Grapes are a great snacking fruit, I always find food I can pick and eat are great snacks, like plum tomatoes, blackberries, strawberries etc. Like all fruits there’s benefits because of the amount of vitamin and antioxidants in them. In this post I’m going to be talking about the nutrient aspect of grapes (green & red – AND the differences!) and why they’re good for our health.
So are grapes all they’re made out to be? Let’s find out…
The grape is the fruit of a grapevine, known by it’s Latin name, Vitis. They grow in different colours red, green and black with red grapes tasting slightly sweeter, growing in clusters from the woody vine. They come in useful for many things such as wine, jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, raisins, grape seed extracts and oils.
Originally they come from the Middle East around 6000-8000 years ago, yeast is a natural microorganism found on grape skin which makes wines, other liquids like vinegar and brandy too. Dried grapes are known as raisins, currants and sultanas depending on the origin of the grape or type of grape.
DO NOT let your dog eat grapes and raisins, (not that I’d expect you do) but grapes and raisins have been seen a health threat to dogs, the toxicity of the fruit can cause dogs to develop kidney failure which can stop urine production.
Immune system & eye health
Grapes have a good range of vitamins. minerals and antioxidants, grapes are a good source of vitamin C which is great because vitamin C is involved in boosting immunity, collagen production and preventing Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) affecting eye sight. Antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthin act by neutralising free radicals which can damage the retina of the eye leading to cataracts and other conditions. Grapes has anti-inflammatory effects, because of quercetin, symptoms of allergies such as runny nose, watery eyes etc. can be helped by eating grapes.
Strong bones are very important, micro-nutrients like copper, manganese and iron help form bone tissue, eating grapes regularly in the diet can helps prevent age-related conditions such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Manganese like Vitamin C aid collagen production along with protein metabolism and the nervous system.
Hydration & kidney health
Dehydration can often lead to head aches and even worse, migraines! Grapes have a good water content and within them is a bunch of antioxidants that can help relieve migraines and head aches, however red wine and alcohol is usually the cause of a sore head drinking grape juice or eating grapes can lift the symptoms. Because of the high water content grapes are able to reduce the acidity from uric acid which helps reduce the stress on the kidneys.
Are you tired? Because of the Iron content grapes supply us it can reduce fatigue in the body, anaemia is an issue many people suffer from where there is a lack of iron in the blood, meaning oxygen isn’t transported around the body a effectively, this can make the body tired and sluggish, grapes can provide iron to give us an energy boost.
Resveratrol is a antioxidant and flavenoid found in grapes which has found to reduce cholesterol levels, saponins in grape skin which bind to cholesterol preventing absorption along with fibre. Reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, (plaques in the arteries) prevents damage from LDL (bad) cholesterol. Resveratrol has had claims that it could help against acne, Alzheimer’s and blood glucose control.
A source of fibre
Grapes are a great source of fibre, making it very effective at overcoming constipation, they’re classed as a laxative food because they contain sugar and cellulose along with organic acid. They contain insoluble fibre which is non-digestible as it moves through the digestive system. Fibre is very important in the diet and it can actually make you feel full, sometimes when we eat a meal you can actually still feel hungry after it, fibre helps the fuller for longer feeling. Indigestion can be treated using grapes as it helps to neutralise stomach acids.
So how do I combine this into my diet?
- Cheese & crackers anyone?
- With breakfast
- Salsa with a twist
- Fruit salad
- Bake em’
- Grape infused water
- Bake with them
- Jam them
How else can I use Grapes?
Mash up a few grapes in a bowl with a fork and apply on the skin, hair and face. Here are some of the areas that grapes can help:
- Soothing sunburn
- Ageing skin – wrinkles etc
- Help make skin supple
- Even out skin tones
- Lighten scars
- Prevent hair loss
- Shine for hair
- Volume to hair
- Prevent dandruff
Who’d of known grapes are so great!
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Which colour grape is your favourite? Mine is red they’re so sweet and juicyyyy