Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Fruit Of The Week - Grapes

Fruit History: 
The cultivation of the domesticated grape began 6,000-8,000 years ago in the Near East.Yeast is one of the earliest domesticated microorganisms, occurs naturally on the skins of grapes, leading to the innovation of alcoholic drinks such as wine. First traces of red wine are seen in ancient Armenia where apparently, to date, the oldest winery was found, dating to around 4,000 BCE. By the 9th century CE the city of Shiraz was known to produce some of the finest wines in the Middle East. Thus it has been proposed that Syrah red wine is named after Shiraz, a city in Persia where the grape was used to make Shirazi wine. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics record the cultivation of purple grapes, and history attests to the ancient Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans growing purple grapes for both eating and wine production. The growing of grapes would later spread to other regions in Europe, as well as North Africa, and eventually in North America. -  Historical Origins and Genetic Diversity of Wine Grapes

Health Benefits: 
Resveratrol in Grapes reduces stroke risk by altering the molecular mechanisms in the blood vessels. It does so firstly by reducing susceptibility of blood vessels damage through decreased activity of angiotensin (a systemic hormone causing blood vessel constriction that would otherwise elevate blood pressure) and secondly, through increased production of the vasodilator substance, nitric oxide (a beneficial compound that causes relaxation of blood vessels). - Nutrition & You

Through a latest study, it has been discovered that purple colored Concord grape juice helps in preventing breast cancer. Significant reduction in mammary tumor mass of laboratory rats was seen after they were fed the grape juice on the experimental basis. - Organic Facts

An injury to the artery wall begins the process of plaque build-up by forming an obstruction in the blood stream. When the artery wall is attacked by free radicals (oxidized), LDL (also known as bad cholesterol) becomes irritating to the artery wall and can actually wound it.
Catechin in grapes, with its antioxidant effect, fights these free radicals that encourage arterial buildup. On top of that, catechin has more functions, for example, stopping the platelets from forming clots, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, and reducing stress, all of which ensure your heart and cardiovascular system stay healthy. - Health Hokkaido 

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