It’s a superfood, it’s a berry, it’s a guilt-free dessert, and it’s good for your skin! You guessed it, we’re talking about grapes. From adding it to your fruit salad bowl to being the primary ingredient in wine, grapes can give competition to all sorts of superfoods. Did you know there are seven colours of grapes? Green, red, blue, purple, white, gold and black, and they’re all classified as berries. Most types of grapes have a tart taste and are loaded with essential nutrients.
Fun fact: grapes were domestically grown in the Middle East and one day the locals of the city of Shiraz decided to ferment them to make wine. As the concept grew, other countries started adopting the same process of wine-making.
What makes grapes everyone’s favourite fruit is the unpredictability of their taste and the convenience of eating them. No peeling, no removing of seeds, and no messy juice-dripping. But what else? Fruits are good for our skin and system, but how much nutrition do grapes contain? Read on to find out!
1. Grapes are rich in resveratrol, which is a polyphenolic phytochemical compound. It is one of the most powerful antioxidants which can protect the body against cancer of the colon, rid us of fungal infections, and purify our blood.
2. Another set of antioxidants abundantly found in red grapes are Anthocyanins. These phytochemicals are anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and can help clear up acne and scars.
3. Catechins are another type of antioxidants found in green grapes which prevent cell damage.
4. All sorts of berries are low in calories including grapes, so no diet-check is needed on this one. 100g of grapes has 69 calories and its cholesterol level is zero.
5. Grapes are also rich in micronutrient minerals such as iron, copper, calcium, potassium and manganese, which help maintain our skin cells and overall health.
6. Oh no, it doesn’t end here! They are also a good source of Vitamin C, K and A, carotenes and B-complex vitamins like pyridoxine, thiamin and riboflavin.
Some foods can literally make your life easier and healthier in every way possible and that’s why they are called superfoods. Much like seeds, spices and other berries, grapes also make it to the superfood list. These benefits of grapes will convince you to make the fruit a part of your daily diet.
1. Grapes are an excellent source of antioxidants.
2. They are rich in vitamin A, C, B6 and folate, which are essential for your skin cells.
3. Grapes are known to add sweet plus tarty taste and texture to desserts and other dishes.
4. Did you also know that these little things can prevent diseases like heart problems, Alzheimer's and cancer?
5. Research has shown that the French have a lower rate of heart diseases as red wine is an essential part of their diet.
6. It’s a perfect table fruit that prevents skin problems including ageing and acne.
7. The potassium content in the grapes controls blood pressure.
8. It directly counters oxidative stress and gives the body an adequate release of protective proteins, which helps in maintaining eyesight as the proteins are released in the retinas.
9. Resveratrol helps in increasing the blood flow of the body towards the brain, which boosts brain power. It can also remove plaque and free radicals, this prevents acne and heals acne scars.
10. Grapes are rich in the antioxidants which provide flexibility and strength to the joints, so it’s good for your knees as well.
11. Its anti-inflammatory properties provide relief to the arteries and promote smooth blood flow in the body, which further helps maintain heart and skin health.
Grapes, also known as Vitis vinifera (scientifically) are one of those snacks/ berries/ desserts which you can just sit in front of a television screen and continue to keep popping in your mouth like popcorns, except, unlike desserts or popcorns, grapes come loaded with beauty benefits for skin, hair and overall health.
Summer is approaching and soon the sun will begin to wreak havoc on your skin. If you manage to skip the sun, the pollution will take a toll on your skin. That’s when grapes come to your rescue! Say hello to your new best bud as they are about to heal you! Grapes can:
1. Heal Sunburns: Powerful antioxidants present in grapes can help you treat sunburn. Just mash the grapes and apply them to the affected areas. In half an hour, you’ll feel relieved.
2. Act as an anti-ageing product: The combination of vitamin C and antioxidants works like a charm when it comes to your skin. It reverses the ageing process and tones the skin. You can take the grapes’ pulp, massage it on your face for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with water. Do it at least once a day until you start observing results.
3. Lighten blemishes and scars: Vitamin C present in the grapes is responsible for gradually healing scars. Just mix grapes, a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of alum together. Place the mixture in a foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Apply it on your face once it cools down and then, wash it off with warm water after keeping it intact for half an hour. You’ll notice results with regular usage.
4. Remove pigmentation and even out the skin tone: Polyphenols present in the grapes even out the skin texture and add a natural glow to the skin. You can use grape juice for this purpose. Apply the juice and leave it on for half an hour, before washing it off with cold water. Do apply a hydrating cream or moisturiser after the process.
5. Make your skin soft and smooth: Imagine having baby-soft skin all the time! Grape seed oil is rich in vitamin E which improves your skin quality, so you can say goodbye to chemical-laden creams and exfoliators. Just gently scrub your skin with the mixture and wash it off with water after half an hour. Trust us, you’ll notice a difference!
