Grapes Promote Healthy Living
October 11, 2012

Consumption Of Grape Products Linked To Healthier Living

Connie K. Ho for — Your Universe Online

Raisins. Grapes. Grape Juice. These are just a few grape products that could do the body good. According to a recent study, the consumption of grapes among adults and children resulted in healthier diets and improved nutrition.

In particular, researchers pooled the data of over 21,800 adults and children, many who were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) that took place between 2003 and 2008. The researchers found that consumption of grapes and grape products was associated with an uptick in the calcium, dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, as well as vitamins A, B, and C. They also believe that the increase in calcium, dietary fiber, and potassium are important to take note as many people in the U.S. have a deficiency in these nutrients.

"It is interesting to note that not only did grape consumers have increased intakes of healthy foods, critical vitamins and minerals," commented Carla McGill, who presented the research at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition (FNCE), in a prepared statement. "But grape consumers also ate less of the unhealthy foods, specifically solid fat and added sugars."

As well, the team of investigators proposed that there was a correlation in the increase of grape and grape product consumption along with an increase in the consumption of nuts, seeds, vegetables and whole grains. Participants showed to have consumed lower amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat as compared to nonconsumers of grapes and grape products.

"It reinforces the association between grapes and a healthier diet, which is good news for consumers," explained Jean-Mari Peltier, the Executive Director of the National Grape and Wine Initiative (NGWI), in a prepared statement. "Grapes, raisins and 100% grape juice are all foods that people enjoy eating, and this information adds another dimension to the grape and health story."

The National Grape and Wine Initiative supported this particular study, which placed an emphasis on strengthening the U.S. grape and grape product industries by working with academics and the government. The researchers hoped to prove that consumption of grapes, raisins, and 100 percent grape juice would be helpful in promoting healthy living.

Other studies have also looked at the effects of eating grapes. This past September, the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Georgia looked at how grape consumption could impact an individual´s fitness, mood, and perceived health. The researchers looked at compounds like catechins, quercetin, and resveratrol in relation to a group of young adults. The scientists wanted to understand if consuming grapes over a six-week period would result in maximal oxygen uptake. The 40 participants were divided into two groups; one group drank a grape beverage, while the other consumed a placebo drink. The researchers assessed the participants maximal oxygen uptake, work capacity, mood, and perceived status before and after the study. However, the study found that grape consumption over six weeks did not have any change on the individuals.