Grapes, Wine and Health

Historically, physicians have recommended wine for: the treatment of iron deficiency, to help vegetarians increase their mineral absorption, and to help reduce the incidence of troublesome sleep disorders. The traditional use of wine with meals offers many benefits including: aiding the digestive process, stimulating the intake of nutrients, and helping reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by reducing cholesterol.

You may have heard the term "French Paradox", which refers to the phenomenon that despite per capita wine consumption and saturated fat intake in France being very high, levels of coronary heart disease are relatively low. Researchers have discovered that one reason for the French people’s low rate of coronary heart disease is the presence of phenolic compounds or antioxidants such as resveratrol in wine, especially red wine.

Studies show that resveratrol lowers LDL cholesterol (the so-called "bad") while elevating HDL cholesterol (the "good") levels, which helps to clear arterial walls of harmful deposits (Mississippi Agricultural & Forestry Experimental Station, Vol. 58, No. 2). In fact, recent studies have found muscadine grapes and their resulting products contain more resveratrol and other antioxidants than any other types of grapes. Muscadine grapes contain antioxidants in skins, seed, pulp, juice and wine. Be sure to see this MD News article on Muscadines and health.

Scientific researchers have found repeatedly that moderate daily wine consumption actually appears to be more beneficial than either zero consumption or over-consumption. A healthy lifestyle also includes regular exercise and a diet low in fat and high in fresh fruit, vegetables, and grains. For those adults who include wine in their lifestyle:

  • Wine should be consumed only in moderation, and preferably around mealtime.
  • Wine consumption should be part of social, family, celebratory or other occasions, but not as their central focus.
  • Excessive consumption should be discouraged, and the choice of abstinence for religious, health or personal reasons must be respected.

Muscadine Nutrition

Betty Ector, Mississippi State nutritionist, compiled this nutritional analysis:
Prior to analysis the seeds were removed and the muscadine juice, pulp and skins were pulverized in a blender. They actually measured 0.4 g fat, which is considered to be 0 g for labeling, since it's below 0.5 g per serving.

Serving size: 100 grams (fresh weight), 10-12 large grapes





5 g

5 g


0 g

0 g


12 g

14 g


68 g

76 g


5 mg

7 mg


17 mg

24 mg


163 mg

167 mg


5 mg

7 mg

Vitamin C

7 mg

6 mg

Dietary Fiber


3 g

3 g


1 g

1 g


930 ug

1170 ug


  • Ector, B.J., A.S. Welch, E. Harkness and C.P. Hegwood. 1993a. Nutritional components of bronze muscadines: Levels of protein, carbohydrate, fat, dietary fiber, pectin and selected minerals and vitamins. Miss. Acad. Sci. 57th An. Meet., Abstr. 38:23.
  • Ector, B.J., A.S. Welch, E. Harkness and C.P. Hegwood. 1993b. Nutritional components of red muscadine grapes: Levels of protein, carbohydrate, fat, dietary fiber, pectin and selected minerals and vitamins. Southern Assoc. Agric. Scientists, Food Sci. Human Nutr. Sec., Abstr. 30:32.
  • Ector, B.J., J.B. Magee, C.P. Hegwood, and M.J. Coign. 1996a. Resveratrol concentration in muscadine berries, juice, pomace, purees, seeds, and wines. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 47(1):57-62.
  • Lursinsap, T. 1994. A comparison of the physicochemical, proximate composition and selected minerals in bronze and red muscadines. Thesis, M.S. in Nutrition, Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS 39762.

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