Grapes: Nutrition Facts

Calories in Grapes and Their Health Benefits

Grape Vines
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The bountiful beauty of grapes is not only appealing to the eye, but to the palate as well. Grapes are sweet, crisp, and refreshing. Known as the key ingredient for making different varieties of wines, grapes come in all different shapes (round to egg shape), sizes (small to large), flavors (sweet to sour), and colors (white, green, black, and red). Seeded grapes tend to have more flavor, but most people prefer to eat seedless grapes.

Grapes, either European or American variety, are grown in the United States. European grapes are harvested in California, mostly for making and drying raisins, while American grapes are mostly used in making jam, jelly, juice, and other food products. There are many varieties of table grapes, ranging from white, black, green, and ruby-red. What's available in the grocery store depends on the time of year. Some examples include, Adora, Almeria, Beauty Seedless, Crimson seedless, Concord, Emperor, Niagra (white concord grapes), Red Flame, Ribier, Ruby seedless grapes, Scarlotta, Thompson Seedless, and more. Each variety of grape has a distinct flavor.

Grapes Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup, seedless (160 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 104 
Calories from Fat 0 
Total Fat 0.2g<1%
Saturated Fat 0.1g<1%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 3mg0%
Potassium 288.4mg8%
Carbohydrates 27.3g9%
Dietary Fiber 1.4g5%
Sugars 23.4g 
Protein 1.1g 
Vitamin A 11% · Vitamin C 7%
Calcium 2% · Iron 1%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Grapes are rich in carbohydrate and sugar. If you are following a modified carbohydrate diet, keep in mind that one grape contains about one gram of carbohydrate. When eating grapes, aim to keep your portion to about 12 to 15 medium grapes, equivalent to a half cup serving. Nutrition differences between varieties aren't large.

 Each half-cup serving acts as a good source of vitamin K, C , thiamine, and vitamin B6.

Vitamin K is important for strong bones and blood clotting. Note, if you take coumadin or blood thinner, your vitamin K intake should be consistent. Vitamin C helps to keep immunity high and aids in repairing tissues, such as wound healing. B-vitamins are an important factor in metabolism, and in maintaining strong hair and nails.

Health Benefits of Grapes

In addition to being a good source of vitamin C and K, grapes contain relatively large amounts of phytonutrients, especially flavonoids, such as resveratrol (found highest in the skins of red grapes). Resveratrol has antioxidants, which may help to lower the risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood clots, and heart disease. It is found in the skins of deep-purple, red, and black grapes, making these varieties a richer source of antioxidants, as opposed to green grapes. Some research indicates that high intakes of resveratrol can also help to improve memory and cognitive function in older adults.

Grapes also contain quercetin (a flavonoid found in apples), which may help protect our cells from damage. There is some evidence of reduction of cancer and heart disease risk from these compounds.

Are White Coated Grapes Safe to Eat? 

Grapes that have a powdery-white coating are safe to eat. In fact, that coating is actually referred to as bloom, a naturally occurring substance that protects grapes from moisture loss and decay. Sometimes it doesn't wash off easily, but it is safe to eat.

Picking and Storing Grapes

When purchasing grapes, avoid grapes with mold or those that are shriveled. Choose grapes that are rich in color. Green grapes are the sweetest and best flavored when they are yellow-green in color. Red and black grapes are best when they have full, rich color.

If stored correctly, grapes can keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

To maintain optimal freshness, follow these steps:

  • Inspect the Exterior: Check for signs of mold, shriveling, or poor stem attachment. Any grapes with these signs are likely to deteriorate faster and affect the others. Discard any grapes that may not be in good condition. 
  • Keep Them Cold: Grapes keep best if they are cold. Place them closer to back of the refrigerator (the coldest place) away from pungent foods, such as onions, as they have the ability to absorb odors. 
  • Keep the Original Package: Keeping grapes in their original container will prevent the from being squished. In addition, the container they were put in typically has the right amount of covering and ventilation to help extend shelf life. 
  • Store Them Unwashed: Like many fruits, grapes should be stored unwashed. Washing prior to storage can promote moisture which can speed up the decaying process. Instead, rinse your grapes right before consumption. 
  • You Can Freeze Them Too: To get even longer use from your grapes, freeze them to use later in a smoothie, in cocktails, or even as a cool, refreshing snack.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Grapes

Grapes are best known for being eaten as a snack, one-by-one. Their sweet, juiciness acts as a basis for a wonderful snack. Grapes can also add twists to salads and compliment the saltiness of assorted cheeses and olives for an appealing appetizer. Lastly, grapes can be used in making desserts or simply cut up in fruit salads.

Recipes With Grapes

Discover the versatility of grapes by creating breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or dessert with different varieties. 

Sources: 

Berkeley Wellness. Types of grapes. http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food/article/types-grapes​

Dohadwala, M, Vita, J. Grapes and cardiovascular disease. The Journal of Nutrition. 2009;17788S-1798S. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/139/9/1788S.full.pdf+html

Linus Pauling Institute. Resveratrol. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/resveratrol#reference23

Retelny, Victoria. The colorful truth about anthocyanins complex compounds with many potential complex powers. Food and Nutrition. 2016;16-17.

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