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From Table Grapes to Raisins and Wine: Everything You Need to Know About Grapes

From Table Grapes to Raisins and Wine: Everything You Need to Know About Grapes

posted: 2018-12-17 16:40:00 +0800

Have you ever wondered why you come across different varieties of table grapes all year round? With more than 8,000 varieties grown in the world, grapes are one of the most consumed and versatile fruits. Some are cultivated as table grapes, while others are grown for making wine, jellies, currants and jams.

Botanically, grapes are smooth skinned berries grown on vining plants called grapevines, also known as vitis. Depending on the variety, grapes are either oval or round. Some varieties like Concord, Red Globe and Muscat have seeds while Champagne grapes and Thompson are seedless. Grapes also come in a large array of colours and shades, ranging from white to light green, pink, dark red, dark purple, blue black, purple black and more.

Generally harvested between August and October in the Northern Hemisphere, grapes are categorized into two types: American and European. The variety of grapes amongst the two types do not only differ, the context of how grapes are consumed by North Americans and Europeans also vary. For instance, North Americans enjoy table grapes as a snack and prefer seedless grapes while Europeans perceive grapes as a dessert.

In recent years, Kyoho grapes, a type of grape produced from crossing the European Vitis vinifera and the American Vitis labrusca, have become increasingly popular in the Asian market. As such, we at Give.Gift.Boutique have included Kyoho grapes as part of our selection of fruit baskets and gift hampers.

Nutritional Benefits

Beyond their physical appearance, grapes offer numerous nutritional benefits:

A low-calorie fruit

Grapes are one of the ideal food choices to include as part of weight management. 20 pieces of grapes, which is equivalent to 3/4 cup or 175mL, only consists of 68 calories.

Helps with hydration

Aside from staying hydrated with water, eating grapes to stay hydrated is another option. They are incredibly juicy; thanks to the presence of water, which makes up 80 percent of the fruits’ weight.

Antioxidant-rich

Antioxidants are compounds that protect body cells from getting damaged by free radicals. When body cells are exposed to free radicals over a long period of time, they may implicate certain health problems, such as cancer.

Grapes are known to have polyphenols, specifically flavonoids, a type of phytonutrients that acts as an antioxidant. Polyphenols can be found in all grape varieties, and are found in every part of the grape, including the skin, the flesh and the seeds.

Heart-healthy

Research studies suggest that polyphenols, as an antioxidant, may promote heart health by regulating blood pressure and reducing inflammation from oxidative stress.

Are grapes healthy for those living with diabetes?

Due to the natural sweetness of grapes, people tend to associate grapes as an overly sweet fruit. That said, some believe that those living with diabetes should not consume grapes often or at all because they can affect one’s blood glucose levels.

The truth is, grapes are perfectly safe to eat for those living with diabetes. ¾ cup of grapes generally contains approximately 15 grams of naturally occurring sugars. The amount of sugar in ¾ cup of grapes is similar to the amount of sugar found in one small Fuji apple, which has 18 grams of sugar, and one navel orange, which has 12 grams of sugar.

Whether you live with or without diabetes, including grapes and other fruits as part of your healthy is recommend.

Beyond table grapes

Grapes are a great addition to meals and snacks:

Add sliced grapes to yogurt and cereal

Add grape halves to toasted bruschetta and ricotta cheese to make a savoury yet sweet toast

Complement grapes to a leafy green salad with vinaigrette

Put grapes in freezer to create frozen grapes, which are a perfect nutrient-packed treat for hot summer days

 

Since grapes contain antioxidant-rich properties, they also spark interests in the scientific community about whether the same benefits found in grapes can be found in products made from grapes, like red wine. Let us explore the benefits of red wine in the next blog post.

 

 

 

This is a Hong Kong GGB original 'From Table Grapes to Raisins and Wine: Everything You Need to Know About Grapes' blogpost.
Blog Tags :     # Fruit Seasonal News       # Seasonal Fruit       # Grape  
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blog written by: # Novella Lui (8)
Novella Lui, Editor

Based in Canada and Hong Kong, Novella is a registered dietitian, a bilingual writer, a globetrotter and a foodie. She believes in building healthy relationships with food is key to optimal health and happiness.     > more...


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