Grape juice has a reputation for being extraordinarily healthy, but what’s the real deal when it comes to the natural drink? If you’re tired of sifting through marketing propaganda put out by corporations, this is an article for you.
Here’s an honest look from a medical and scientific point of view at the potential benefits of drinking grape juice.
What can grape juice help with?
Grape juice contains phenolic compounds that are known as phytonutrients, natural substances considered beneficial for disease prevention and the overall health of humans. Although grapes and grape juice alike contain phytonutrients, the specific amounts of any given nutritious component can differ between the solid and liquid options. Even though eating whole grapes may produce similar results in many cases, grape juice is often administered in studies as a more consistent source to research year-round.
Blood vessel health
Resveratrol in grape juice acts as an antioxidant and also aids in the successful formation and function of blood vessels. Decreasing vascular constriction, protecting against vessel damage and resisting blood pressure increases are just some of the results that studies have shown. Findings have also shown that grape juice can reduce the risk of blood clots that lead to heart attacks and reverse the signs of cardiovascular disease.
Blood pressure reduction
In studies, the flavonoids in grape juice have been successful in reducing blood pressure levels in hypertensive patients as well as providing anti-inflammatory, platelet-inhibitory and arterial-relaxing effects. No wonder why the topic of grape juice keeps coming up in health conversations.
Cognitive performance and motor function
Motor and cognitive abilities decline with age, but animal studies have tested grape juice’s ability to help improve the situation based on the drink’s antioxidant content. More research is needed on humans, but the initial animal observations suggest that age-related declines in motor and cognitive areas can be reversed through the dietary intake of polyphenols such as those found in grape juice.
Vitamin & mineral deficiencies
Grapes are rich in vitamins and minerals so drinking grape juice can help promote overall health by providing your body with essential nutrients that you may otherwise be deficient in. The specific nutritional components of a glass of grape juice will depend on what brand of product you choose or if you opt for making your own version at home. Read the labels at your local grocery store to determine the exact servings of vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, iron, manganese, vitamin K and potassium in any given product.
Although drinking a glass of grape juice won’t magically cure serious deficiencies or any absorption problems your body might have, including fruit juice in your diet can be one helpful step in trying to maintain a nutrient-rich and healthful diet.
What Kind of Grape Juice Should I Drink and How Much?
Dark purple grape juice with no sugar added is ideal
Although all types of grapes can provide benefits, the amount of polyphenol content differs between varieties and purple grape juice is what packs the punch when it comes to cardiovascular health. Like with any fruit juice, though, the best options are ones that have no sugar added and no artificial flavors. Unfortunately, even “all natural” options that you can pick out from the store can be chemically altered so you have to be careful.
Making your own fresh grape juice is certainly an option, but using a machine that separates the pulp from the juice will cause you to miss out on the dietary fiber and other nutrients that whole grapes have to offer. If you’re interested in capitalizing on the health benefits of whole grapes but still want a more liquified form of the fruit, you can use a blender to make a grape juice smoothie by adding in some ice as well or another component like almond milk or greek yogurt.
Just like with anything else you eat or drink, you have to decide what route will suit you best and then stick with that plan. If you’re going to say no to store-bought grape juice and opt for a do-it-yourself plan everyday, that’s great. On the other hand, what works for your raw-food-only friend may not work for you and that’s okay.
Whether you juice or blend grapes, making your own drink at home means you have to spend time in the kitchen and effort keeping track of the shelf-life of fresh fruit, which is a whole lot more work than simply keeping a bottle of grape juice in the fridge ready to go whenever you want to pour a glass. How you decide to get your grape juice is up to you.
Maybe an Eight-ounce Glass a Day Will Serve You Well
Even freshly-squeezed grape juice still has sugar and calories so loading up on the beverage can ruin your diet plans if you start to get fooled that ten glasses a day is what will keep the doctor away.
Most medical professionals aren’t advocating anything drastic when suggesting grape juice has its health benefits. An eight-ounce glass a day is likely the most you want to regularly consume. Moderation is key even when it comes to drinking potentially beneficial products like grape juice.
Of course, if you have any serious problems, don’t try to treat your cardiovascular and other medical conditions on your own by thinking grape juice can solve everything. Work with a doctor you can trust but feel free to still bring up the idea of regularly drinking grape juice. Depending on your circumstances, the fruit juice may still be a good approach for you to supplement whatever other treatments are necessary for your well-being given your particular situation.
You may also want to talk to a doctor if you have any pre-existing conditions that might be worsened by adopting an approach to the daily consumption of grape juice. If you have diabetes, low blood pressure, heartburn problems or are on any medications that grapes might interfere with, you may want to be proceeding cautiously. Talk with a medical professional to get a customized view on what grape juice will do in your case.