Grapes, also known as “Queen of the fruits”are storehouse of so many health promoting nutrients such as poly-phenolic antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and this month they are in, ripe, ready to eat, sweet, delicious and healthy, just what the Dr. in The Kitchen ordered!
Grapes harvested in September have been hanging on the vine all summer benefitting from the long days of sunshine and warmth. Red and black grapes are large and sweet and the green ones are especially favorable right now. The light green we commonly associate with the Thompson Seedless variety gives way to a golden yellow. This “amber” coloring of the fruit is the seasonal signal that the grape is the sweetest it will be all year.
September is also harvest time for a wide selection of regional varietal grapes like the Concord and Muscat varieties, in addition to regional favorites like the Scuppenong and Muscadine, which are in peak production. Wine grape varieties are also coming off the vine and some producers out west have started packing some for fresh sale as well.
Health Benefits? Many….
1. Grapes have long been classified as a low glycemic index (GI) food, with GI
values ranging between 43-53. In the case of grapes, recent studies have
shown that the low GI value of grapes is also a good indicator of this fruit’s
blood sugar benefits. Better blood sugar balance, better insulin regulation, and
increased insulin sensitivity have now been connected with intake of grape
juices, grape extracts, and individual phytonutrients found in grapes.
2. Grape phytonutrients are now believed to play a role in longevity.
At the top of the list in this area of research is resveratrol (a stilbene
phytonutrient present mostly in grape skins, but also in grape seeds and grape
flesh). Resveratrol has recently been shown to increase expression of three
genes all related to longevity. (These three genes are SirT1s, Fox0s, and
But take note, because the 2011 edition of the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides by the Environmental
Working Group has identified conventionally grown grapes as one of
most problematic fruits and vegetables in terms of pesticide residues. There’s
new evidence that pesticide residues can be successfully avoided by purchasing
certified organic grapes.
So the Dr in The Kitchen says eat your lovely grapes this month but only buy organic, and enjoy!
Some information in this post taken from: