Grapes (Vitis vinifera), members of the Vitaceae (Grape) Family, are one of the planet's earliest cultivated foods. The genus name, vitis refers to "vine" and the species name, vinifera means, "wine bearing."
Believed to originate in Asia, there are as many as 8,000 grape varieties, though about fifty are used in commerce.
Grapes are a powerful antioxidant. Grapes contain beta carotene, B complex, vitamin C, as well as boron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, pectin, malic, citric and oxalic acids. Grapes act as a diuretic (reduce water retention). Interestingly, grape seeds are also of nutritional benefit.
For centuries, stories have been told about the almost magical power of grapes to fight disease.
Today, scientists all over the world are exploring the phytonutrients found in fresh grapes and finding vital links between fresh grape consumption and the prevention of diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in grapes has been shown to help protect against arterial wall damage by “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. Contained in the grape’s skin, resveratrol is found in grapes, grape juice, grape jelly, and wine.
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