Great Grapes for Super Nutrition!
The Red, Purple And Blue Superfoods!
No, we’re not being patriotic here and talking about the red, white and blue of the U.S. flag, but instead about red, purple & blue grapes! They are a great super food to add to your diet.
These little gems are portable, which makes them great for lunches. They’re super additions to salads as well. Mix them with yogurt, put them in a smoothie, or just eat them out of hand! However you decide to consume grapes, they will add tasty nutrition to your diet.
Grapes were first cultivated in the region between the Black and Caspian Seas around 6000 B.C. About two thousand years later, cultivation of grapes spread from there to Egypt and Phoenicia. During Greek and Roman times grapes were used to make wine.
Grapes were planted in the United States in the seventeenth century at a Spanish mission in New Mexico, and from there spread to the central valley of California. Though grapes are grown all over the country today, most commercially available table grapes are still produced in California.
Grapes are such a popular fruit that there are more grapes grown all over the world than any other kind of fruit!
What Makes Grapes So Great?
Whether you buy seeded or seedless grapes, you’re getting a great nutritional value. These little fruits are packed with vitamin C and potassium, and even contain a little fiber.
There’s lots of buzz these days about how good resveratrol is for you, and promotes longevity. Well, this phytonutrient is found in the skins of grapes, and to a lesser extent, in the fruit and seeds as well.
Although grapes are a fruit, they are low on the Glycemic Index, making them an ideal snack for people watching their sugar levels.
If that’s not enough, grapes are also high in antioxidants. Most of these are found in the skin and seeds of grapes, so just pop that grape in your mouth and eat the whole thing! The antioxidants in grapes can help keep cell membranes from being damaged by free radicals, plus several other benefits associated with antioxidants.
More About Nutrients In Grapes
As previously mentioned, grapes contain vitamin C and potassium. They are full of phytonutrients, but here are a couple of noteworthy vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B2
There are also many of the other B vitamins in grapes in varying amounts, plus a small amount of such fat-soluble vitamins a Vitamin A and vitamin E.
Grapes have no sodium content, so are especially good for those people on a low-salt diet.
Add in the resveratrol and you have a super fruit indeed!
Choosing The Best Grapes
To get the best grapes, look for those that are nice and plump, with no wrinkles like they are starting to dry out. There should not be any torn skin or mold on the grapes.
Red grapes should be mostly red, and blue-black or purple grapes should have a nice deep color when ripe.
One important thing to note about grapes is the fact as of 2015 they are number five in the Environmental Working Group’s Shopping Guide to Pesticides in Produce. In other words, they are in the top half of the infamous “Dirty Dozen.”
Pesticide exposure is hard on your liver, has a negative impact on the ability of the cells in your body to produce energy, and can even affect the nerves’ ability to pass messages along.
This being the case, it would be worth spending the extra money to get organically grown grapes as it almost impossible to wash all the pesticides off the outside of the grapes, not to mention what has been taken up inside the grape itself.
How To Include Grapes In Your Diet
Grapes will stay fresh for several days at room temperature. However, to keep grapes fresh longer, wrap the unwashed grapes in a paper towel and put them in a plastic bag. Store the bag in the refrigerator for longer storage.
You can use scissors to cut small clusters of grapes from the stem when you are ready to use them. Leave the remainder on the stem which will help them stay fresh longer. Was the grapes you want to use in cold water and pat them dry.
Fresh grapes can be eaten out of hand, or put in fruit or mixed green salads. They are also good in chicken or tuna salad as well.
For a refreshing snack, freeze grapes. They make an edible ice cube for fruit drinks, or a refreshing snack.
However you choose to consume grapes, be sure to include these super nutritious fruits in your diet!
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