Secret Effects of Eating Grapes, Says Science
Grapes are good for your brain, heart, skin, and yes, even your waistline. Packed in antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals, the bite-size fruit is great for snacking, as well as a garnish for salads and yogurt parfaits.
Below, we provide three science-backed health benefits of grapes as well as one potential risk you may want to be mindful of—especially if you live with little ones. After, be sure to check out Eating This Fruit Daily Slashes Your Risk of Heart Disease, New Study Finds.
They may help you sleep better.
Who knew that snacking on a few grapes before bed may help you sleep a bit more soundly at night. You may not have known this, but research has indicated that wine grapes and "grape-related foodstuffs" (such as grape juice) are a natural source of melatonin. Melatonin, which is often referred to as the sleep hormone, is a natural hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain.
Fun fact: Darkness actually prompts the pineal gland to start producing melatonin. But, having a little extra boost of the hormone via a supplement or a food source may help you fall asleep a bit more easily.
They may help maintain colon health.
In a 2009 pilot study, individuals with colon cancer were instructed to eat grapes every day for two weeks. What the researchers discovered? Grape consumption reduced the expression of certain genes that are responsible for promoting tumor growth in the colon. This research doesn't imply that grapes will treat colon cancer, but it may suggest that grapes could be effective in maintaining good colon health.
They may help to alleviate symptoms of chemotherapy.
One of the most common side effects of chemotherapy is nausea and sucking on frozen fruit, such as frozen grapes or cherries, may help alleviate that unfavorable symptom. Some people receiving chemo also experience mouth sores or dry mouth, and sucking on something cooling and sweet can help provide relief in that area too.
They could be a choking hazard for kids.
Kids love grapes. They're sweet, crunchy, and they're a great addition to a packed lunch such as a PB&J and a side of carrot sticks. However, if your child is under the age of five, consider slicing the grape in half lengthwise before serving to reduce the risk of choking.
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