Grapes are known as the 'Queen of the fruits'. They are small oval berry fruits that grow in clusters on woody vines and can be eaten raw or cooked or processed to make jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, molasses and grape seed oil. Red and green varieties of grapes are available and seedless varieties can now be bought.
Grapes are commonly grown in vineyards and made into red and white wine. Grape varieties can also be dehydrated to make raisins, currants or sultanas. Thus, grapes can be bought in many forms, but are most commonly found fresh in clusters, dried, juiced, preserved as jams and jellies or in the form of wine.
Grapes are native to Europe and Mediterranean areas but are now cultivated throughout the world. The main species of grapes are the European species, Vitis vinifera, North American species, Vitis labrusca and Vitis rotundifolia as well as the French hybrids. Popular eating varieties include green grapes, Thompson seedless, sugarone and calmeria. Red varieties such as emperor, red globe, cardinal and flame seedless and flavoursome black varieties, Concord and zinfandel.
Why are Grapes so good to eat?
Grapes have numerous health benefits and they contain vital antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Grapes and products made from grapes are a nutritional and beneficial addition to a healthy eating plan. Grapes are low in calories and can be eaten as part of a healthy, low calorie regime.
Additionally, the nutritional value of grapes is very high. Grapes contain high levels of vitamin C and vitamin K as well as significant vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin B. Vitamin B helps to control metabolism rates, which can increase the weight loss benefits of a low calorie eating plan.
Grapes contain many necessary minerals such as calcium, chlorine, copper, fluorine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon and sulfur. The abundance in minerals helps detoxify the liver and strengthen the digestive system, which will aid digestion of food and lead to weight loss in conjunction with a healthy diet. The small amounts of protein and dietary fibre that grapes provide also facilitate quick digestion.
Red grapes are also a good source of antioxidants, which have been shown to have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties. Studies of the French diet have showed that there are great protective health benefits to drinking red wine. The skin of the red grape, which red wine is made from, is now though to provide health benefits such as reducing susceptibility to vascular damage and stopping the elevation of blood pressure. Resveratrol, a type of anti-oxidant that is concentrated in red wines, can prevent and aid the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. It can also reduce the risk of stroke, protect against colon and prostate cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease and viral infections.
A different type of antioxidants found in green grapes and white wine called catechins can also have health promoting effects. These antioxidants in red and green grapes are concentrated in the skin and seeds. Grapes also cleanse the body, reduce fever, stimulate the nervous system and contain anti-inflammatory agents.
Food Group: Fruit
Nutritional Values: Per 100g (green olives)
- 69 Calories
- 0g Fat of which 0% is saturated
- 18g Carbohydrates
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K