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The combination of crunchy texture and dry, sweet, tart flavor has made grapes an ever popular between meal snack as well as a refreshing addition to both fruit and vegetable salads. American varieties are available in September and October while European varieties are available year round.

Grapes are small round or oval berries that feature semi-translucent flesh encased by a smooth skin. Some contain edible seeds while others are seedless. Like blueberries, grapes are covered by a protective, whitish bloom. Grapes that are eaten as is or used in a recipe are called table grapes as opposed to wine grapes (used in viniculture) or raisin grapes (used to make dried fruit).


Health Benefits

Grapes contain beneficial compounds called flavonoids, which are phytochemicals that give the vibrant purple color to grapes, grape juice and red wine; the stronger the color, the higher the concentration of flavonoids.

These flavonoid compounds include quercitin, as well as a second flavonoid-type compound (falling into the chemical category of stilbenes)called resveratrol. Both compounds appear to decrease the risk of heart disease by:

  • Reducing platelet clumping and harmful blood clots
  • Protecting LDL cholesterol from the free radical damage that initiates LDL's artery-damaging actions

Grapes and products made from grapes, such as wine and grape juice, may protect the French from their high-fat diets. Diets high in saturated fats like butter and lard, and lifestyle habits like smoking are risk factors for heart disease. Yet, French people with these habits have a lower risk of heart attack than Americans do. One clue that may help explain this "French paradox" is their frequent consumption of grapes and red wines.

Protection Against Heart Disease

In a study in which blood samples were drawn from 20 healthy volunteers both before and after they drank grape juice, researchers found several beneficial effects from their juice consumption.

First, an increase occured in levels of nitric oxide, a compound produced in the body that helps reduce the formation of clots in blood vessels. Second, a decrease occured in platelet aggregation, or blood clotting, by red blood cells. Lastly, researchers saw an increase in levels of alpha-tocopherol, an antioxidant compound that is a member of the same family to which vitamin E belongs, and this increase was accompanied by a 50% increase in plasma antioxidant activity.

These findings confirmed the benefits found in an earlier study, where researchers found not only an increase in blood antioxidant activity, but also discovered that grape juice protected LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which turns LDL into an artery-damaging molecule. (Although LDL is often called the "bad" form of cholesterol, it is actually benign and only becomes harmful after it is damaged by free radicals or "oxidized.") Additionally, investigators have found that phenolic compounds in grape skins inhibit protein tyrosine kinases, a group of enzymes that play a key role in cell regulation. Compounds that inhibit these enzymes also suppress the production of a protein that causes blood vessels to constrict, thus reducing the flow of oxygen to the heart. This protein, called endothelin-1, is thought to be a key contributing agent in the development of heart disease.

A study published in the December 2003 issue of Hypertension sheds new insight on the mechanisms of action through which resveratrol inhibits endothelin-1 (ET-1). Resveratrol appears to work at the genetic level, preventing the strain-induced expression of a gene that directs the production of the potent blood vessel constrictor ET-1. Normally, ET-1 is synthesized by endothelial cells (the cells comprising the lining of blood vessel walls) in response to free radicals formed as a result of strain or stress. Resveratrol prevents the expression of ET-1, at least in part, by significantly lessening free radical formation, thus preventing the production of the agents that, in turn, activate the signaling pathways that control the creation of ET-1. (January 2, 2004)

Resveratrol helps keep the heart muscle flexible and healthy

A team of researchers led by Gary Meszaros and Joshua Bomser at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine has shown that resveratrol not only inhibits production of endothelin-1, but also directly affects heart muscle cells to maintain heart health. Their research, published in the October 2004 issue of the American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology, shows that resveratrol inhibits angiotensin II, a hormone that is secreted in response to high blood pressure and heart failure.

Angiotensin II has a negative effect on heart health in that it signals cardiac fibroblasts, the family of heart muscle cells responsible for secreting collagen, to proliferate. The result is the production of excessive amounts of collagen, which causes the heart muscle to stiffen, reducing its ability to pump blood efficiently. In addition to inhibiting angiotensin II, and therefore the proliferation of cardiac fibroblasts, resveratrol also prevented the cardiac fibroblasts that were already present from changing into myofibroblasts, the type of cardiac fibroblast that produces the most collagen. (January 14, 2005)

Research presented at the 226th national meeting of the American Chemical Society provides yet another explanation for red wine’s cardio-protective effects—chemicals that help lower cholesterol called saponins. A plant protective agent found in the grapes’ waxy skin, which dissolves into the wine during its fermentation process, saponins are believed to bind to and prevent the absorption of cholesterol and are also known to settle down inflammation pathways, an effect that could have implications in not only heart disease, but cancer. The research team, led by Andrew Waterhouse, PhD, from the University of California, Davis, thinks that alcohol may make the saponins more soluble and thus more available in wine.

