Grapes provide a delicious burst of juicy sweetness, whether they are red, green or purple. This tiny fruit has been found to maintain heart health, improve memory and contain a “magical” ingredient for youthful vitality.
Inflammation occurs naturally in the body to help protect tissues from injury and irritation, and it’s helpful in eliminating damaged cells. When chronic inflammation develops, it can cause cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis, autoimmune and pulmonary diseases. The polyphenols in grapes have been shown to help decrease chronic inflammation.
The memory of older adults was found to improve in a clinical study of 12 weeks where they drank concord grape juice, from purple grapes.
Cancer Fighting Food
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. Breast, colon and pancreatic cancers in particular respond to these nutrients, according to research.
Helps Keep Your Heart Strong
Consumption of resveratrol-rich grape extract had protective benefits for the heart in coronary artery disease patients in a study.
Helps with Anti-Aging
Grape juice, skin and seed extracts have been found to play an important part in a healthy gut, keeping Candida albicans in check, according to studies.
- 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 reference to 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.
- They have been around since biblical times, being one of the oldest fruits to be cultivated.
- Now, the world produces over 72 million tons of grapes. The largest food industry in the world is growing grapes.
- There are more than 8000 varieties of grapes.
- On the average, a person eats eight pounds of grapes a year.
- An acre of grapes can produce about 15,000 glasses of wine.
- Grapes are actually berries.
- Less than 10 percent of grapes are grown in the U.S. are organic.
Above from Arizona Education.
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, so it’s important to always buy organic grapes.
Grapes are a very good source of phytonutrients, vitamin K, copper and vitamin B2. And one cup of fresh grapes has only 104 calories! For more grape nutrient information go to Nutrition Data.
Always select grapes (plump and free of 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, using scissors to separate small clusters of grapes. This keeps them from drying out.
Sometimes a recipe calls for peeled grapes; see if leaving the skin would really change the taste as grape skin contains many valuable nutrients.
To get the maximum nutrients, it is best to eat them fresh and not cooked, as high temperatures can damage some of the exceptional phytonutrients found in this tiny fruit.
How To Get Grapes Into Our Diet:
Eat a snack of the fresh fruit, jams, jellies, dried into raisins, crushed for juice or wine and grape seed oil.
Here are two recipes to get you started.