Grapes have been cultivated since biblical times and are still a favorite snack fruit. Sweet to taste, they are often used to satisfy sugar cravings, and with more than 50 varieties, you are sure to find a type that you like. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, consuming grapes contributes to your daily intake of necessary compounds. Of the vitamins found in grapes, vitamin K is predominant, but they also deliver other nutritional benefits.
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Vitamin K Content
The USDA National Nutrient Database reports that 1 cup of red or green grapes contains 22 mcg of vitamin K, which is 28 percent of the recommended daily intake. The primary function of vitamin K in the body is to clot the blood, and without it, you may bleed to death with even a small incision or cut. The National Institutes of Health reports that vitamin K also may play a role in the building of healthy bones. Because of its blood-thinning action, if you are on blood thinners speak to your physician before eating foods high in vitamin K.
Vitamin C and Minerals
When you think of fruits high in vitamin C, oranges and grapefruit may spring to mind, but grapes contain a high amount of vitamin C as well. The 1-cup serving that offers 28 percent of the RDI of vitamin K delivers 27 percent of the recommended vitamin C intake, with 16.3 mg. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it is not stored in the body and needs to be replaced daily. Functions of vitamin C include building up of the immune system and the building and maintenance of healthy bones, teeth, skin and membranes. Grapes contain other vitamins, although none in a concentration as high as vitamin K. Other vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin E and the B complex. Along with vitamins, grapes contain several minerals, including copper, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, manganese, calcium, zinc, selenium and fluoride.
Grapes provide more than vitamins and minerals. The 1-cup serving of red or green grapes offers 27.3 g of carbohydrate, 23.4 g of which are sugars with 1.4 g of fiber. Protein at 1.1 g, 104 calories and 0.2 g of fat round out the dietary profile of grapes.
The vitamins and minerals in grapes provide their own specific health benefits, but grapes, particularly red ones, contain other compounds that offer even more. Grape skins, seeds and pulp contain polyphenols and antioxidant compounds, such as resveratrol, that help fight chronic diseases. The November 2010 issue of "Nutrition Reviews" reports that grapes help fight and decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and hardening of the arteries.