Currently, a hot research topic, saponins are glucose-based compounds, which are being found in an increasing number of foods including olive oil and soybeans. Waterhouse tested six varieties of California wines, four red and two white, to compare their saponin content, which varied among brands, but was found present in high concentrations in all the red wines tested. Red wines contained 3 to 10 times the amount of saponins found in white wines. The saponin content of red wine also showed a positive correlation with alcohol content, the stronger the wine, the more saponins. Among the red wines tested, red Zinfandel, which also had the highest level of alcohol—16%--contained the highest levels. Syrah came in second, followed by Pinot noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, which had a comparable amount. The white varieties tested, Sauvignon blanc and Chardonnay, contained much less.

"Average dietary saponin intake has been estimated at 15 mg, while one glass of red wine has a total saponin concentration of about half that, making red wine a significant dietary source," Waterhouse said. Waterhouse A. Research on the saponin content of wines presented September 8, 2003 at the 226th national meeting of the American Chemical Society held in New York, September 7-11, 2003.(October 24, 2003)

In addition to resveratrol and saponins, grapes contain yet another compound called pterostilbene (pronounced TARE-oh-STILL-bean), a powerful antioxidant which is already known to fight cancer and may also help lower cholesterol.

In a study using rat liver cells, scientists at the USDA Agricultural Research Service compared the cholesterol-lowering effects of pterostilbene to those of ciprofibrate, a lipid-lowering drug, and resveratrol, another antioxidant found in grapes with a chemical structure similar to pterostilbene that has been shown to help fight cancer and heart disease.

They based their comparison on each compound's ability to activate PPAR-alpha (short for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha). The PPARs are a family of receptors on cells all throughout the body that are involved in the absorption of compounds into cells for use in energy production. PPAR-alpha is crucial for the metabolism of lipids, including cholesterol. Pterostilbene was as effective as ciprofibrate and outperformed resveratrol in activating PPAR-alpha. In addition to grapes, pterostilbene is found in berries of the Vaccinium genus such as cranberries and blueberries. The take away message: turn up your cholesterol burning machinery by eating more grapes, blueberries and cranberries. (January 14, 2005)

Wine Protective for Persons with Hypertension

If you have high blood pressure, a glass of wine with your evening meal may be a good idea, according to research published in the September issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In persons with high blood pressure, the risk of death from cardiovascular disease is much higher in northern Europe and the United States than in Mediterranean countries. When French researchers tested the hypothesis that drinking wine reduces the risk of hypertension-related death, they found that, in persons with hypertension, moderate regular wine drinking reduced the risk of death from all causes, not just coronary artery disease.(October 20, 2004)

Resveratrol for Cancer Prevention

Recently, several studies have also identified resveratrol as an excellent candidate for use as a cancer-preventive agent in prostate, lung, liver and breast cancer. Resveratrol has demonstrated striking inhibitory effects on the cellular events involved in cancer initiation, promotion, and progression, and its safety in animal studies of cancer development resulting from exposure to chemical toxins is excellent.

One of the most exciting studies, published July 2003 issue of the Journal of Applied Toxicology, showed that resveratrol can provide protection against benzopyrene, a major environmental carcinogen involved in the development of lung cancer. Resveratrol works its protective magic by inhibiting a receptor on cells called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) to which benzopyrene (and other carcinogens called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) bind. The AhR turns on a whole battery of genes that is involved in carcinogenesis. In this study, significant DNA damage was found in mice exposed to benzopyrene, but when they were also given resveratrol, their DNA damage was less than half, plus, in those cells whose DNA was damaged, resveratrol also caused a significant rise in apoptosis (the self-destruction sequence the body uses to eliminate cancerous cells).(September 8, 2003)

Research published in the August 2003 issue of Life Science suggests that resveratrol also inhibits the proliferation and metastasis of liver tumors. In rats, which had been implanted with a liver cancer cell line and then given varying daily doses of resveratrol for 20 days, solid tumor growth and metastasis were prevented. The more resveratrol the rats were given, the better the protective effects. Resveratrol’s potent antioxidant activity may be the key to these anti-cancer effects. (October 4, 2003)

