Nutrition specialist says grapes boost health

Grapes are known as one of the favorite fruits in the world, and they also have great health benefits.

Grapes can be grown in many different countries, including in Missouri. No matter the color, the flavor, juiciness and portability of grapes make them a great snack and popular finger food according to Pam Duitsman, nutrition and health specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“There are many potential health benefits from grapes. Research links consumption of grapes to reduced risk of chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Studies also indicate grapes have strong antioxidant activity, protect eyesight and boost the immune system,” said Duitsman.

Health details

A serving size of grapes is about one cup or 32 grapes, and provides around 100 calories, around 5 mg of vitamin C.

“Grapes are rich in phytochemicals, which are proven to possess many health benefits,” said Duitsman.

Grape phytochemicals include anthocyanins, flavanols, phenolic acids and stilbenes, many of which are strong antioxidants. The phytochemical composition of grapes can vary greatly among different varieties.

Use and storage

Although grapes are considered “in season” in the fall, grapes are available year round. For fresh juicy grapes, choose those that are tight to the touch and free of wrinkles.

Store fresh grapes in the refrigerator in a covered container or plastic bag, and wash before eating. The crisp texture and flavor of table grapes is best enjoyed when they are slightly chilled. Grapes can even be frozen and eaten for a cold refreshing snack on a hot day.