Sweet juicy red, green or purple grapes are delicious and have so much to offer our body.  This tiny fruit has been found to help keep our heart strong, improve our memory, and have an ingredient to assist the ‘fountain of youth’.

6 Health Benefits 

  1. Keeps Your Heart Strong

It was found that the consuming of resveratrol-rich grape extract has protective benefits for the heart in coronary artery disease patients in a study.

  1. Is a Great Cancer-Fighting Food

It has been found that there are anticancer constituents in grape skins, seeds, and raisins (sultanas and currants).

This is because grapes have a high amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients which help to fight chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.   The main types of cancer that have been found to be prevented are breast, colon and pancreatic cancer according to much research.

It was found that grape extracts can adjust colon cancer cells malignancy according to a study at the University of Milan and the San Paolo Hospital in Italy.  Also, researchers found that grape skin extract has a positive effect against breast cancer.

  1. Helps to Reduce Inflammation

When we get inflammation is to help protect tissues from injury, irritation, and is helpful in eliminating damaged cells. When chronic inflammation develops, it is the highest cause of cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis, autoimmune and pulmonary diseases. The polyphenols in grapes have been shown to help decrease chronic inflammation. 

  1. Helps with Anti-Aging

They have resveratrol, a stilbene phytonutrient found in the skins of grapes, also in the seeds and grape flesh, has been found to help extend life in studies.  Resveratrol is often referred to a ‘fountain of youth’. 

  1. Improves Memory

The memory of older adults was found to improve in a clinical study of 12 weeks where they drank concord grape juice, a purple grape juice.

  1. Antifungal Benefits

Grape juice, skin and seed extracts have been found to have an important part in a healthy gut, keeping Candida albicans in check according to studies. 

Grapes are Grace on a Vine

A Tasty Beauty Sublime.

~ Roylin Picou

Grapes

Grapes growing on the vine

Grape Trivia

  • The world currently produces over 72 million tons of grapes. Growing grapes is the largest food industry in the world.
  • There are more than 8000 varieties of grapes.
  • An average person eats eight pounds of grapes a year.
  • They are one of the oldest fruits to be cultivated and have been around since biblical times
  • An acre of grapes can produce about 15,000 glasses of wine.
  • Grapes are actually berries.
  • Less than 10% of grapes are grown in the U.S. are organic.

Above from: Arizona Education

History

  • Grapes have grown wild since prehistoric time.
  • Cultivation began 6000-6500 BC in the far east.
  • Around 4000 BC they arrived in the Nile Delta.
  • By 3000 BC the Greeks and Phoenicians brought the grapevine to Sicily, southern Italy, Spain, and France.
  • By 1700 BC King Hammurabi of Babylon established wine trade rules.
  • There are many biblical stories where there is a reference to as the “fruit of the vine.”
  • They are also pictured in hieroglyphics in ancient Egyptian burial tombs.
  • Grapes arrived in the United States in the 17th century, planted at Spanish missions in the Southwest.

Nutrition
Grapes are an excellent source of phytonutrients, vitamin K, copper and vitamin B2. One cup of fresh grapes has only 104 calories!  For more grape nutrient information go to Nutrition Data

Please Note:  Non-organic grapes are grown with many pesticides. Every year they show up on the Dirty Dozen list by the Environmental Working Group.  Even after they are washed pesticide residues remained.  Buy organic grapes.

Tips for Eating Grapes 

Always select grapes (plump and free from wrinkles, ) that are fully ripe to get the best tasting ones full of valuable nutrients.  They should be intact, firmly attached to the stem, and not leaking juice.

Always wash them under cold running water right before eating or use a fruit and veg rinse if they aren’t organic.   For the ones you are not going to eat right away, it is best to keep them on the stem in clusters, use scissors to separate small clusters of grapes.  This keeps them from drying out.

Sometimes a recipe wants peeled grapes, see if leaving on the skin would really change the taste as the grape skin contains many valuable nutrients.

To get the maximum nutrients, it is best to eat them fresh and not cooked at high temperatures can damage some of the exceptional phytonutrients found in this tiny fruit.

Get more Grapes Into your Diet

Eat them as a snack fresh, or in jams, jellies, dried into raisins, crushed for juice and grape seed oil.

Here are some recipes to get you started.

Grape green smoothie

Sweet Grape Juice Freshly Made in a Blender

Delicious Grape Green Smoothie

Sweet Grape Juice Freshly Made in a Blender

Very Healthy Green Salad with Grapes and Avocado

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Copyright © Diana Herrington http://www.realfoodforlife.com