A study published in the December 2003 issue of FASEB Journal (the official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) shows that resveratrol can inhibit the growth and even trigger programmed cell death (apoptosis) in a highly invasive and metastatic breast cancer cell line. According to researchers, resveratrol exerts its growth inhibitory/apoptotic effect on this metastatic breast cancer cell line by activating the metabolic pathway through which ceramides (a type of lipid or fat) are synthesized. (January 2, 2004)

French scientists have discovered a potent anti-cancer agent, acutimissin A, in red wine that has been aged in oak barrels. A member of a class of polyphenols called ellagitannins, acutimissin A develops when a grape flavonoid called catechin combines with a phenol in oak called vescalagin. Discovered 16 years ago in the sawtooth oak, acutimissin A blocks the action of an important enzyme whose activity is essential to the development of cancerous cells. In preliminary tests, acutimissin A has been shown to be 250 times more potent than the clinical anti-cancer drug VP-16.(February 26, 2004)

Protection against Lung Cancer

Red, but not white wine, may offer protection against lung cancer, suggests a study published in the November 2004 issue of Thorax. Professor Juan Barros-Dios and his team at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, reported the results of their hospital-based case-control study of 319 subjects (132 persons with lung cancer and 187 controls without the disease) in 1999-2000. While a daily glass of white wine was associated with a 20% increased risk of lung cancer, a daily glass of red wine lowered risk an average of 13%. No association was noted between lung cancer and the consumption of beer or spirits.

What might explain these different effects seen in individuals drinking red and white wine? Most likely, red wine's concentration of the phytonutrient, resveratrol. Another study published in the October 2004 issue of the American Journal of Physiology: Lung, Cellular and Molecular Physiology found that resveratrol has a number of anti-inflammatory effects on human airway epithelial cells—the cells lining the lungs and nasal passages.

Resveratrol blocked the release in these epithelial cells of a number of inflammatory molecules including IL-8, inducible nitric oxide synthase and NF-kappaB, inhibiting the latter more effectively than the powerful glucocorticosteroid drug, dexamethasone.

Resveratrol's anti-inflammatory actions also inhibited the production of COX-2 in these epithelial cells. COX-2 is the pro-inflammatory compound whose production the non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs Vioxx and Celebrex were developed to prevent. While these drugs are now being pulled off the market due to the increased risk of heart attack and death associated with their use, resveratrol's anti-inflammatory actions pose no such risks. In fact, the researchers concluded their report by saying, "This study demonstrates that resveratrol and quercetin have novel nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory activity that may have applications for the treatment of inflammatory diseases." Louise Donnelly, lead researcher in the study, was so impressed with resveratrol's broad anti-inflammatory effects that she has begun investigating its use in an aerosol spray to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. (January 14, 2005)

Another Way Grapes Help Prevent Cancer

Research published in the August 2004 issue of Cancer Letters provides one reason why diets high in fruit help prevent cancer: raspberries, blackberries and muscadine grapes inhibit metalloproteinase enzymes. Although essential for the development and remodeling of tissues, if produced in abnormally high amounts, these enzymes play a significant role in cancer development by providing a mechanism for its invasion and spread.(December 17, 2004)

Breast Cancer

Red grape skins and seeds contain recently isolated compounds that a study published in the December 2003 issue of Cancer Research has shown reduce the size of estrogen-dependent breast cancer tumors. In breast cancer, local estrogen production has been demonstrated to play a major role in promoting tumor growth. An enzyme called aromatase, which converts other hormone substrates (specifically, androgens) into estrogens, is present in greater amounts in breast cancer tissue compared to normal breast tissue and is thought to play a crucial role in breast cancer initiation and progression. Grape skins and seeds contain compounds called procyanidin B dimers that can inhibit aromatase, and in this study, were used to significantly reduce the size of mammary tumors in mice. Lead researcher, Shiuan Chen, of the City of Hope Cancer Center in Los Angeles, believes these phytochemicals in grape skins and seeds, while not as powerful as drugs used to inhibit aromatase (e.g., anastrozole, letrozole and exemestane), could play an important role as cancer preventive agents. If you drink wine, choose red. And next time you buy grapes, consider choosing red grapes with seeds.(February 26, 2004)

Resveratrol—An Anti-Aging Agent?

In recently published research, resveratrol has been identified as a potent activator of Sir2—an enzyme researchers have now discovered is responsible for the extension of life span seen in many species when placed on calorie restricted diets.

