The Grape: Preventative Health Provider

September 28th, 2009

Tomb of Nakht - Luxor, Eqypt, circa 14 BC Depicted in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, the grape is the world’s first recorded preventative health hero. Although its high concentration of vitamins B, C and K work to boost your immune system, it is the supplement Resveratrol, found only in grape skin, that makes the grape a standout preventative power. Resveratrol has been linked to inhibiting cancer cells, as well as protecting the cardiovascular system from heart disease. Grape skin has also been associated with reducing blood vessel damage and decreasing blood pressure. The red-skinned Concord grape has been shown to protect against hypertension, too.

However, not all grapes are created equal. Red grape skin has higher concentrations of Reveratrol and is higher in anti-oxidants than the skin of white or green grapes. Similarly, because in red wine the grapes are fermented with the skin, red wine possesses more preventative health benefits than white, which is produced using only grape pulp.

71% of grapes are grown to make wine, whereas 27% are sold as fresh fruit and 2% are sold dried as raisins or currants. The health benefits of moderate red wine consumption versus the drawbacks are constantly in debate, so to get the grape’s maximum nutritional value, focus on the fresh, juiced and dried forms. Snack on them straight from the vine or heat them together with lemon juice and sugar to make your own grape jelly. Grapes are often overlooked as a wonderful addition to savory dishes, so try sprinkling them on our Super Simple Waldorf Salad.