Grapes

By EAT SMARTER
Updated on 01. May. 2020
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​Grapes have been utilized for making wine for thousands of years, however they are also one of the world’s most popular types of fruits. Available in a range of types and flavors, grapes are as healthy as they are delicious. 

Grapes...

  • ...may improve your memory. In a series of tests with people between the ages of 50 and 75, researchers found that resveratrol, one of the grape’s active ingredients, can significantly improve memory and even delay the onset of dementia.
  • ...are heaty-healthy. Grapes contain two substances that are good for your health: resveratrol and oligomeric procyanidins (OPC), both of which have a positive effect on blood circulation and can help prevent heart and circulatory diseases.
  • ...can help with joint pain. US scientists concluded that the high proportion of flavonoids (natural plant dyes) in grapes can help alleviate joint pain and rheumatic inflammation.
  • ...can help lower your cholesterol. OPC even stimulates the absorption of vitamins in the body and, together with resveratrol, can help lower cholesterol levels.
  • ...keep you looking young. If you want to avoid wrinkles and lines, try snacking on grapes more often. OPC can prevent or reduce cell damage caused by free radicals and thus slow down the aging processes.
  • ...strengthen your immune system. Grapes are a source of vitamin C, and OPC also protects against infectious diseases and helps protect cells.
  • ...are most nutritious if they have seeds. Anyone who buys grapes without seeds or spits out the seeds misses out on a good third of the resveratrol and OPC contained in grapes.

What You Should Know About Grapes

Grapes are one of the oldest types of fruits, as close relatives of the grapevine, which dates back to the earliest history of the earth. The largest areas for growing grapes are in Europe, with about two thirds of the world’s grape harvest coming from Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey and the Balkan countries. California and South Africa also have sizable grape industries.  

Origins

Grapes are originally from Central Asia.

Seasonality

The harvest of native grapes begins in August and ends in November. However, grapes from all parts of the world are also available out of season

Flavor

Ripe grapes taste sugar sweet, while unripe or not quite ripe grapes have more acidity.

Varieties 

Grapes come in countless varieties, from tiny to walnut-sized. They are therefore mainly distinguished by their color, from light (white, green, yellow) to dark (blue, red, blue-black) varieties. Dark grapes usually have a thicker skin and more seeds, while light grapes are more delicate. Seedless grapes and the particularly sweet nutmeg grapes are particularly popular.

Find all our grape recipes here.

How Healthy are Grapes?

While many fruits contain more vitamins and minerals than grapes, they’re still considered very healthy because of their abundance of plant substances. The OPC and resveratrol present in grapes form an unbeatable team for the protection of body cells, arteries and vessels. Remember that the highest proportion of these substances is found in the skins, seeds and stems of the grape.

While white wine is made from skinned grapes, red wine utilizes the entire fruit, making it more healthy. If you’re not a fan of wine, you can still reap the benefits of grapes in a beverage form with a glass of natural grape juice. 

The fact that ripe grapes taste so sweet is due to their particularly high fruit sugar content. So if you want to lose weight, you should not necessarily eat large portions. On the other hand, grapes are always healthier than sweets.

Because insects and fungi also like grapes, plenty of pesticides are used to protect grapes and safeguard the harvest. Table grapes from conventional cultivation should therefore always be washed thoroughly before eating, preferably under warm and running water. This will remove most of the residue that may be present.

Grapes Nutritional Info (100 g)  
Calories 71
Protein 1 g
Fat 1 g
Carbohydrates 14 g
Fiber  1 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Shopping

Fresh, ripe grapes can now be bought all year round, as its always harvest time somewhere in the world. When buying grapes, ensure they are ripe but not overripe. Grapes with brown spots can be bought if you like them sweet, but they’ll only last a short time and must be eaten quickly. If it’s important to you your food never touch farming chemicals, ensure you purchase organic grapes.

Storage

Grapes that will be eaten quickly can be kept at room temperature. However, if you want to have larger quantities in stock, it’s better to put the grapes in the refrigerator.

Preparation

To prepare grapes for eating, simply rinse them under running water and pat dry.

If you’ve purchased a bushell with too many seeds for your liking, simply cut each grape in half and using the tip of a knife, remove the seeds from the pulp.

What To Make With Grapes

Grapes are a classic ingredient for fruit salads or fruit tarts, but also taste great in smoothies or with yogurt.

Anyone who loves grapes know they also pair perfectly with cheese and a slew of other savory ingredients.  They also add an extra dose of delicate flavor to sauces for poultry or white meat.

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