The importance of health and wellness is in the foreground for many people. There are many factors that contribute to wellbeing, such as diet, physical activity, social engagement, and genetics. All are important, but a first step towards wellbeing is choosing healthy foods that provide energy to the body every day, ideally foods that support health in a variety of ways.
Consider California grapes: they’re practical, healthy, moisturizing, and energizing to support a healthy and active lifestyle. Consumption of grapes has also been linked to beneficial effects on the health of certain body parts and systems, including the heart, brain, skin, and colon.
Most of the health benefits of grapes are attributed to the presence of natural plant compounds known as polyphenols, which promote antioxidant activity and affect biological processes that aid overall health. Grapes of all colors – red, green, and black – are natural sources of polyphenols.
Fresh California grapes are refreshing in handfuls, but also add a tasty flavor boost to a variety of recipes that you can enjoy any time of the day. This Heart Smart Smoothie is a deliciously healthy way to start the day. The combination of grapes with nuts and seeds in No-Bake Energy Bites provides a hearty snack for lunch, after school or after training; and quinoa, cauliflower and grape salad are perfect with any meal for a powerful combination of taste and health.
Find more nutritious recipes at GrapesFromCalifornia.com.
Grapes and a healthy brain
Research suggests that eating grapes regularly as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle may contribute to improved health outcomes, including brain health.
In a study of people with early memory loss published in Experimental Gerontology, subjects were given either whole grape powder, equivalent to only 2 1/4 cups of grapes per day, or a placebo powder. The results showed that eating grapes maintained healthy metabolic activity in regions of the brain associated with early Alzheimer’s disease where metabolism is declining.
Subjects who did not consume grapes showed a significant decrease in metabolism in these critical regions. In addition, those who consumed the grape-fortified diet showed beneficial changes in regional brain metabolism that correlated with improvements in alertness and working memory performance.
No-bake energy bites
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Yield: 8 energy bites
1/3 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pitted dates
1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh orange juice or lemon juice
1 pinch of sea salt
8 California seedless grapes
1/3 cup chia or hemp seeds
In a bowl of the food processor, pulse the almonds and walnuts 5-6 times to coarsely chop them. Add dates and process until mixture is finely chopped. Add juice and process until just combined; Put the mixture on a small plate.
Dry grapes. Wrap 1 tablespoon of date mixture around each grape and cover completely to seal it. Repeat with the remaining grapes and date mixture.
Roll balls into seeds to coat them. Store in the covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Nutritional information per energy bite: 120 calories; 3 g protein; 12 g of carbohydrates; 7 grams of fat (53% calories from fat); 0.5 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 20 mg sodium; 3 g of fiber.
Heart Smart Grape and Peanut Butter Smoothie
Preparation time: 5 minutes
1 cup of California red grapes, chilled
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, chilled
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/2 small banana
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons of cocoa powder
In the mixer at high speed, stir the grapes, almond milk, ice cream, banana, peanut butter, flaxseed and cocoa powder until smooth.
Nutritional information per serving: 350 calories; 8 grams of protein; 53 g of carbohydrates; 14 grams of fat (36% calories from fat); 2.5 g saturated fat (6% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 220 mg of sodium; 7 grams of fiber.
Quinoa, cauliflower and grape salad
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
1 cup of white quinoa
1 small head of cauliflower, cleaned and cut into small florets
1 1/4 cups red California grapes, halved
3 spring onions, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 ripe avocados, diced 1/3 inch
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the packet and drain on two layers of kitchen paper. Put in a mixing bowl. Add cauliflower, grapes, spring onions, and avocado pieces.
Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, honey, cumin, oregano and salt until everything is mixed. Gradually stir in the oil. Drizzle the dressing over the quinoa mixture and mix gently. Season with pepper, season to taste.
Nutritional information per serving: 260 calories; 5 g protein; 27 g of carbohydrates; 16 grams of fat (55% calories from fat); 2 g saturated fat (7% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 170 mg of sodium; 6 grams of fiber.