When you think of energy-boosting foods, what comes to mind? Caffeinated beverages or energy drinks, surely. Maybe protein-rich foods or super greens like spinach and arugula. Perhaps a smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal with berries in the morning and a grilled chicken salad for lunch.
More than likely, grapes wouldn’t necessarily be on the top 10 or even 20 energy boosters that spring to mind. However, they should definitely be on the list! Grapes contain a host of nutrients that benefit the body in several ways. So what is it about grapes that makes them so special?
Grapes are little vitamin powerhouses.
What better way to boost your energy than a combo of vitamins and nutrients? These tiny and delicious bite-sized fruits contain not only vitamins C, B6, and K, they boast riboflavin and thiamine as well. Add to the list minerals such as potassium, manganese, copper, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium, and you’ve got the perfect energy-boosting snack. In fact, the iron in grapes (and other plant-based foods, of course) is used by your body to create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the main energy source for your cells. And if your cells have more energy, by default, you do too!
Grapes contain essential carbohydrates.
It’s a well-known fact that our bodies need carbohydrates for energy, and grapes provide that in the form of natural fruit sugars. At 23g of sugar in one cup of grapes, that might sound like quite a bit—especially if you’re diabetic. But wait! The fiber and antioxidants found in grapes have actually been shown to lower your blood sugar levels. In addition to that, grapes’ resveratrol—a compound that we’ll talk more about shortly—may increase insulin sensitivity, leading to proper glucose processing and thus, lower blood sugar levels. So despite their sugar content, grapes are a low-GI food—a food that doesn’t raise your blood sugar—so they’re safe for diabetics and non-diabetics alike. Feel free to enjoy grapes as part of your recommended 1 to 2 cups of fruit daily based on the USDA ChooseMyPlate guidelines.
Grapes help keep the body hydrated.
You probably don’t realize that grapes are actually 82% water. While many fruits contain hydrating properties, the combination of benefits in grapes is a winner for both your cells and your skin, hydrating from the inside out. Further, grapes’ vitamin-nutrient combo helps with cell regeneration, so when you pop a little red or green oval orb, you know you’re not only hydrating but receiving benefits all the way down to the cellular level. Take that, energy drink!
Grapes have resveratrol.
There’s that weird word again. What exactly is resveratrol? A natural compound that belongs to a group called polyphenols, resveratrol is known for functioning as an antioxidant in the body—and we all know that antioxidants are a very good thing. The more free radicals booted out, the better; that includes aging, fighting disease, and so much more. Resveratrol has been shown to improve energy metabolism, which means that grapes are an excellent way to help you convert food into energy. And the best thing about grapes is that they’re very portable, so grab a handful and pop a few of the brightly colored globes the next time you need an energy boost! Perfect for a midmorning or midafternoon snack, grapes may even help you out of the 2:30 p.m. workday slump.
So there you have it—the blend of vitamins, minerals, carbs, water content, and antioxidants makes grapes the perfect natural pick-me-up snack. There are many ways to include them in your diet, so get creative—or just eat them right off the bunch! However you prefer to partake of them, you’ll be glad you did.