In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, not only does calorie restriction extend longevity through a pathway that requires the enzyme Sir2, but overproducing this enzyme can prolong the life of yeast even when grown under normal nutrient conditions. Similarly, in the evolutionarily more advanced worm Caenorhabditis elegans, increased expression of the worm's version of Sir2 has also been shown to extend lifespan.

The Sir2 enzyme belongs to a large family of molecules called sirtuins, found in virtually all life forms. In mammalian cells, sirtuins regulate cell maturation (differentiation) and programmed cell death (apoptosis).

Building on the knowledge that caloric restriction prolongs longevity through Sir2, researchers (Howitz et al.) searched for a small molecule that could activate this enzyme directly. They discovered two related compounds that stimulate Sir2 activity, both of which belong to the family of molecules called polyphenols—active compounds products by plants. Of all the polyphenols tested, resveratrol was the most potent by far. The researchers found that this chemical prolonged the lifespan of yeast by approximately 70%, and that the extension of longevity was entirely dependent on resveratrol’s activation of Sir2. Yeast strains deficient in this enzyme did not benefit from resveratrol treatment. Could plant polyphenols such as resveratrol hold the secret of the elixir of youth sought by Ponce de Leon? Perhaps, but the research indicates that figuring out the way to apply their life extending effects will be complicated. At relatively low doses, resveratrol was found to stimulate sirtuin activity, but higher doses have had the opposite effect. While not an ideal characteristic for a pharmaceutical drug, this suggests that the appropriate dosage could be supplied by enjoying a daily glass of grape juice or red wine. More importantly, however, much more research must be done before we understand how sirtuins function in mammalian aging. Extending longevity in a yeast is a long way from life extension in higher organisms. Till scientists figure this out, a daily dose of resveratrol-rich grapes in all their delicious forms might add years to your life as well as delight to your years. (October 24, 2003)

Resveratrol—Effective Against COPD

Research published in the November 2003 issue of Thorax suggests that resveratrol, a polyphenol antioxidant found in the skins of red fruits, particularly red grapes, which has been credited with red wine’s beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease, now appears to also reduce the inflammation associated with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). A lung disease, often caused by smoking and for which the only current treatment is to stop smoking and avoid second hand smoke, COPD is projected to become the world’s third leading cause of death by 2020. In this study, resveratrol was found to markedly reduce the level of interleukins (a type of inflammatory cytokine) in the lung tissue of patients with COPD. Researchers at the Imperial College, London, isolated a type of immune cells called alveolar macrophages from the lung fluid of 15 COPD patients and 15 smokers who did not have COPD. These macrophages do the good work of engulfing and destroying invading particles but, in the process, also secrete inflammatory substances called interleukins, specifically one called interleukin-8, which attracts another type of immune cells called neutrophils. Neutrophils release enzymes that can damage surrounding lung tissue. When researchers added resveratrol to lung tissue samples, macrophage production of interleukin-8 was almost completely inhibited, falling by 88% in macrophages from COPD patients and by 94% in samples taken from smokers without COPD. In addition, resveratrol also reduced the release of another inflammatory marker called GM-CSK (granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor), which helps keep neutrophils alive longer in the lungs. Resveratrol’s effects were so potent that the researchers now believe that if enough could be delivered directly to the lungs, it could be more effective than cortiocosteriods for treating COPD. (December 3, 2003)

Grapes Provide Many of the Cardioprotective Benefits of Red Wine

While studies show red wine offers numerous protective benefits, grape juice also provides the majority of these effects without the risks of alcohol consumption, which, if excessive can lead to accidents, liver problems, higher blood pressure, heart arrhythmias--and alcoholism.

In addition, red wine causes migraines in some people and may bring on an attack of gout in others. Wine often contains added preservatives, colors and flavors, which are not listed on the label and may cause adverse reactions. Sulfur dioxide, for example, is an additive frequently found in red wine that can trigger an asthma attack in individuals sensitive to this chemical.

If consumed by pregnant women, any alcoholic beverage including wine, can cause fetal alcohol syndrome.

If you prefer not to consume alcoholic beverages, take heart—grapes may still provide many of the cardioprotective benefits attributed to red wine.

Resveratrol, which is concentrated in red wine but only appears in very small amounts in grapes, has been touted as the main agent responsible for the "French paradox," i.e., the health benefits associated with drinking red wine. But, Lawrence M. Szewczuk and Trevor M. Penning from the University of Pennsylvania, in a study published in the November 2004 issue of the Journal of Natural Products, point out that other constituents found in far greater amounts in grapes as well as red wine, namely grapes' catechins and epicatechins, might be due the most credit.

