7 Benefits of Grapes

Eating foods with the highest level of nutrients per calorie can significantly increase longevity.  Grapes, a very nutrient dense food, can help protect you and your family with these awesome benefits:

1. Combat cardiovascular disease (CVD)

CVD is the leading cause of death in the US, claiming over 600,000 lives every year. Grapes can reduce the likelihood of your family developing CVD by,

  • Clearing and inhibiting plaque buildup in the arteries
  • Reducing LDL (the bad cholesterol)
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Preventing cell aging

Help her fall in love 3

2. Reduce inflammation

Chronic inflammation is extremely stressful for the body.  Inflammation is often thought to be a significant factor in causing cancer, CVD and autoimmune disorders – even minor nuisances such as psoriasis and rosacea!  In addition to being a powerful anti-oxidant, grapes also have powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Balance blood sugar

Grapes have a low glycemic index especially when they’re consumed whole with the skin – even better if you can get into eating the crunchy bitter seeds!  According to The World’s Healthiest Foods,

Studies have now connected grape intake to better blood sugar balance, better insulin regulation, and increased insulin sensitivity. We suspect that the strong phytonutrient content of grapes plays a key role in providing these blood sugar-related benefits.

4. Anti-aging & Longevity

‘Nough said.

5. Protect your brain

ROS (reactive oxygen species) are reactive oxygen-containing molecules that have important roles in cell signaling as well as homeostasis (your body’s way of keeping things balanced such as your PH).  Under normal circumstances, this is exactly what should happen.  However, when ROS levels increase dramatically, cell structures can be damaged and over a long period of time can lead to what’s known as oxidative stress.

What does this have to with grapes you might ask?  Grapes can prevent excess accumulation of ROS from forming in the brain.  While there is still much needed research to better understand the affects grapes have on the brain, there is an overwhelming amount of research that shows oxidative stress is a contributor to a plethora of diseases including Alzheimer’s.  Enjoying grapes on a regular basis is a risk-free precaution worth taking.

6. Anti-bacterial & Anti-microbial

Grapes contain oligopeptides, AKA peptides, which are small protein-like molecules that have anti-bacterial properties.  The phytonutrients found in grapes are also anti-microbial.  All of this combined with grapes’ vitamin C can help keep your little one from getting sick.

7. Butt-kicking cancer fighting properties.

If you have the time to watch this, it is certainly worth it!

{A bit of history}

According to The Journal of Nutrition,

“The medicinal value of the grapevine and its fruit, Vitis vinifera, has been recognized for over 6000 y. In ancient Egypt, sap from grapevines was made into an ointment to treat skin and eye conditions. The fruit was crushed into wine elixirs or ripened to serve as therapeutics for a multitude of conditions, including nausea, constipation, cholera, smallpox, liver disease, and cancers.”

Photo courtesy (from left to right): winesisterhood.com, wherethecookiesare.com,vegetariantimes.com

{Photo courtesy (from left to right): winesisterhood.com, wherethecookiesare.com,vegetariantimes.com}

Making grapes a part of your day-to-day

  1. Wash well & choose organic (when possible) – You can use a water/vinegar solution from Good Green Habits or Sarah’s salt with baking soda from Nature’s Nurture.
  2. Read about themOur Oliver & Friends’ Great Grape Adventure is a children’s book packed with fun adventure and filled with sneaky education about health that’ll get them super excited about eating grapes.
  3. Freeze them –  Frozen grapes make a perfect replacement for candy.  Kids absolutely love them.
  4. Enjoy them in a salad –  The vitamin C in grapes is a perfect way to increase the veggies’ nutrients. Check out this mouth watering vegan salad from Vegetarian Times (shown above):

Roasted Shallot, Squash, Grape, and Green Bean Salad

Serves 4

This salad’s earthy flavors heralds the arrival of fall. Grating garlic on an Oxo or Microplane zester/grater delivers the same burst of flavor as crushing garlic in a press, but it’s faster and easier to clean up.
  • 6 oz. green beans, trimmed
  • 1 butternut squash with 4-inch neck
  • 4 large shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup red grapes
  • 1 ½ Tbs. white wine vinegar
  • 1 ¼ tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ tsp. finely grated garlic
  • 1 large bunch watercress, thick stems trimmed (4 cups)

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Blanch green beans in boiling, salted water 2 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

3. Cut 6 1/2-inch-thick wheels from neck of squash. (Reserve remaining squash for another use.) Peel and halve squash wheels. Toss squash and shallots in bowl with 1 1/2 Tbs. oil; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Place squash and shallots cut side up on baking sheet. Transfer green beans to same bowl, and toss to coat with oil that remains in bowl. Place green beans and grapes on baking sheet, separated slightly from squash and shallots. Roast 8 minutes, or until green beans are crisp-tender and grapes are warmed through. Remove green beans and grapes to foil sheet. Roast squash and shallots 15 to 20 minutes more, or until browned.

4. Whisk together remaining 2 1/2 Tbs. oil, vinegar, rosemary, and garlic in bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

5. Divide watercress among serving plates. Divide squash, shallots, green beans, and grapes among serving plates, and drizzle with dressing.

 

Please remember to share with others that health is a learnable skill and a journey worth taking.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

References

Brain Aging: Models, Methods, Mechanisms: ch.15 – Oxidative Stress and the Aging Brain: From Theory to Prevention.
Carmelina Gemma, Jennifer Vila, Adam Bachstetter, and Paula C. Bickford
CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2007

Antimicrobial and other oligopeptides of grapes
Olga L. Voronina, Alexander Zamyatnin
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria, Departamento de Informatica, El Centro Cientifico Tecnologico de Valparaiso, Valparaiso, Chile. alexander.zamyatnin@usm.cl
Biochemistry (Mosc). 2010 Feb;75(2):214-23.

Grapes and Cardiovascular Disease
Mustali M. Dohadwala and Joseph A. Vita
The Journal of Nutrition. 2009 Sep; 139(9): 1788S–1793S.
doi:  10.3945/jn.109.107474

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>