Spotlight on Grapes
Enjoy them as snack; sweeten a salad; pair them with a cheese platter; or enjoy them as a beverage – alcoholic or not; the ways to enjoy are endless, whatever your fancy, grapes are a delicious fruit that can add that little sweet, refreshing kick to any meal. In this post, we shine a spotlight on grapes, their nutritional value as well as a few of the health benefits they bring to a healthy, balanced diet.
- The average serving size for grapes is about 32 grapes or 1 cup full which is about the size of your fist.
- They vitamin C, vitamin A, fibre, potassium, iron and folate.
- Grapes are high in water content and good for hydration. Because they have a high water-content they are nutrient dense, meaning they provide a large amount of essential nutrients while containing few calories.
Main Health Benefits
- Consuming fruits and veggies of all kinds has long meant to better one’s overall health – from reducing the risk of heart disease, to diabetes, cancer and other conditions.
- Consuming grapes specifically, means ingesting powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols, which is known to slow down or even prevent many types of cancer.
- The flavonoid quercetin is also a natural anti-inflammatory and also had anti-cancer effects.
- Grapes are also high in antioxidants, which is helpful for eye health.
- Red grapes in particular are great for your health, they contain the phytochemical resveratrol in their skins, the antioxidant found in red wine known to lend protection from several chronic diseases and conditions.
Selection & Availability
- Grapes are available year round but are best in season in Summer.
- Select grapes that are tight to the touch, plump and free of wrinkles.
- One way to find out the sweetness of grapes is by their colour – green grapes are medium sweet red grapes are very sweet; and, blue-black grapes are the least sweet.
- Since grapes tend to spoil and ferment at room temperature, they are best stored in the refrigerator. Loosely wrap unwashed grapes in a paper towel and place them in an airtight container or plastic bag – this way they’ll stay fresh for up to 5 days.
- Grapes should be washed under cold running water right before consuming or using in a recipe. After washing them, make sure they’re dry, either by draining water using a colander or gently patting them dry.
- If you aren’t going to eat a whole bunch at one time, use scissors to separate smaller clusters of grapes from the stem instead of removing individual grapes. This will help keep the remaining grapes, fresher by preventing the stem from drying out.