All the Colors of the Rainbow – Grapes

purple-grapes-vineyard-napa-valley-napa-vineyard-45209This post is part of a new series for Bekah’s Bites. We will be sharing nutrition tips about colorful fruits and vegetables. Think about rainbow colors when you choose your produce because those bright shades not only mean better flavor, it means they contain healthy nutrients.

Grapes

September and October are when grapes are at their peak season and these tiny, colorful fruits can be enjoyed in many forms – juices, jams and, of course, wines – but eating fresh is the best way to get the most nutrients.

Grapes on the Vine
Grapes on the Vine

Grapes were originally cultivated in the Middle East as far back as 8,000 years ago for one main purpose – you guessed it – making wine. Brought from Spain to North America almost 300 years ago, there was some debate about the use of this wild, purple berry (yes, it’s a berry – related to blueberries!) as a good candidate for fine wine. Europeans deemed the native North American grapes unsuitable for this purpose so they introduced a new type from their home. And not coincidentally, Spain is the number one producer of wines today.

grapes-690977_640Grapes are famous for their properties in promoting heart health – they help prevent blood clots. Eating grapes can reduce stress and depression, which is also very good for the heart! Grape seeds are edible as well and grape seed oil contains antioxidants. Other exceptional health boosts provided by this small, nutrient-rich fruit are: 

  • High in Vitamins A, B, C and K
  • Reduces heart attack risk and high blood pressure
  • Helps treat asthma, indigestion, migraine and fatigue
  • Fights kidney disease
  • Promotes eye health

Whether you enjoy grapes fresh from the vine in bunches or in a glass as a juice or wine, the benefits of this dark, purple fruit will be apparent in your overall health. And this week’s Easy Friday Lunch combines grapes with another Fall favorite, apples, in a protein- and nutrient-rich salad.

Resources:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/8-healthy-facts-about-grapes#1

http://justfunfacts.com/interesting-facts-about-grapes/

http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=whfkitqa&dbid=75

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grape

http://www.sun-world.com/grapes-nutrition/health-benefits

Cooking tip

Grapes are part of any diet because they are so tasty and healthy! To get the maximum amount of nutrients from this fruit, enjoy them fresh and not cooked. Cooking and baking will zap most of the phytonutrients.


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