One of my fondest childhood memories is snacking on sweet, juicy grapes. When they’re ripe, they truly are like candy, with a sugary taste that makes them hard to stop eating. Plus, they’re excellent for your health — and new research says one type of grapes in particular — muscadine grapes — are linked with increased longevity. Eating grapes for a longer life? Sounds good to me!
What are the benefits of eating muscadine grapes?
If you’re new to muscadine grapes, they’re native to the Southeastern part of the U.S. and are a powerful superfood. One serving (1/2 cup or 16 grapes) contains 55 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrates, and three grams of fiber. Plus, they’re loaded with nutrients for great health.
A recent study published in Antioxidants took a deep dive into the nutritional qualities of muscadine grapes. Study co-author Islam El-Sharkawy, PhD, tells Woman’s World that these grapes contain enhanced health-boosting molecules in the seeds, pulp, and skin. One of these, a polyphenol called resveratrol, is responsible for soothing inflammation in the body. Resveratrol can help you lose weight, avoid Parkinson’s disease, and maintain good heart health (all very important to longevity!). Muscadine grapes are also rich in gallic acid and ellagic acid — antioxidants that have been shown to boost bone health and combat premature skin aging, respectively.
While Dr. El-Sharkawy notes that muscadine grape seeds contain more nutrients than the skin, he acknowledges that the fruit in its entirety is a healthy addition to any balanced diet. “The overall target is to enhance the consumption of such effectively functional food [like muscadine grapes] as a long-term, preventive strategy for several chronic diseases,” he adds.
Where can you buy muscadine grapes?
Muscadine grapes are easy to find in stores during their harvest season, which usually runs from late July to early October, depending on your region. We think they’re worth the extra effort: Muscadine grapes have a soft texture that melts in your mouth, and they’re much sweeter than other grape varieties. Enjoy them on their own as a snack, add them to plain yogurt, or even use them as a Jamie Oliver-approved pizza topping (trust us, it’s delicious!).
When these grapes aren’t in season, you can buy them in supplement form. (One to try: Genceutic Naturals Wild & Pure Resveratrol+ capsules — Buy from iHerb.com, $35.99). You can also enjoy them as a sugar-free, natural juice, like Ison’s Nursery & Vineyard Muscadine Red Juice (Buy from Isons.com, $8.95). The best part? These products are available year-round!
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This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.