Grapes are one of the most popular foods in the world. Clusters of these soft, delicious little orbs are eaten in just about every culture, in every corner of the earth. But how much do you really know about this nutritious fruit? Test your personal knowledge by considering these 5 little-known facts about grapes listed below.
- Eating Grape Seeds is More Nutritious than Eating the Actual Fruit — You heard right! Most of us know that grape seeds are edible, but we tend to eat them by purely accident. However the truth is that as sweet and healthy as grapes are, eating grape seeds will provide your body with significantly more nutrients. Plants use seeds as nutrient storage centers so that new young shoots may grow and develop if the seeds are allowed to germinate. Grape seeds, widely considered to be one of the healthiest foods on earth, are packed with vitamins, polyphenols, minerals and healthful oils. The key to obtaining all of these nutrients though, is to eat grape seeds when they are fresh and in their natural state—this means eating them raw, without roasting, boiling, salting or glazing.
- Grape seed extract is linked with numerous health benefits – History is filled with accounts of persons undergoing “grape therapy” which involves an increased consumption of grapes– including the seeds, stems and leaves–in order to improve personal health. As strange as these accounts may sound, medical science has revealed that ancient civilizations may have been on to something quite significant. Scientists have now confirmed that grape seeds contain a surplus of many health promoting nutrients. Over the past two decades, grape seed extract in particular has been linked with many health benefits including cardioprotective, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties
- Most of the world’s grapes are never eaten – Though grapes are prized as delicious, easy-to-eat snacks, the vast majority of grapes produced worldwide are never eaten. Instead, over 70% of cultivated grapes are used to produce different varieties of wine. Of the approximately 72 million tons of grapes grown worldwide each year, about 7.2 trillion gallons of wine is produced for global consumption. A excellent example of organic sulfite free wine produced from fresh grapes is Golob Sauvignon Blanc.
- Grapeseed oil makes you look younger – They say time cures everything, but for those of us on the wrong side of 30, time is more likely to be considered a foe rather than a friend. Thankfully, grapeseed oil has been used throughout human history as a means to add luster to skin and hair, and science has now confirmed the value of using this versatile lubricant for cosmetic applications. Grapeseed oil helps to rejuvenate the skin by improving elasticity, and this helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Dull or brittle hair also benefits from consistent use of grapeseed oil as the lubricant is one of the few essential oils that is able to penetrate the hair shaft and moisturize your hair completely.
- Grapeseed oil has great flavor but you probably shouldn’t use it for cooking – Grapeseed oil is renowned in the culinary world for its light flavor and high smoke point. These properties make it excellent for making a wide variety of dressings as well as deep frying. Despite its distinct deliciousness though, grapeseed oil will likely not be the healthiest cooking oil for persons who live in the western world. Grapeseed oil contains a high concentration of polyunsaturated fats, and this may contribute to weight and health issues for some persons. Though many celebrity chefs such as Martha Stewart have endorsed the use of grapeseed oil for its light taste, more health conscious persons will likely select a healthier fat such as olive oil when cooking.
Image courtesy of Lili Vieira de Carvalho