So many delicious fruits are in season right now, including grapes. I’ve been buying black grapes at my produce market and they are so sweet and delicious it is like eating candy. In fact, they are so good it made me question whether or not eating grapes is healthy. Fortunately, the answer is yes. Grapes are quite healthy. Here are some facts about grapes:
- Botanically, grapes are a type of berry.
- We Grow a Lot of Grapes! Worldwide, about 72 million tons of grapes are grown annually. The three primary uses of grapes are (1) wine, (2) raisins, and (3) table grapes. The biggest use of grapes by far is in winemaking. Worldwide, 7.2 billion gallons of wine are produced each year. Table grapes only make up about 12% of the use of grapes.
- We’ve been eating grapes a long time! Humans have been cultivating grapes for 8,000 years.
- Grapes fight cancer! A primary health benefit of grapes is that they contain powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. One of these is resveratrol. It is found in the skins of red grapes. Laboratory studies have suggested that resveratrol may be able to slow or prevent the growth of tumors in lymph, liver, stomach, breast, colon, skin cancer, and leukemia. Resveratrol is also found in red wine (which is a nice side benefit of drinking wine). Another natural anti-inflammatory that occurs in grapes is the flavonoid quercetin which has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
- Grapes are good for your heart! The polyphenols in grapes reduce cholesterol and have other effects that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The fiber and potassium in grapes have beneficial effects on blood pressure.
- They are good for your eyes! The anti-oxidants in grapes have been shown to help maintain eye health, including keeping your corneas healthy and protecting against age-related eye disorders such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and others
- Grapes may help you live longer! The resveratrol found in grapes has been associated with the expression of three longevity genes.
- Grapes are high in fiber, potassium and vitamin k. All of which are good for you!
- But be careful: Grapes are often covered in pesticide. So, buy organic grapes or make sure and wash your grapes before you eat them!
Here’s an IFOD on fruit in general: Is It Possible to Eat Too Much Fruit?
You know what else is in season: Watermelon and Blueberries.
And, finally, should you buy organic food?
What of peaches? Luv2Nap