Scientific name: Vitis vinifera. Common name: European grapevine, Grapes. The grapevine is a vine cultivated worldwide for its edible berries (grapes) that are eaten fresh or pressed to make wine or grape juice. Grapes may be one of the most versatile fruits. Besides being delicious eaten out of hand, they also give us wine, raisins, and jelly. They contain powerful antioxidants.
An important by-product of the grape crop are the leaves and shoots that are pruned once a year for crop management. These crop residues form a continuum of decreasing feeding value, ranging from fresh green leaves to dry woody shoots (canes). Grape leaves and vine shoots have been used traditionally to feed livestock in vineyards
The ingredient in red wine that generates the most excitement is resveratrol, an antioxidant. Resveratrol isn't the only reason to eat red grapes, though. Here are some others:
Grapes, have antioxidants that help the cardiovascular system. These antioxidants, sometimes called flavonoids or polyphenols, can relax blood vessels and reduce inflammation. They also reduce the clotting function of platelets much as aspirin does. These antioxidants reside mainly in the skin and seeds of grapes.
Many nutritionists recommend fruits like grapes as part of a weight management program. The water and fiber content of grapes make them a filling food. They are also delicious without sugar. To get the maximum value from fruits, eat the whole fruit instead of drinking the juice.
Grapes also contain small amounts of these nutrients:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C