Grapes, A Healthy Alternative for Our Snacking Habit

by Yefta Surya

Grape 1 Grapes are a small, berry-like fruit that grows on the woody vines of the genus Vitis. In fact, there are around 60 species in the genus Vitis, but the most commonly grown and distributed grape is the Vitis vinifera species because it accounts for over 90% of world grape production. Besides the classification of the plant, grapes are also cultivated and classified by the different usages of the grape itself. There are table grapes, raisin grapes, sweet juice grapes, and wine grapes. The grapes in each category are cultivated differently so that they will yield the desired result for its usage. For example,table grapes are grapes that are cultivated for the reason of to be eaten fresh "at the table". It is also the type of grapes that are used for salads. In the U.S., this category of grapes is grown in the relatively cold climates of the northeastern United States, so that the grapes produced will have the desired hardiness and quality. Table grapes are also specially cultivated so that they will have no seeds or less seeds than the other category of grapes for the purpose of convenient eating. This category is the most common way of consuming grapes.

As for the other category, such as sweet juice grapes and wine grapes, they are cultivated so that each berry from the tree will yield a maximum amount of juice. The juice that is obtained from crushing the grapes can be used for making grape juice, jam, or fermented and made into wine, brandy, or vinegar. Grape juice is also the most common way of consuming grapes, besides eating them fresh.

Seedless Grapes Grape Salad
Grape 2
Grape salad

Grape Juice
Grape juice

Grapes have all the benefits you could ask for in a fruit. Grapes are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and vitamin B6. They also contain many beneficial minerals that we need in our daily diet, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium, and phosphorus which exist in grapes in high amounts. Grapes, especially red grapes, contain a high amount of anthocyanins which act as an antioxidant. This antioxidant property will prevent the oxidation of other cells by free radicals. These free radicals will cause a chain reaction which will damage cells and cell membranes, and can lead to cancer.

A phenomenon called the "French Paradox" is the result of comparing the diets of western countries. Researchers have discovered that even though the French consumes a higher amount of animal fat, the incidence of heart disease remains low in France. It is assumed that this happens because of protective benefits of regularly consuming red wine. It is also thanks to polyphenols that mainly occurs in grape skin that provides benefits that lower the risk of heart disease.

Grapes can be consumed in a lot of ways, just like I have mentioned before. My favorite is plain red grapes, washed in a running water for a few seconds, and then consume it while it's still cold and fresh. Grapes for me are a good alternative if I want to have a snack in the afternoon, or lfor a ate night snack. So rather than snacking on chips or chocolate or french fries, grapes are a lot better because they iare packed with a lot of good benefits and that makes them a very healthy choice for snacking.

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