The Health Benefits of Grapes & Blueberries

Fruit makes a healthy snack.

Fruit makes a healthy snack.

Consider eating grapes grapes or blueberries as part of your recommended 1.5 cups of fruit per day. Both are nutritious, providing you with some of the fiber, vitamins and minerals you need each day. Eating these delicious fruits may also help you lower your risk for health problems like heart disease and cancer.

Nutrition Benefits

Blueberries are a little more nutritious than grapes. Fiber helps fill you up and keep you from getting constipated, and makes it less likely you'll get heart disease and high cholesterol. A cup of blueberries provides you with 3.6 grams of fiber, or 14 percent of the daily value, while a cup of grapes only contains 0.8 grams of fiber. Each cup of blueberries gives you more vitamin C with 14.4 milligrams, or 24 percent of the DV, compared to the 3.7 milligrams in a cup of grapes, and more vitamin K, with 28.6 micrograms, or 36 percent of the DV, compared to the 13.4 micrograms in a cup of grapes. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps wounds heal and is involved in forming skin, ligaments, blood vessels and tendons, and vitamin K helps your blood clot and makes your bones stronger.

Heart Health

Keep your heart healthy by snacking on grapes and blueberries. Grapes contain two types of antioxidants, flavonoids and resveratrol, both of which are good for your heart. Eating grapes can help you keep your blood pressure at a healthy level, lower your cholesterol and prevent your arteries from clogging, according to MayoClinic.com, thus reducing your heart disease risk. Blueberries are also good sources of flavonoids, especially a type called anthocyanins that may help you lower your blood pressure.

Immune Function

Eating more grapes and blueberries may also help keep you from getting sick. A study published in the "Journal of Medicinal Food" in 2011 found that people who drank 100 percent Concord grape juice each day had more T-cells, which are white blood cells that help fight infections, after 9 weeks than people in the control group who didn't consume red, blue or purple fruits or vegetables. Blueberries may have a similar effect on T-cells, helping your immune system work better, although research is still in the preliminary stages.

Cancer

Regularly eating grapes or blueberries might also help limit your cancer risk, although more studies are needed to verify this. The resveratrol found in grapes may help prevent cancer from spreading, according to an article published in "Cancer Prevention Research" in 2009. Another study using rats, published in the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" in 2005, found that the anthocyanins, flavonols and tannins in blueberries may have a similar effect, keeping colon cancer from spreading.

 

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