black grapes will help you meet that goal.
Anthocyanins are the flavonoid compound that gives black grapes their dark color; the darker the fruit, the higher the anthocyanin content. A natural antioxidant, anthocyanins protect your body from damage from free radicals, produced as your body breaks down food, reducing the risk of cell damage and death and potentially slowing down the aging process. A study published in the 2010 “Annual Review of Food Science and Technology” found that anthocyanins may help reduce inflammation and cancer activity, alleviate diabetes and control obesity.
Polyphenols also are present in high concentrations in black grapes. One of the most widely found and consumed natural antioxidants, they occur mainly in fruits and plant-based drinks, including juices and red wine made from black grapes. A 2005 publication of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition cites polyphenols as preventing cardiovascular diseases, cancers and osteoporosis. They may also help prevent neurodegenerative diseases and certain types of diabetes. Most of the studies were in vitro or animal experiments, however, so the research isn’t conclusive.
According to “A History of Food,” black grapes have a lower glycemic index than other grapes. While “Harvard Health Publications” cites the average GI for all grapes as 59, black grapes, according to “A History of Food,” have a GI of 43 to 53. The lower the GI is, the less effect the food has on your blood sugar and insulin levels. This means grapes won’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike, which, in addition to being dangerous for diabetics, can lead to energy highs and crashes.
A phytonutrient, resveratrol is present in high concentrations in all grapes, including black grapes. A natural antioxidant, resveratrol may be useful in increasing lifespan and preventing the growth and development of cancer cells. But the majority of studies of the substance have been done on yeast, insects and animals, so the effect of resveratrol in humans isn’t yet understood. Some scientists believe it may be the resveratrol content of red wine that makes the “French Paradox” possible — low levels of cardiovascular disease among the French despite high levels of cigarette smoking and saturated fat in the typical French diet.