6. Lighten your skin tone: Not just scars, grapes can lighten your skin tone as well. For those looking forward to getting back their naturally glowing skin, black grapes can do wonders. Take the pulp of black grapes and mix one tablespoon of rose water and Fuller’s earth in it. Apply it on your skin and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
7. Get rid of oily skin: Apart from removing impurities, a grape face wash has enough nutrients to keep your skin moisturised all day long. Just mix one tablespoon of grape juice, lemon juice and mint juice each. Apply it on your face and leave it for 15 minutes then wash it off with cold water. Follow it up with a spritz of rose water.
8. Remove acne and blackheads: For blackheads, apply grape pulp on the affected areas, keep it for 15-20 minutes and wash it off. For other acne problems, mix sugarcane and chamomile juice with grape pulp. Apply it to your face for 15 minutes, and then wash it off. Repeat the process at least once every week for best results.
9. Reduce dark circles: Feeling like a raccoon lately? Grapes got your back! Apply some grapeseed oil before you go to bed every night. Apart from dark circles, it will also help you sleep better.
As grapes are mostly sugar and water, it is assumed that eating them is like eating empty calories but rest assured, that isn’t true! Whenever you feel dehydrated, black grapes can relieve your body. Grape seed oil mimics properties of the natural oil produced by our skin. All kinds of grapes have a subsequent amount of vitamins and antioxidants but black grapes are the healthiest of them all. Here are a few things grapes can do for you:
1. Cleanse your hair and scalp: Mix 15-20 grapes with one-third cup of apple cider vinegar and apply the mixture on soaking wet hair. Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off. You can also massage your scalp with grapeseed oil at least once a week.
2. Grapeseed oil can control dandruff: Dandruff mostly occurs when your body is trying to get rid of dead skin cells to make way for the new cells. It’s a natural process but becomes an issue when scalp sheds the skin on fast rate. Grapeseed oil can control that shedding. When used regularly, it not only removes the dry flakes but also moisturises and nourishes the scalp. It also improves blood circulation in the area, keeping our hair and scalp healthy.
3. Increases hair growth and prevents hair fall: The antioxidants present in grapes fight against free radicals and hence, a regular scalp massage can promote hair growth. This ensures that the roots of your hair are healthy. It also makes hair look smoother and shinier. On the other hand, Linolenic acid and Vitamin E present in the fruit controls hair loss and gradually eliminate the process. Grapeseed oil also strengthens and conditions the hair.
Tip: Choose cold-pressed organic grapeseed oil over others.
The Grape diet is a bizarre trend that’s definitely worth trying. The three-day grape diet being the most popular one. If you want to take on this diet, you basically need to make grapes your holy grail. If you eat them, apply them to your body and drink their juice regularly, there’s nothing they can’t do for your body (or so it is believed). In fact, grape-based cures were big in the 18th century and it’s high time they come back in the trend. A grape diet can be tried at least once a year. It includes only eating grapes during the course of three days. It makes you feel energetic, clean and detoxified. People have also reported getting a flat tummy and smoother skin after trying the diet.
To follow the diet, prepare your body for at least a day by eating fruits and vegetables the entire day before the diet starts. Consume an average of 2-3 kgs of grapes per day, and drink green tea as and when you wish. The first day might be a little tricky, as you’ll feel hungry, dizzy and might get a headache, but that’s normal. However, if you’re skeptical about the side effects, consult your doctor before trying out the diet. It gets easier by the second day. Like the French, go for seeded grapes as grape seeds hold nutrients and are edible as well. It is suggested that you must go on this diet when you aren’t very busy as your body will low on energy during those days and when you feel hungry, you’ll be able to control yourself.
During the last two days of the grape diet, consume the fruit in both solid and liquid form as you might get bored by eating grapes in the same form. Once your three days are over, you will feel cleaner, lighter and healthier. Not just that, this diet will also zap you out of your unhealthy eating habits.
People often go on a 10-day grape juice fast for weight loss and cleansing purposes. However, one must check with their doctor (preferably a nutritionist) before going on a sudden 10-day diet. While consuming grape juice, you can also add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar or charcoal powder to mix things up. Juice fasting often makes you go through various physical and mental changes. When you are on this diet, you’ll observe better skin and hair. Apart from that, your body will also be getting rid of harmful toxins.
People have been cultivating grapes domestically for thousands of years and there are over 10,000 varieties of grapes available in various colours ranging between green and red to gold, white and black. Out of these, 70 percent go to the wine industry. 1,300 varieties are for making wine, of which 20 varieties are particularly popular. Here are some of the most-used varieties of grapes.
1. Cabernet Franc: It’s the parent grape of Cabernet Sauvignon, and one of the widest variety grown worldwide. It’s red in colour and has a more fruity taste.
2. Cabernet Sauvignon: They are the world’s most used red grapes. They were cultivated when an accidental cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc happened. They taste like dark fruits like blackcurrant and blackberry.
3. Carmenere: Coming from Cabernet family, these are used to make deep, red wine. They are rich in colour and flavour. They have an intense taste of berries, plum and cherry.
