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Why You Should Eat More Grapes

Whether you like your grapes fresh, frozen or in one of their many other forms such as raisins, jelly, jam, juice or wine, you have many options for getting them into your diet.

For instance, try roasting grapes in the oven to use as a glaze or making a grape chutney.

Many people may pass on grapes, claiming them to be too high in sugar. Be sure to look at the whole picture.

Grapes can be a good choice for diabetics because their glycemic index is relatively low. Some of the compounds in grapes may decrease blood sugar levels through time and increase insulin sensitivity, which can help manage blood glucose levels.

In addition, grapes are a good source of many vitamins, particularly C and K. Grapes contain about 28% of the recommended daily intake for these vitamins. Your body uses vitamin C for  growth and tissue repair, and vitamin K to aid in blood clotting.

Grapes serve as a strong antioxidant, which helps repair damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are harmful molecules that cause damage to cell membranes. Aim to consume plenty of antioxidants to help protect you from several chronic diseases.

Not all grapes are created equally, however. While red and green grapes have a relatively similar nutritional profile, they differ in their antioxidant value. Green grapes have a much lower antioxidant value, compared with red grapes, so keep this in mind the next time you walk through the grocery store.

When most people think of grapes, they probably think of green or red grapes, but grapes come in thousands of different varieties. Grapes are grown all over the world: in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Do you wish you could grow your own grapes? While the majority of grapes in the U.S. are grown in California, you can grow grapes in North Dakota and the Midwest under the right growing conditions.

For more information on safely growing, processing and selling grapes and other specialty crops in North Dakota, visit NDSU Extension’s Field to Fork website at www.ag.ndsu.edu/fieldtofork.

 

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Sources:

Abigail Glaser, NDSU dietetics and management communication student
Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension food and nutrition specialist
Mateljan, G. (n.d.). Grapes. Retrieved from www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=40

Nagdeve, M. (Feb. 28, 2020). 15 Surprising Benefits of Grapes. Retrieved from www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-grapes.html

This project was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant 14-SCBGP-ND-0038. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.

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