One of the primary ways in which resveratrol is reported to have its cardioprotective effects is its ability to target the enzymes that activate COX-1, a compound that promotes inflammation and clot formation and is the target of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. But the average wine drinker absorbs resveratrol in quantities too small to inactivate COX-1. Catechins and epicatechins are present in much greater amounts in grapes as well as red wine, and only a small amount of these are needed to inactivate COX-1.(January 14, 2005)

To receive comparable benefits as those gained from drinking a glass of red wine, however, you need to drink more grape juice. A recent study found that six glasses of grape juice produced the same beneficial effect as two glasses of red wine in reducing platelet aggregation, the clumping that leads to blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.

Another option is to drink dealcoholized red wine. A study published in the January 2004 issue of the .American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests the alcohol-free alternative provides comparable cardioprotective benefit. In this six month study, female rats with an inbred susceptibility to develop cardiovascular disease were given a normal diet along with red, white or dealcoholized red wine to compare their effects on atherosclerosis development. Dealcoholized red wine provided effective protection comparable to that of either white or red wine, significantly decreasing the development of atherosclerosis. Researchers credit the polyphenolic compounds found in the wine, rather than alcohol, with these beneficial effects.

So, if you want to avoid alcohol and protect your heart, toast your health with at least three daily glasses of red or purple grape juice.

Protection against Macular Degeneration

Your mother may have told you carrots would keep your eyes bright as a child, but as an adult, it looks like fruit is even more important for keeping your sight. Data reported in a study published in the June 2004 issue of the Archives of Opthamology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.

In this study, which involved 77,562 women and 40,866 men, researchers evaluated the effect of study participants' consumption of fruits; vegetables; the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E; and carotenoids on the development of early ARMD or neovascular ARM, a more severe form of the illness associated with vision loss. Food intake information was collected periodically for up to 18 years for women and 12 years for men. While, surprisingly, intakes of vegetables, antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids were not strongly related to incidence of either form of ARM, fruit intake was definitely protective against the severe form of this vision-destroying disease. Three servings of fruit may sound like a lot to eat each day, but grapes can help you reach this goal. Top your morning or lunch time yogurt with cool green grapes, add purple grapes to your green salads, or freeze your favorite grapes for an icy cool summer treat.(July 10, 2004)

An Effective Anti-Microbial Agent

Researchers at Erciyes University, Turkey, have found that an agent made from grape pomace extract (grape seeds, skin and stems) is an effective anti-microbial agent. When tested against 14 bacteria including Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, the grape extract inhibited all the bacteria tested at extract concentrations of 2.5, 5, 10 and 20%, except for Y enterocolitica, which was not inhibited by the 2.5% concentration. (October 20, 2004)


Grapes are small round or oval berries that feature a semi-translucent flesh encased by a smooth skin. Some contain edible seeds, while others are seedless. Like blueberries, grapes are covered by a protective, whitish bloom.

Grapes that are eaten from the vine are called table grapes, as opposed to wine grapes (used in viniculture) or raisin grapes (used to make dried fruit). While there are thousands of varieties of grapes, only about 20 constitute the majority of table grapes consumed.

Color, size, taste and physical characteristics differ amongst the varieties. Grapes come in a variety of colors including green, amber, red, blue-black, and purple. In general, whole grapes have a slightly crunchy texture and a dry, sweet and tart taste.

There are three main species of grapes:

European grapes (Vitis vinifera):

Varieties include Thompson (seedless and amber-green in color), Emperor (seeded and purple in color) and Champagne/Black Corinth (tiny in size and purple in color). European varieties feature skins that adhere closely to their flesh.

North American grapes (Vitis labrusca and Vitis rotundifolia):

Varieties include Concord (blue-black in color and large in size), Delaware (pink-red in color with a tender skin) and Niagara (amber colored and less sweet than other varieties). North American varieties feature skins that more easily slip away from their flesh.

French hybrids:

These were developed from the vinifera grapes after the majority of grape varieties were destroyed in Europe in the 19th century.


Grapes have a long and abundant history. While they've grown wild since prehistoric times, evidence suggests they were cultivated in Asia as early as 5000 BC. The grape also played a role in numerous biblical stories, being referred to as the “fruit of the vine.” Grapes were also pictured in hieroglyphics in ancient Egyptian burial tombs.

