The grape season has begun! The harvesting of grapes is one of the most significant steps in the wine-making process. The time of harvest is usually determined by the ripeness of the grapes as measured by acid, tannin, and sugar levels with winemakers basing their decision to pick according to the style of wine they want to produce.
A grape is a delicious, fruiting berry of the deciduous woody vine from the genus Vitis. This fruit can be eaten fresh as a table grape or it can be used for making jam, wine, grape seed extract, grape seed oil, jelly, juice, vinegar, and raisins.
From ancient times onward, the grape has also delighted out senses with its delicate sweetness, juicy, thirst-quenching, and beauty qualities.
This history of this amazing fruit goes back as far as 8000 years. The grape vines were 1st cultivated in the Middle East.
Health Benefits of Grape
Today, scientists have been discovering exciting new facts about grape and why it may benefit health in various ways 1 . Following, we present you 6 incredible reasons to eat more grapes:
- Great Antioxidant Content
Grapes of all sorts contain a great number of antioxidants and other powerful polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants found in grape and certain other plant foods. Their actions and types vary, normally depending on where in the grapes they are found. Grape juice, grape seeds, and grape skin contain many types of polyphenols, including flavonoids, resveratrol, anthocyanins, and phenolic acids.
Antioxidants neutralize damaging free radicals to prevent the process of oxidation which damages cells. Well, it may sound pretty technical – but that’s what happens when we eat this fruit! “Oxidative stress” usually occurs when these free radicals are left to their own devices – and that’s the reason why numerous chronic diseases and health condition happen.
- Protect the Heart
Studies have proven that consuming a variety of grapes can help support a healthy cardiovascular system by controlling blood vessels to help maintain proper blood flow and function 2 . Furthermore, grapes can also help promote healthy aging. An analysis looking into the benefits derived from regular consumption of grapes are underway at some of the greatest research institutions 3 .
- Normalize Blood Pressure
In a recent animal study found that a regular consumption of grapes can improve heart function and reduce blood pressure and inflammation 4 .
- Improve Colon Health and Prevent Cancer
In a human study of patients with colon cancer, people consuming a grape-enriched diet (about 2 ½ cups of grapes a day for 2 weeks) were able to prevent some genes that endorse tumor growth in the colon. This health benefit was studied in the healthy tissue of the subjects’ colons, showing a potential role for this fruit in helping to maintain a healthy colon and prevent cancer 6 .
- Support Eye Health
Three laboratory studies submit that eating grapes regularly may protect the retina from deterioration and can play an important role in eye health 7 .
- Support Weight Loss
Thrilling research from the University of Georgia, led by MaryAnne DellaFera, Ph.D., found that resveratrol (principally in combination with soy isoflavones) works on the body in 2 ways to considerably support weight loss 8 :
- it dramatically decreases cells’ ability to store fat by around 130%, and
- causes fat cells to break down at a rate 246% higher than usual.
Grapes Nutrition Facts
One cup of fresh grapes contains around 9 :
- 104 calories
- 2-gram fat
- 3 grams’ carbohydrates
- 4 grams’ fiber
- 1 grams’ protein
- 22 micrograms of Vitamin K (28% DV)
- 3 milligrams of Vitamin C (27% DV)
- 2 milligram of copper (10% DV)
- 288 milligrams of potassium (8% DV)
- 1milligram of thiamine (7% DV)
- 1 milligram of Vitamin B6 (6% DV)
- 1 milligram of riboflavin (6% DV)
- 1 milligram of manganese (5%DV)
Grapes as a part of Mediterranean Diet and Impact on Cardiovascular Disease
According to the World Health Rankings, Coronary Heart Disease Death Rate per 100,000 (age-standardized), France has the lowest rate of cardiovascular disease (29.97%). Spain (41.62%) and Italy (48.48%) are also on the list of the countries with the lowest rate of death from coronary heart disease in the whole world 10 .
Grapes, along with other foods grown all around the Mediterranean Sea, are a great part of the traditional Mediterranean Diet (typical for these countries). Experts claim that Mediterranean Diet is really beneficial for the cardiovascular health and the overall well-being 11 . Find more about this diet, easily adaptable to today’s busy lives and kitchens: http://yourhealthtube.com/mediterranean-diet-foods-healthy-heart/
Risks of Grapes
You need to be careful when purchasing grapes because they might pack a giant punch with pesticides from many conventional growers. The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides by the Environmental Working Group (the 2014 edition), has once again acknowledged conventionally grown grapes as some of most problematic vegetables and fruits in terms of pesticide residues 12 .
By buying certified organic grapes, you could avoid the harmful intake of pesticides.
In a research of 99 vineyards in the Aegean Sea area of the Mediterranean, insecticide residues were set up on conventionally grown table grapes but were determined to be untraceable on grapes which had been organically grown 13 . This great news provides the evidence required that going organic is a must.
Many studies have proven that increasing consumption of plant foods as grapes reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and overall mortality 14 15 . Mediterranean diet is rich in grapes and other plant foods so possibly that is the reason why countries like France and Italy have lower rates of cardiovascular diseases. French people are on the bottom of the list of coronary heart disease death rate. Here you can find some of their eating plans secrets for healthy life: http://yourhealthtube.com/french-people-stay-slim-8-ooh-la-la-tips/
Grape also has some special components which make it even more vital to our overall health, giving them “superfood” status.