Get a grip on the goodness of grapes

Get a grip on the goodness of grapes
Remember that song, Red, Red Wine, by UB 40? And its lyrics that went like this: “Red red wine, go to my head, make me forget.” The queen of fruits, grape, is an important part of our diet. And red wine is made from grapes, so in case you’re wondering why the song, that is the explanation for my thought process today!

Grapes are nutrient-dense, full of different vitamins, minerals, anti oxidants, flavonoids, fibre, oil and juice. They can be eaten fresh, as grape jelly, fermented or dried. Red or black grapes have the power to reverse certain types of cancers because of the ingredient resveratrol that they contain.

Grapes also help ease asthma, migraines (drink pure juice first thing in the morning), indigestion (by preventing bowel irritation), Alzheimer’s (by reducing the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides), eyesight (because they are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin), cholesterol (because they contain pterostilbene), constipation and improve our skin (because of the phytochemicals and phytonutrients which they contain).

According to www.naturalnews.com, nutrition scientists know that certain whole foods that are consumed in their natural and unprocessed forms promote vibrant health by stimulating the innate immune response system, while virtually all refined foods and hydrogenated fats promote disease.

Extensive research studies have determined that protective compounds that protect plants from diseases can have a similar effect when eaten by humans. Resveratrol found most commonly in red grapes and pterostilbene sourced from blueberries work in concert with our own natural reserve of vitamin D to stimulate our immune system and prevent chronic disease.

Scientists at the Oregon State University, in a study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research revealed that the resveratrol found in red grapes has the ability to boost the immune system as well improve heart health and insulin sensitivity. The scientists explained that combining these compounds with vitamin D has considerably more biological impact than any of them would separately. Health-minded individuals should eat three to five servings of red grapes and blueberries each week to boost immune health and fight immune-deficient disease proliferation.

Not just the fruit of the grape, even the seeds yield nutrition and goodness. Grape seed oil is great for cooking; even for us Indians since it has a pretty high smoke point. The best part is that it has a mild flavour so it does not change the taste of the food.

Grapes are great additions to cooking. I make grape tarts using wholewheat atta. My friend Ritoo just made some awesome grape jelly for me. I even add green grapes to my salads every day while they are in season, and add them to smoothies and cakes. I sun dry the black grapes to make my own raisins for use throughout the year, and now, so can you.

(The writer is a vegan chef and author of The Vegan Kitchen: Bollywood Style!)

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