Every year in late summer, the local grape harvest begins. Grapes, as grapes are called, can then be further processed into wine, juice or jelly. At the end of the summer, the sun-drenched fruits are packed with nutrients. The sweet berries not only contain vitamins and minerals, but also carbohydrates like sugar, but very few calories.
Healthy ingredients of grapes
Raisins, ie dried grapes, have a particularly high sugar concentration. Not least because of this, grapes have sometimes gotten a bad reputation as a fattener. However, why they are very healthy can be seen by looking at the ingredients in detail.
Per 100 grams fresh grapes contain the following vitamins and minerals:
- Potassium: 192 milligrams
- Calcium: 12 milligrams
- Magnesium: 9 milligrams
- Iron: 0.5 milligrams
- Vitamin B1: 0.05 milligrams
- Vitamin B2: 0.03 milligrams
- Vitamin B3: 0.3 milligrams
- Vitamin B6: 0.07 milligrams
- Vitamin C: 4 milligrams
- Vitamin E: 0.7 milligrams
In addition, grapes contain small amounts of the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene.
How many calories do grapes have?
With an average of 67 kilocalories (kcal), grapes, despite their sugar content, are not particularly high in calories - but, for example, strawberries account for only about half of them. When it comes to calories, white or green grapes hardly differ from red to dark blue varieties.
Grapes and their nutritional values
100 grams of berries also have the following nutritional values:
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Protein (protein): 0.7 grams
- Carbohydrates: 15.2 grams
- Fiber: 1.5 grams
The health-promoting effect of grapes
Like many other types of fruit, white and red grapes are mostly water - about 81 percent. In addition, the grapes contain vital vitamins such as vitamins C and E, which have an antioxidant effect and thus contribute to cell scavenging as a radical scavenger.
Minerals such as potassium and magnesium are important for muscle and nerve function, as well as for the regulation of the fluid balance in the body. The contained fibers promote digestion. Phytochemicals such as resveratrol promote skin elasticity and can help to prevent diseases such as atherosclerosis and probably cancer.
Grapes for weight management
Grapes are virtually fat-free and, despite the relatively high carbohydrate or sugar content, do not act as fattening agents. The contained sugar is half available as fructose, which grapes can be eaten by diabetics. Unlike refined granulated sugar, fructose is metabolized by the body irrespective of the insulin, which means that the blood sugar level virtually does not increase.
With just 84 kilocalories a portion of grapes (125 g) can be enjoyed in peace as a light snack in between. For comparison: Only 20 grams of chocolate already contain 107 kilocalories.
Grapes have a detoxifying effect
On top of that, grapes also contain a lot of fiber, which makes the feeling of satiety faster. The fiber contained in the cores and shells also cleanse the body from the inside, strengthen the immune system and help detoxify.
The high potassium content also allows excess fluid to be released from the body. The valuable fruit acids support this process by helping to break down harmful slags. If you get hungry during a diet between meals, you are welcome to grab a berry-strong grape snack.
Grapes for cell protection
While grapes contain comparatively little vitamin C and E, they boast B vitamins and valuable phytochemicals - including flavonoids and resveratrol.
Resveratrol and oligomeric procyanidins (OPC) make grapes a healthy power crop. Both OPC and resveratrol promote blood circulation and thus contribute to vascular health. This grape can prevent numerous cardiovascular diseases.
Since not only many of the antioxidants contained, but also a large part of the OPC sits in the cores, seedless grapes are considered less healthy. If you want to make grape juice yourself, you should therefore juice the grapes whole. Of course, grapes can also be processed in a smoothie along with other fresh ingredients.
White or red grapes - which varieties are healthier?
When it comes to the health effect, the color of the grapes also plays a role in the choice of varieties. Blue and red grape varieties contain significantly more antioxidants than light grapes. The dark blue dye anthocyanin is considered to be a particularly strong radical scavenger.
Therefore, the health-promoting effect, the red wine is said to come. In moderation red wine should be able to prevent, among other things, cardiovascular diseases. By the way, when processing the red grapes, stalks and kernels are also pressed - in contrast to white wine.
Valuable grape seeds
In agriculture, one also distinguishes wine grapes for wine making and table grapes for consumption. The nuclei of both grape varieties can be used for the production of grape seed oil or grape seed extract.
In the production of grape seed oil grape seed flour is also obtained, which - like grape seed extract - is used as a dietary supplement, among other things.
Grapes in the kitchen
Grapes can be enjoyed as a tasty and healthy snack or as an ingredient in cereals, oatmeal and salads. You can cut the grapes in half or add them whole. Whether as an appetizer, as a snack in between or as a healthy dessert: grapes fit on almost every occasion.
Especially the sweet raisins are considered stimulating brain food. Due to the high sugar content, they should be enjoyed only in moderation. Many mueslis, one or the other dessert as well as trail mix contain raisins.
Grapeseed oil and grape seed extract
However, grapes are not only good for sweet recipes. Processed into grapeseed oil, savory salads and creamy dips can benefit from the benefits of the grapes. The oil is best bought cold pressed and should not be used for frying despite its high smoke point - for refined grapeseed oil is more suitable.
Grape seed extract is also added to numerous lotions and creams for its beneficial effect on skin elasticity.
Buy grapes - you should pay attention
In this country, grapes are season from September to October. If you do not just want to enjoy grapes fresh in the fall, you can buy them from various countries of origin in the supermarket almost all year round.
When buying, make sure that the berries are firm and the stems are green. A whitish coating is a sign of good quality. This coating, which is also known as scented film or foggy, is a natural protection against dehydration.
Tips on shelf life and consumption of grapes
If the grapes are not from an organic crop, it is even more important to wash them thoroughly to rid them of residues of any pollutants. However, you should always wash table grapes shortly before consumption, otherwise they will rot quickly.
It is best to store grapes always unwashed, chilled and as short as possible. Get them out of the fridge about 20 minutes before eating so they can take room temperature so they can fully develop their aroma.
Incidentally, it is difficult to freeze grapes - if you want to keep grapes that are stable you should use raisins, ideally non-sulphurous.