Fresh grapes are a delicious snack that can provide a healthy means of satisfying the occasional sweet tooth craving. Grapes are a source of several important nutrients that your body needs to function properly. Of course, eating grapes as a snack by themselves is only one way to enjoy them. For example, you can mix them into chicken salad for a uniquely sweet sandwich.
One cup of raw seedless grapes contains 16.3 mg of vitamin C. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, men should consume about 90 mg of vitamin C per day, and women should consume about 75 mg per day. Your body needs vitamin C to build the collagen found in your skin, ligaments and tendons, as well as to help fight damage that can be caused by free radicals.
Each one-cup serving of grapes contains 288 mg of potassium. The mineral potassium is an electrolyte, which helps conduct electrical signals in the body; it also helps develop and grow muscles and process protein and carbohydrates. Both men and women should consume about 4,700 mg of potassium per day; 5,100 mg for women who are breastfeeding.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, phosphorus is the second most plentiful mineral in the body after calcium. Calcium and phosphorus are both major components of teeth and bones; phosphorus is also used to facilitate proper kidney function, as well as energy production and use. A cup of raw grapes contains 30 mg of phosphorus; adults need a total of about 700 mg of phosphorus per day.
A cup of raw grapes contains 0.54 mg of iron. Your body needs iron to create new red blood cells and to transport the oxygen you breathe throughout the body so that it can be used. Adult men need 8 mg of iron per day; adult women need 18 mg per day until age 50, after which they need 8 mg per day.
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet -- Iron
- University of Maryland Medical Center; "Vitamin C -- All Information"; Dr. David Zieve et al; December 2009
- MedlinePlus; "Potassium in Diet"; Dr. David Zieve; May 2010
- University of Maryland Medical Center; "Phosphorus"; Steven Ehrlich; June 2009