Grape

In one cup of fresh grapes there are 62 calories, 15.8 grams carbohydrates and 0.8 grams of fiber. Grapes originated in the Caucasus region. Their season is in Autumn and can easily be grown at home. Grapes grow on the woody stems of the grapevine in clusters up to 300 individual fruits. There are thousands of cultivars and hybrids and their colors range from light green to yellow, crimson, purple and almost black. The plant is native to the Caucasus region on the western side of the Black Sea and was cultivated in ancient Egypt.

Grapes are an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese. They are also a good source of vitamins B6 and C, thiamine, and potassium. They contain phytochemicals including polyphenols and the compound resveratrol. They both appear to reduce cardiovascular disease risk by inhibiting platelet clumping and protecting LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized; these two processes cause heart attacks and strokes.

To get numerous benefits of grapes, use them in all forms. Fresh grapes are an excellent snack as well as a nutritional addition to a wide variety of salads. Also, adding raisins to baked goods and rice dishes can boost antioxidants and other phytochemicals. If you’re not a fan of wine, a glass of cold grape juice will be beneficial as well.

Resveratrol is a highly intriguing substance. Ongoing studies have focused on its beneficial effects against diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Source: Reinhard, Tonia. Superfoods: the Healthiest Foods on the Planet. Buffalo, NY: Firefly, 2010. Print.

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