#atozchallenge: Be Grapeful

20160406_144602-1.jpg(If you don’t care what’s in grapes or why they’re good for you because you’d eat them anyway just because you like them, jump to the recipe at the end. That’s what I would do.)

Red grapes, purple grapes, black grapes, green grapes, seedless grapes, grapes for wine, grapes for the table, grapes for juice, grapes for jam.  They’ve been a popular food for centuries, but lately research has introduced us to the reasons behind their most important health benefits.

Resveratrol,  anti-oxidants, quercetin. Big words with powerful effects. They are the nutrients of most interest in all colors of grapes and they are concentrated in the skins and seeds. You should eat grapes.  This is why…

You probably wouldn’t remember all the scientific jargon if I gave it to you (I don’t have it in my head either) but what you need to know is that these phyto-nutrients are pretty effective at doing these things

  • decreasing inflammation
  • decreasing blood pressure
  • protecting against many different cancers
  • protecting against degenerative nerve diseases (Alzheimers)
  • protecting from viral and fungal infections

In addition to all the phyto-nutrients grapes are a good source of several important minerals – potassium, copper and manganese – and raisins or dried grapes have a good amount of iron.

They have only about 3 calories per grape and a serving of one cup is about 100 calories, an excellent low calorie snack.  They are a great source of hydration, being over 70% water and have a fair amount of fiber as well.  Need any more reasons to eat some grapes?

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I need to mention that grapes are high on the list of fruits that can have pesticide residues, so organic is best.  Choose berries (yes they actually are berries) that are firm, not wrinkled, tightly clustered and have nice green stems. Rinse the whole bunch in water before eating and store in the refrigerator. Freeze them for a snack on hot days. One of my favs, cut them in half and put in chicken salad.

Avocado-Grape Salsa The sweetness added by the grapes makes this salsa, or guacamole, unique and really brings out a wonderful flavor. It is also a very flexible recipe so you can leave out cilantro if you’re not fond of that, or use more avocado, onion or even put in some jalapeno. It all works. Be prepared for NO leftovers.

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9 thoughts on “#atozchallenge: Be Grapeful

  1. I’ve never understood why so many people who like grapes well enough are disdainful of raisins. My son actually refers to them as “dumpster grapes”. The concentrated sweetness, the chewiness — what’s not to love? Of course, the fermented drinkable version of grapes is to be prized as well. 🙂

    • Because raisins are dried they are a concentrated source of everything found in a grape. 165 g of raisins (1 serving) has 17% of our iron requirement. 151 g of raisins (1 serving) has 3% of our iron requirement. Supposedly you are eating more but less in volume because the water is gone. Make sense?

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