A bunch of grapes makes for one of the healthiest and no-nonsense snacks, especially if you’re sitting in front of the TV watching your favourite show. You don’t need to peel, deseed or cut them. Just keep popping them in your mouth and enjoy the juicy flavour. Besides, they pack in a lot of punch, nutrition wise and hence won’t add to your weight [provided you don’t overeat].
Technically, there are over 50 varieties of grapes. But you don’t need to worry about that. All you need to know is that grapes are available in green, red and black varieties.
Why have grapes
Grapes have an unmatched portfolio in terms of their phytonutrient composition, and are good sources of vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and sodium. This bestows on them anti-ageing and longevity benefits.
Grapes are 80 – 85 per cent water, high in fibre and are low in calories, which makes them a great snack that doesn’t make you fat. The water and fibre also helps relieve chronic constipation.
Grapes have resveratrol, the real hero endowed with many health benefits. This antioxidant is found in the skin of red and black grapes and is the ingredient that has lent wine the reputation as a heart-protector. It also has anti-ageing, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and cancer protective properties. Resveratrol also has neuroprotective functions and is useful in bolstering cognition and helps patients with Alzheimer’s.
Grapes benefit patients of coronary heart disease by increasing nitric oxide levels in their blood, which helps dilating the blood vessels [vasodilatation] and improves circulation. They also prevent excess clot formation, oxidation of LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
Though grapes are commonly believed to be bad for diabetics, they have a low glycaemic index. Diabetics can eat grapes in limited amounts without worrying about their blood sugar levels shooting up.
Grapes also contain properties that help in controlling rheumatism and gout.
How to buy
Select grapes with plump flesh, having translucent smooth skin. It should not wither away easily from the stem when you lift the bunch. Avoid grapes that bear cuts.
For the green variety, select grapes having a yellowish undertone.
For the red variety, select grapes that have little transparency with a rich red colour to it.
For the black/dark purple variety, select the ones that have a full deep blue black colour.
Wash the grapes thoroughly under running water before consuming. Grapes can be stored at room temperature if they are to be consumed soon. To store for a longer time, wrap them in a newspaper and store in refrigerator.
Oranges 4, Sweet lime: 4,
Grapes: ½ kg, Rock salt: to taste
Mint: 1 – 2 sprigs
Peel the oranges and sweet lime. Extract the juice of both the fruits. Remove the residue from the juicer. Now add the grapes to the juicer and extract juice. Add a pinch of rock salt. Mix well. Refrigerate it. Pour it into a glass, add a sprig of mint and serve cool.
Grape juice can also be added to watermelon juice for the sweet and tangy flavour.
Sugar :1 small cup [15g], Milk: 3 – 4 spoons,Grapes: 1 cup, some water
Put sugar in a heavy-bottomed vessel and add just enough water so that the sugar soaks. Boil the mixture and add some milk. As soon as the sugar melts and begins to thicken, add the grapes and continue heating on a medium high flame. Keep on stirring the mixture so that it does not stick to the vessel. As soon as the mixture evaporates, the grapes start shrinking. Once it is done, remove the grapes from the flame. The raisins are ready; add them to cake, sweet bread or dessert.
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