Grapes are delicious, juicy fruits that belong to the berry family of the Vitis genus. They are deciduous woody wines. These fruits are very popular throughout the world and are eaten in both fresh as well as dry forms. It belongs to the school of non-climacteric fruits since it does not need ethylene and respiration burst to ripen.
Table Of Content
The fruits grow in clutter or bunch and are stuck to a single soft sub-brunch. This fruit is delicious, nutritious and healthy. Grapes are not to be confused with grape-seed fruits.
Grapes come in many forms and varieties. Let us take an account of them in brief.
Texture: It has a very thin outer skin and non-fibrous pulp inside. Some of the species have a single, tiny seed inside a single grape.
Color: Different species and hybrids come in different colors. The most common color is green amongst grapes. It is also referred to as “white grapes”. These fruits also come in blue black, pink, crimson, yellow and purple colors. Dried grapes turn honey-color.
Shape: This fruit is either round or ovate in shape.
Size: Their size usually varies between quarter of an inch and 1 inch.
Smell: The fresh grapes smell mildly citric and sweetish. Dried ones don’t have a recognizable smell.
Taste: The “white” or green grapes taste sweetly sour. The purple and blue black ones taste tingly sour.
Grapes draw their history back to pre-historic times. Research shows that these fruits were cultivated in Asia way back in 5000 B.C. The fruit finds its place in various biblical stories.
Grapes are grown almost all over the world. In some places it is mainly grown for wine making, in some countries for its dried variety and in some zone for the fresh table eating.
Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, United States, Iran, Romania, Portugal, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Armenia and Lebanon grow the fruit for wine making.
It is also grown in India, China and many other countries.
Find out the nutrition content in per 100 gm of fresh grapes.
|Dietary fiber||0.9 mg||2 %|
|Cholesterol||0 mg||0 %|
|Total Fat||0.16 g||0.5 %|
|Protein||0.72 g||1 %|
|Carbohydrates||18 g||14 %|
|Energy||69 Kcal||3.5 %|
|Vitamin K||14.6 µg||12 %|
|Vitamin E||0.19 mg||1%|
|Vitamin C||10.8 mg||18%|
|Vitamin A||66 IU||3%|
|Thiamin||0.069 mg||6 %|
|Riboflavin||0.070 mg||5 %|
|Pyridoxine||0.086 mg||7.5 %|
|Pantothenic acid||0.050 mg||1 %|
|Niacin||0.188 mg||1 %|
|Folates||2 µg||0.5 %|
|Potassium||191 mg||4 %|
|Sodium||1 mg||0 %|
|Manganese||0.071 mg||3 %|
|Magnesium||7 mg||2 %|
|Iron||0.36 mg||4.5 %|
|Copper||0.127 mg||14 %|
|Calcium||10 mg||1 %|
We have already read about the nutritional value of grapes and given they are so very nutritious now let us find out the numerous health benefits of this fruit.
- These small fruits are full of resveratrol which is a highly active anti-oxidant. This anti-oxidant protects our bodies from cancers of colon and prostrate.
- Consumption of this delicious fruit prevents degenerative nerve related diseases.
- It protects from fungal and viral infections.
- The nutrients of this fruit immunes us from Alzheimer’s disease.
- The anti-oxidant of the grapes alters molecular mechanisms in blood vessels in the body and thus reduces the chances stroke.
- It helps in controlling blood pressure.
- The fruit bears anti-allergic properties.
- It has anti-inflammatory agents.
- Grapes contain anti-microbial properties.
- It contains Catechins which are good in health protecting functions.
- This fruit is zero in cholesterol level but provide healthy calories.
- They boost overall body immunity.
- The fruit helps keep the body functions normal during heave menstrual periods.
Allergies and Side Effects
Grapes are generally safe and very few have been reported to be affected negatively due to its consumption.
- Over consumption of grapes in any forms, be it raisin or dried grapes, can lead to stomach upset.
- Some people with medical history of headache might experience light headache as a consequence of eating grapes.
- If someone is allergic to grapes they might suffer from throat sore and other throat related infections.
- People with weak digestion might experience indigestion, vomiting and nausea.
