All Hail Alexander The Grape!

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

grapesOkay, so I’m kidding. I really do know that Alexander wasn’t a grape and vice versa. But there is something quite regal about grapes and how they benefit our health.

Grapes are rich in:

• polyphenols (naturally occurring plant compounds with antioxidants)

• resveratrol

• phenolic acids

• anthocyanins

• flavonoids

Whether you eat the fruit, seeds or skin; drink the juice; or sip on red wine, grapes can help reduce the risk of heart disease. They also can help to:

1. Reduce blood clotting and abnormal heart rhythms.

2. Lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension.

3. Slow or prevent cell damage caused by oxidation which is a main factor in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries.)

All that goodness in such tiny fruits!

There are basically three categories of grapes: the greens, the reds, and the blue/blacks. Good color is the key to good flavor. The sweetest green grapes are yellow-green in color; red varieties that are predominantly crimson/red will have the best flavor; and blue/black varieties taste best if their color is deep and rich, almost black. If you object to seeds, look for seedless varieties.

For the most nutritional benefits select the darker colored varieties of grapes to obtain the most polyphenol benefits and be sure you eat the fruit or skins over juice when able.

A great summer treat is frozen grapes. Remove the grapes from the stem. Wash and at dry them and place them on a cookies sheet. Allow them to freeze for 4-5 hours and then remove from the cookie sheet and store them in a Ziploc or airtight container in the freezer. Frozen grapes make great ice cubes for summer drinks and also as handy snacks replacing sugary popsicles, frozen candy bars or fat-laden ice cream.

Have a grape summer!

– Kac Young has a PhD in Natural Health, a Doctorate in Naturopathy and a Doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy. She is a television producer/director and the author of: Feng Shui the Easy Way, 21 Days to the Love of Your Life, Gold Mind, Heart Easy, Cheese Dome Power, Discover Your Spiritual Genius, Dancing With The Moon, The Quick Guide to Bach Flower Remedies, Star Power, The Quick Guide to Bach Flower Remedies and Supreme Healing. Visit: spiritualgenius.com and HeartEasy.com for more information.