What's one of the best parts of summer? Grapes of course! Grapes come in many colours and varieties, although the green and red seedless types are the most popular. They’re a rich source of vitamin C and potassium with one cup containing 27% and 28%, respectively.
They also contain copper, thiamine and riboflavin, as well as other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. Aside from their nutrient profile, grapes are perhaps best known for their antioxidant content.
Source of antioxidants
The skins of grapes are a great source of free radical-fighting antioxidants. Red grapes are particularly rich in anthocyanins (which are responsible for their dark red colour) and resveratrol, the polyphenol often heralded for the health benefits of red wine. Resveratrol is found in the skins of red grapes, which are retained in the making of red wine.
Fortunately, antioxidants are able to withstand the fermenting process, which is why red wine has become accepted as part of a healthy diet. Promising research has shown resveratrol to have strong anti-cancer properties. It’s thought to act by causing the death of cancer cells and preventing their growth.
The presence of anthocyanins and polyphenols have also been attributed to a reduction in chronic inflammation, a key contributor to many different lifestyle diseases including diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, arthritis and cancer.
Time to pour another glass? Not quite! While red wine definitely has health benefits, these are outweighed by excessive consumption, so keep your daily intake to two glasses or less and enjoy as part of a healthy diet, rich in fresh produce.
Grapes are often enjoyed on their own as a snack, frozen as a sweet treat, roasted with poultry or in smoothies, fruit salads and on cheese platters.
Find some delicious recipes here to try out this week.