- In some unknown allergic reactions people might tend to cough.
- Those who are allergic to grapes or any of its nutrients might even experience muscular problems.
Though it is usually safe to have grapes during pregnancy and lactation duration, still in case of any inconvenience experienced due to its consumption doctor’s advice is strictly suggested. Even under normal circumstances one should check with the experts before eating grapes during this period since the body undergoes many hormonal changes during this time.
Different varieties of grapes require different climatic conditions to thrive. All of the varieties need a full sunlight to grow. Though the climatic needs are different but the soil for all the varieties should be well drained and loamy ones. Provide a support for the wines to grow. This fruit species needs very little or no fertilizer.
Grapes are commercially available in the market throughout the year, nowadays. It naturally harvests between spring and autumn.
This fruit is widely categorized into three segments, European grapes, North American grapes and French hybrid grapes. To be more precise about this species of fruit they are categorized as the chart mentioned below:
1. Single Species for wine
i) Vitis vinifera grapes
a) Red grapes
b) White grapes
ii) Vitis vinifera for wine and table
a) Red table grapes
b) White table grapes
iii) Vitis labrusca for wine and table
b) Red table grapes
c) Purple or blue table grapes
d) Other varieties
iv) Vitis riparia hybrid for wine and rootstock
v) Vitis rotundifolia for table and wine
vi) Vitis rupestris
vii) Vitis aestivalis for wine
viii) Vitis mustangensis for wine
1) Multispecies hybrid grapes
i) Vinifera hybrids for wine
ii) Vinifera hybrids for table
iii) Non-vinifera hybrids for table and wine
iv) Non-vinifera hybrids for rootstock
Wash the fresh grapes loosely and let it dry in a paper towel. Then zip it up inside a pouch and keep it in the refrigerator. Grapes tend to rotten very fast in room temperature. It can be refrigerated and used well up to about 5 days.
Grapes can be pureed to get its pulpy extract. They can also be juiced in a juicer and then the skin as well as the remaining pulp can be strained out.
Grapes can be eaten in many forms and recipes can be prepared from various forms of this fruit.
- Fresh grapes are eaten in fruit salads.
- These fruits are also used as toppings in many cocktails.
- It is mixed in fruit custard.
- It is juiced and drank.
- The juice is also used in twisting various mocktails and cocktails.
- Its extract as well as fresh form of this fruit is used in cakes, pastries, puddings and pies.
- The extract is commercially used in making jams and jellies.
- Dried grapes serve as a snacking item mixed with other dry fruits and nuts in many parts of the world.
- Fresh ones are also cooked in stews for a sweet and tangy effect.
Grapes find many uses apart from their conventional edibility as a fruit.
- It is eaten fresh in its true fruit form.
- It is mixed in many desert preparations and confectionaries.
- The extract is commercially used in many flavored jams, jellies and appetizers.
- The juice is drunk in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
- The most common and popular edible usage of grapes apart from being consumed as a fruit is in wine making.
- Vinegar is made from these fruits after processing.
- Grape seed oil is also extracted from the fruit.
- The extracts are used in many anti-cough and cold drugs, given its high vitamin C content.
- It is also used in some anti-cancer drugs.
- The leaves, skin and the seeds have medicinal properties and find their complimenting purpose in ayurveda as well as processed medicines.
This delicious fruit finds its place in mythology and religious claims as well.
- Dionysus, the God of agriculture in Greek and Roman cultures, is being portrayed wearing grape leaves on his head.
- Bible claims that Noah used to grow grapes in his farm.
- Christians symbolize wine made from grapes as the blood of Jesus.
- Some Christians do not agree to the common theory of wine being drunk by Jesus on his last supper. They opt for grape juice instead of wine.
- Since wine is not permitted in Judaism for being alcoholic, they consume grape juice and go by the theory that the juice has the same blessing.
Even if we put all the religious and health assuring theories of consuming grapes still we can’t be in denial of its great taste. One can even grow grape wine in small scale in the backyards or even indoors to enhance the ambient beauty.
See the pictures below to identify this delicious and nutritious fruit. Pick up the right one next time you in the market.
- by anwiksha
- November 8th 2012