Food of the Month: Grapes
Care of Ashley Sauve
While fruits are generally regarded as one of the healthiest food groups, few foods have a reputation for being as health-promoting as the humble grape.
As far back as the Neolithic era, grapes have been cultivated on each of Earth’s continents. Their presence exists in most diets worldwide, which is one reason why so much time and resources have been dedicated to viticulture: the science, production and study of grapes.
Grapes provide 19 different phytonutrients as well as melatonin, and even components with anti-bacterial properties. Many different systems in the body have been shown to benefit from the nutrition found in grapes including cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, inflammatory, nervous, as well as blood sugar regulation.
Another key area of interest is cancer prevention, with the risk of breast, prostate and colon cancer showing the most promising research. The nutrition is especially concentrated in the skin and seeds, so consider buying seeded varieties for a health boost.
For the best tasting, most potent in antioxidants, choose fully ripe grapes at the store. You will know they are fully ripe when they are are plump and free from wrinkles. They should be intact, firmly attached to a healthy looking stem, and not leaking juice. The area around the attachment should have the same color as the rest of the grape.
Enjoy grapes alone as a snack, in salads, in parfaits, and frozen as a tasty summer treat!