4. Chardonnay: They are widely grown and are one of the most popular varieties amongst wine drinkers owing to their mild taste. They are white in colour and have a citrusy aroma. They often taste sweet.
5. Grenache: These black grapes are grown for red wines. They are pale and semi-translucent with a sweet, fruity taste and aroma.
6. Malbec: They are purple grapes used in wine. This is also one of the varieties used in Bordeaux wine. They are known for their earthiness.
7. Merlot: These are black grapes with dark purple skin. They mostly taste like fresh red fruits.
8. Muscat Ottonel: They are aromatic white grapes used to make sweet and dry wines. They are light in flavour and taste like a peach with the hints of coriander.
9. Nebbiolo: They are light, ruby coloured fruits. Winemakers usually add other grapes to deepen the colour of Nebbiolo wines. They make for incredibly strong wine and taste fantastic when aged properly.
10. Pinotage: They are mostly used to make fortified wine and sparkling wine. They have the aroma of red berries and their taste is earthy and smokey.
11. Pinot Grigio / Gris: These are one of the ingredients used to make orange wine. They have a citrusy aroma and a sweet, effervescent taste.
12. Pinot Noir: They have the flavour and aroma of ripe cherry, wild strawberry, earthiness and caramel. These are the type of grapes that you can consume raw, as well as in wine form.
13. Riesling: These are highly acidic but are sweet in taste with floral undertones.
14. Sauvignon Blanc: These white grapes are bright yellow in colour. They have the taste of tropical fruits and a citrusy aroma of greens like basil and tomato leaves.
15. Semillon: These are gold-skinned grapes used in sweet and dry wines. They have the aroma of burnt toast and mostly taste like honey, lemon and grass.
16. Shiraz / Syrah: These are dark-skinned grapes which are mostly produced for red wines. They have a fruity taste and smell like berries.
17. Tempranillo: They are smooth and velvety red grapes. Their aroma is of red fruits and they aren’t dense tasting.
18. Viognier: These white grapes are combined with Chardonnay. Their aroma is flowery, citrusy and herb-like.
19. Zinfandel: These black-skinned grapes are from Croatia and are used in red wines. They taste like candied fruits with a smokey aroma.
20. Moon Drops: They are elongated dark-purple grapes. They have firm flesh and are crunchy. They are mildly sweet and taste like grape jelly.
21. Concord: They taste bright, sweet and rich in the signature flavour of dark grapes. They have easy-to-peel skin and large seeds.
22. Lemberger: The plump grapes have a dusty blue colour with a berry essence. Once you peel the skin, you get a sweeter and darker fruit flavour. When made into wine, its pepper flavour is enhanced.
23. Sweet Jubilee: These are large oval-shaped grapes which are sweet and firm with a clean grape flavour.
24. Valiant: They taste a lot like Concords. They have a sugary flesh and easy-to-peel skin.
25. Champagne: These are some of the smallest berries roughly equivalent to the size of a pea. They are tender and sweet with a pleasing crunch.
26. Crimson Seedless: They are firm and sweet with a pleasing tartness. These pale brick red grapes have a long shelf life.
27. Kyoho: These are large, dark-purple berries with a big inedible seed. Their skin is thick and bitter in taste. The flesh inside the grape is sweet, and they taste quite similar to Concords.
28. Cotton Candy: As the name suggests, these green grapes are literally inside like cotton candy in the form of grapes.
29. Gewürztraminer: These white grapes have reddish-pink skin. They are not like clear white wine in the glass, they are less grapey. They are also soft and clean with a hint of stone fruit.
30. Moon Balls: These are large and green hybrid grapes. They possess a thick skin and sweet flesh. They almost look like an edible bouncy ball.
31. Sultana: These small, light green oval-shaped grapes are packed with sugar. Once dried, they become raisins, yes, even the big and darker ones.
32. Fry Muscadine: They are about the size of a cherry tomato. As they ripe, they become sweet and gold in colour.
Use equal parts of chamomile and sugarcane juice. Add about 8-10 mashed black grapes to it. Apply the mixture directly to your face and neck, and keep it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing it well with lukewarm water.
Take 8-10 grapes and mash them into a pulp. Add one tablespoon of coconut oil, jojoba oil (you can also choose one out of rosehip oil, rosemary oil, lavender oil and lemon oil as per your liking). Add one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of powdered almonds. Apply the mixture on your hair and scalp. Make sure you’ve covered your hair from the roots to tips. Cover your hair with a shower cap for 15-20 minutes. Then wash your hair with warm water and leave it to air dry. Repeat the process at least once a week.
To make a grape-based smoothie, take one cup of seedless black or red grapes, one banana, one-fourth cup milk and one-third cup yogurt. Blend banana and grapes in a blender. Add milk and yogurt to the mix and blend all the ingredients again until it comes to your preferred consistency. In case you are using fresh bananas, add 2-3 ice cubes. Serve your sweet and tangy smoothie.
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