It’s harvesting season in the United States. Home gardeners, as well as farmers, are reaping the fruits of their efforts. In some cases, this can be taken literally, meaning it is fruit that is being harvested. If you’re not a big fruit or vegetable eater, I encourage you to become one. Truly, these whole foods are essential components to proper nutrition. This post is dedicated to a particular fruit: grapes. Grapes are good for your health! Even if you don’t grow an arbor at home, there are bound to be folks in your local area who do. Check out some farmers’ markets or ask around town to find out who the grape growers are in your community, then buy some.
You might grow a fruit or vegetable that someone else wants, who grows grapes. Consider trading crops! Sharing food amongst neighbors or bartering with other local families used to be a normal way of life in America. It is an easy way to get food that you don’t grow at home. Shopping locally boosts your economy, as well. But, alas, I digress. Let’s get back on track by listing the health benefits of eating grapes.
Grapes are good for your health because they are rich in potassium
Our bodies need potassium for several reasons. Its primary function is to help cells maintain fluid. Potassium also helps your muscles contract and is beneficial for regulating blood pressure. Eating grapes is a swift and easy way to boost potassium levels in the body. When you have a healthy blood pressure and proper amounts of fluid in your cells, your risk for heart disease is greatly reduced. In fact, current data makes it accurate to say that eating grapes helps prevent cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin E makes grapes good for your health, too
When I was growing up, my mother took a vitamin E supplement every day. She was 93 when she passed away and had some of the most beautiful skin I had ever seen. Vitamin E is super good for your skin and hair. And, guess what fruit is loaded with vitamin E? Grapes! In addition to increasing vitamin E intake, eating grapes also provides other nutrients that increase blood flow to the scalp. More blood flow to the scalp makes your healthier.
16 is the lucky number when eating grapes
For grapes of average size, a typical serving size is approximately 16 grapes. Eating one serving of grapes on a daily basis might be the ticket to losing unwanted pounds. This is because grapes contain a compound that breaks down fat and also makes it difficult for cells to retain fat. It is a lot easier to eat 16 grapes each day or several times per week, than try to maintain many of the other diets that are promoted for weight loss.
Grapes contain Resveratrol
Resveratrol is a chemistry term for a compound found in grapes, red wine (makes sense, since that comes from grapes) and other plants. It is an antioxidant, which studies show is significant in preventing or fighting cancer. So, every time you eat a handful of grapes, you are giving all of those free radical cells (the bad guys) a run for their money! Resveratrol also helps fight bacterial infection and promotes healing of wounds.
These are just a few of the reasons why grapes are good for your health. Many people like to eat them frozen. You can also add them to smoothies or salads, for variety. And, while I have never tried this, I have read that it packs a powerful flavor punch: You can roast your grapes in the oven! Some people prefer to juice or dehydrate their grapes. Finally, you might want to try using grapes in a homemade salsa.
Bonus recipe, courtesy of one of our subscribers
A loyal subscriber to The Hot Mess Press, who happens to be a dear friend of mine, shared a recipe that uses large, globe-style grapes. It is a quick and easy treat that tastes refreshing and is a great way to get more grapes into your diet. Simply place the following ingredients into a bowl, and enjoy:
- Plain yogurt
- Large, globe grapes
- A hefty sprinkle of cinnamon over all
- A generous drizzle of honey on top
If you have another favorite way to incorporate grapes into your diet, we would love to hear about it! In the meantime, the yogurt you will use in this recipe is a good source of probiotics, which is also an important component of a healthy diet. Take a look at this post from our archives, if you’d like to try making your own yogurt at home!