I am continuing today with a fruit that many of my friends constantly eat, and that I myself have been known to eat regularly as well. Grapes are so delicious, but in my quest to find out more about their phytonutrient content, I learned some less-than-ideal things about this American staple.
-Grapes do not continue to ripen once harvested - LIKE other berries, UNLIKE other fruits (to be discussed soon) - so the fact that they are being harvested before ripe to be shipped to supermarkets to be stored for weeks before purchase is unsettling.
-Most raisins that we consume today are made from Thompson (green, light-colored) grapes - the least nutritious variety.
Rules to go by:
-Red, purple, or black grapes are the best for your health - with the largest proportion of anthocyanin (in disgustingly short - increases antioxidants)
-Search for the FRESHEST grapes; look for plump, firmly attached grapes. The stems should be bright green and flexible. The more loose fruit, the longer it has been stored at the market - avoid these to get more out of your grape purchases in terms of nutritional value
-Chill immediately. Use the sealed plastic, pin-pricked (about 20 pricks) bag inside the crisper drawer method for storage.
-Buy organic to decrease exposure to pesticides (there is a relatively large amount on grapes)
- Golden raisins have more nutritional benefits than other varieties (preserved with Sulfur dioxide)
-Eat more currants - they have a relatively high antioxidant value - even to golden raisins.