Tradition says that in the early 1900 grape harvest was very virtuous. The surplus of this fruit was so abundant that winegrowers decided to give it away to the people, ensuring that those who would eat it during New Years Eve would have good fortune during the upcoming year. This tradition explains why we eat grapes to finish the year, when it is a typical summer-autumn fruit.
Grapes are one of the components of the famous Mediterranean triad. Nowadays, grapes, raisins, wine and vinegar are products that are frequently consumed and they remain present in the Mediterranean diet.
Among the abundant variety of grapes, we can distinguish two categories:
- White grapes are sweeter than the black variety because of their high sugar content (fructose and glucose). Another remarkable characteristic of white grapes is their richness in magnesium, an indispensable mineral for neuromuscular activity and participant in many metabolic processes.
- Black grapes, however, stand out for their potassium content, an indispensable mineral for the organism, as well as folic acid (vitamin B9), which intervenes in the production of white and red blood cells, improving at the same time the immunologic system, and highly recommended during pregnancy.
Nutritional value of black grapes mainly remains in the purple skin of the fruit. The components that give it its colour and rasping flavour are tannins and polyphenols, like resveratrol, antioxidant elements that protect body cells and prevent premature aging, due to its free radicals. Resveratrol, specifically, is an antioxidant that has been very popularized by the industry thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogen benefits.
Tannins and antocians are antioxidants that stimulate a good systemic circulation, avoiding oxidation of LDL cholesterol and decreasing platelet aggregation.
We know that grapes are fresh when we shake the fruit clusters and the grains stay firm and do not fall. If they do fall it means the grapes are too ripe.
Besides being one of the main antioxidant foods, white and black grapes are recommended foods for people with DAO deficit, given that their histamine and amine levels are low.
Do not wait until New Years Eve to eat grapes, start enjoying this fruit now!