During the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, grapes were revered for their use in winemaking. They were planted in the Rhine Valley in Germany, a place of notable wine production, in the 2nd century AD. Around this time, over 90 varieties of grapes were already known.

As European travelers explored the globe, they brought the grape with them. Grapes were first planted in the United States in the early 17th century at a Spanish mission in New Mexico. From there, they quickly spread to the central valley of California where climate, and absence of grape-preying insects, best supported their production.

In the late 19th century, almost all of the vinifera varieties of grapes in France were destroyed by an insect that was unintentionally brought from North America. Fortunately, agriculturists crossbred some of the vinifera variety with the American labrusca variety and were able to continue the cultivation of grapes in this region, one that is famous for its grapes and wine.

Today, as researchers continue to investigate the health-promoting polyphenolic compounds found in grapes, this fruit is gaining even more attention. Currently, Italy, France, Spain, the United States, Mexico and Chile are among the largest commercial producers of grapes.

How to Select and Store

Choose grapes that are plump and free from wrinkles. They should be intact, not leaking juice, and firmly attached to a healthy looking stem.

One way to evaluate the sweetness of grapes is by their color. Green grapes should have a slight yellowish hue, red grapes should be mostly red, while purple and blue-black grapes should be deep and rich in color.

Since grapes tend to spoil and ferment at room temperature, they should always be stored in the refrigerator. Loosely wrap unwashed grapes in a paper towel and place them in a perforated plastic bag. This way, they'll keep fresh in the refrigerator for several days.

While freezing detracts from some of their flavor, frozen grapes are a wonderful snack and particularly intriguing to children. To freeze grapes, wash and pat them dry, then arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in freezer. Once frozen, transfer grapes to a heavy plastic bag and return them to the freezer.

How to Enjoy

Tips for Preparing Grapes:

Grapes should be washed under cold running water right before consuming or using in a recipe. After washing, either drain the grapes in a colander or gently pat them dry. If you are not going to consume the whole bunch at one time, use scissors to separate small clusters of grapes from the stem instead of removing individual grapes. This will help keep the remaining grapes fresher by preventing the stem from drying out.

While some recipes call for peeled grapes, evaluate the recipe to see whether including the skin would actually greatly change the taste and texture, since the grape skin contains many of the fruit’s vital nutrients. If you do need to use peeled grapes, it's easier to use the American varieties since their skin more readily pulls away from the pulp.

Try to use seedless grapes in your recipes whenever possible. You will find them much more pleasant to eat.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Serve stewed and spiced grapes with poached chicken breast for a light and healthy entrée.

Grapes are a wonderful addition to any fruit salad. For an enhanced visual effect, consider using a few different varieties of grapes.

Give your curries a fruity punch by including fresh grapes in the recipe.

Add grapes to mixed green salads.

Grapes are great served with cheese as a snack or within a green salad.


Virtually all municipal drinking water in the United States contains pesticide residues, and with the exception of organic foods, so do the majority of foods in the U.S. food supply.

Even though pesticides are present in food at very small trace levels, their negative impact on health is well documented. The liver’s ability to process other toxins, the cells’ ability to produce energy, and the nerves’ ability to send messages can all be compromised by pesticide exposure.

Individuals wanting to avoid these health risks may want to avoid consumption of non-organic grapes, since grapes are among the 20 foods on which pesticide residues have been most frequently found.

If you are drinking grape juice for health benefits, avoid products labeled as grape "drinks." This is often an imitation high-sugar product with little real grape juice.

Nutritional Profile

Introduction to Food Rating System Chart

The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good or good source. Next to the nutrient name you will find the following information: the amount of the nutrient that is included in the noted serving of this food; the %Daily Value (DV) that amount represents; the nutrient density rating; and, the food's World's Healthiest Foods Rating. Not all of our Daily Value standards are obtained from the FDA. In most instances, we used FDA Daily Values when available because they are widely recognized and apply to both men and women. However, when unavailable, we've used other science-based research to establish nutritional standards. Underneath the chart is a table that summarizes how the ratings were devised. Read more about our Food and Recipe Rating System.


Grapes, Concord
1.00 cup
61.64 calories
Nutrient Amount DV
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
manganese 0.66 mg 33.0 9.6 excellent
vitamin C 3.68 mg 6.1 1.8 good
vitamin B1 (thiamin) 0.08 mg 5.3 1.6 good
potassium 175.72 mg 5.0 1.5 good
vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.10 mg 5.0 1.5 good
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
excellent DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
good DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%

In Depth Nutritional Profile for Grapes


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