Grapes are one of my favorite fruits to snack on. I pick out the perfect bite and revel in the pop of juicy taste and, sometimes, crunchy texture. I figured the fruit had some general health benefits (all fruits have to, right?) but never looked much into it. That’s why I was pleased to read this new study that found my fruit of choice can help heal your gut, which means eating grapes everyday is good for you!
The study, published in the scientific journal Nutrients, looked into what grapes can offer when it comes to health benefits. Researchers first had participants eat a low-polyphenol diet for four weeks to better asses the benefits of the fruit. Polyphenols are compounds generally found in plant-based foods that help treat a slew of health issues like diabetes. Once the four weeks were up, participants were instructed to eat 46 grams of grape powder per day, which is roughly 1.5 cups of grapes.
At the end of the study, researchers found that the gut microbes of the participants had changed — and their cholesterol was lower.
“We found that grapes have a beneficial effect on gut bacteria, which is great news, since a healthy gut is critical to good health,” study author Dr. Zhaoping Li said. “This study deepens our knowledge and expands the range of health benefits for grapes, even as the study reinforces the heart health benefits of grapes with lowered cholesterol.”
Are grapes really good for you?
The study found that grapes can be good for you in a variety of ways. First off, they significantly increased the diversity of gut bacteria in the participants. Among them was Akkermansia, a bacteria that has a beneficial effect on glucose and lipid metabolism. There was also a trend of increase for Verrucomicrobia, a bacteria believed to aid intestinal health.
The fruit was also found to have lowered total cholesterol by 6.1 percent. It also lowered LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, sometimes called the“bad” cholesterol, by 5.9 percent. Grapes also helped decrease bile acids, which are linked to cholesterol metabolism.
In all, the study showed that grapes can be good for you if you eat a healthy serving, or 1.5 cups. Just try not to overdo it since the high sugar content could have adverse effects on your glucose. In general, sticking to a good serving of the juicy fruit will give you great health benefits!