Types of grape juice
There are many types of grape juice. They vary in nutritional content and which specific grapes they are made from.
Purple grape juice is the most common commercial variety. It is dark in color and is usually made from Concord grapes.
You can also buy white grape juice, which is made from green-skinned grapes and has a slightly sweeter taste.
Some grape juice is labeled as 100% juice, which means that all ingredients are extracted from fruits or vegetables.
Other varieties are labeled as juice concentrate. This means that most of the water has been removed, resulting in a more concentrated product.
Grape juice is also found in many juice cocktails, some of which contain a mixture of multiple fruits.
Grape juice can be sweetened or unsweetened. Sweetened grape juice contains added sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup. Added sugar can be found on the ingredients label.
Although grape juice is rich in carbohydrates and natural sugars, it is also a good source of several nutrients, including vitamin C and manganese.
One cup (237 ml) of unsweetened purple grape juice contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 152
- Protein: 1g
- Fat: 0.3g
- Carbohydrates: 37.4 grams
- Fiber: 0.5g
- Vitamin C: 70% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Manganese: 26% of daily value
- Magnesium: 6% of daily value
- Potassium: 6% of daily value
- Copper: 5% of DV
Many types of grape juice contain added ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C. This nutrient is essential for immune function and skin health.
Grape juice is also rich in manganese, a mineral involved in bone formation and the production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.
In addition, grape juice contains a variety of flavonoids and polyphenols. These plant compounds act as antioxidants, preventing oxidative stress and inflammation.
Grape Juice Benefits
Grape juice has a variety of health benefits. For example, it promotes heart, immune system, and digestive tract health.
Enhance heart health
Multiple studies have found that grape juice can support heart health due to the antioxidant compounds it contains.
According to one review, flavonoids found in Concord grape juice may help reduce several risk factors for heart disease, including:
- plaque buildup in arteries
- platelet aggregation
- Cholesterol and triglyceride levels
In one small study of 25 women, drinking white grape juice daily for 30 days increased HDL good cholesterol levels by 16% and reduced belly fat.
Likewise, one review reported that grape products, including grape juice, significantly increased levels of total cholesterol, LDL bad, and HDL good cholesterol compared with controls. Therefore, it may help prevent heart disease.
Still, more high-quality research is needed to better understand the effects of juice on heart health.
Promote immune function
Grape juice from many varieties is rich in the micronutrient vitamin C.
Vitamin C can enhance immune function by reducing oxidative stress and supporting immune cell function.
Getting enough vitamin C in your daily diet can reduce your susceptibility to illness and infection, including respiratory infections such as the common cold.
Grape juice is also a great source of antioxidants, such as resveratrol, a compound that can reduce inflammation and modulate immune cells.
Support digestive health
Some studies have found that grape juice may aid digestive health.
For example, a recent study showed that taking a grape powder supplement (equivalent to about 3.4 ounces (100 ml) of grape juice) can increase the diversity of the beneficial gut microbiome, thereby promoting digestive health.
Several animal studies have found similar results, noting that certain compounds and polyphenols extracted from grapes and grape juice can support gut microbiome health.
Some types of grape juice also contain small amounts of fiber, about 0.5 grams per cup (237 ml).
While this is much less than what's found in whole grapes, it can help you meet your daily needs for fiber, an essential nutrient that promotes regularity and digestive health.
Grape Juice Disadvantages
Although grape juice can be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet, there are some drawbacks to consider.
May increase blood sugar levels
Grape juice contains large amounts of natural sugar. Even the unsweetened variety contains 36 grams per 1 cup (237 ml) serving.
Juice is also lower in fiber than whole fruit. Fiber slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood to stabilize blood sugar levels .
Several types also add large amounts of sugar for sweetness. Research shows that increased intake of sugar-sweetened beverages may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and impaired blood sugar control.
That said, unsweetened varieties may not have the same effect. Some studies show that drinking 100% fruit juice is not associated with increased blood sugar levels or an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
May help with weight gain
Grape juice is low in fiber, which means it doesn't increase satiety in the same way that the whole fruit does.
Research shows that liquid foods are more likely to make you feel full than solid foods. Therefore, you may feel hungrier after drinking a glass of grape juice than if you eat fresh grapes.
Sugary drinks, such as grape juice with added sugar, are also linked to a higher risk of weight gain, overweight, and obesity in children and adults.
Additionally, some types of sweetened grape juice are high in calories and may lead to weight gain if consumed in large amounts and you make no other changes to your diet.
Grape juice can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Stick with unsweetened varieties made with 100% grape juice, or choose whole grapes, which are rich in fiber.
Grape juice is a good source of several important nutrients, including vitamin C, manganese and antioxidants.
It has also been linked to a variety of health benefits. For example, it can support heart health, immune function, and digestive health.
However, it is also high in sugar and contains less fiber than whole fruit. If consumed in large amounts, it may increase blood sugar levels or cause weight gain.
Therefore, it's best to stick to moderation and, if possible, choose unsweetened varieties made from 100% grape juice.
Or, choose whole fruit to increase your fiber intake and take advantage of the many health benefits grapes offer.