“Studies have shown a lower incidence of cancer in the areas of France where this grape fast is practiced yearly.”
The history of the simple grape is long and diverse. In ancient history, grapes were considered the food of the gods
. Found in the Egyptian tombs and written about in the Bible, even today the fermentation of grape juice is steeped in tradition and secrecy. There are between 40 and 50 different varieties of grapes, which come in shades of greens, whites, reds and purples. Grapes may fill the mouth with an explosion of intoxicating flavors, but it has not been until recently that we have discovered that these little fruits are even more complex in nutrition than the subtle notes of a fine wine.
The Healing Powers and Health Benefits of Grape Juice
Lowers Risk of Atherosclerosis
Lowers Risk of Blood Clots
Protects Blood Vessels In the Heart
Reduces Low-density Lipoprotein, or Bad Cholesterol
Grape Juice Nutrition
Good source of Vitamin K, manganese and potassium.
Grape Juice is an excellent source of:
Grape Juice is a good source of:
- Vitamin K
Phytochemicals & Antioxidants in Grape Juice
Grapes are cherished both for wine-making and for producing a delicious and energizing juice, but because they are not particularly high in vitamins or minerals, they were never thought of as being among the more nutritious fruits. Today that has all changed, especially when it comes to the Concord grape.
The restorative power of grapes is phenomenal, and they are known for cleansing the liver and removing uric acid from the body. In France, many people go on a grape fast during harvest time. Studies have shown a lower incidence of cancer in the areas of France where this grape fast is practiced yearly.
You may have heard about the flavonoids in red wine, which have been shown to prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol that leads to the dangerous buildup of plaque in the artery walls. The good news is that you can find the same benefit from drinking red grape juice, especially the rich colored juice of the Concord variety, which is the type found in Welch’s Grape Juice. Further research by John Folts, professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin found that not only does Concord grape juice reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol, but the flavonoids also help keep arteries elastic. This is important in lowering the chances of developing all-too-common atherosclerosis.
Grape juice also reduces the activity of platelets, those tiny discs in the blood that are responsible for clotting. Overactive platelets often cause clots to develop inside blood vessels, which can lead to heart attacks.
So which has the highest flavonoids, red wine or grape juice? It’s true that the fermentation process is about twice as effective in drawing the flavonoids and other phenolics from the seeds and skins than grape juice production. However, a drink-size bottle of grape juice (10 ounces) will have as many flavonoids as an average-size glass of wine (5 ounces). On the other hand, dozens of studies have shown that aside from the flavonoids, a moderate intake of alcohol (moderate meaning one or two drinks a day) also lowers the risk of heart disease.
The French Paradox (which is that the French are able to eat such rich, fat-laden foods and sauces and have less heart disease than North Americans) is no longer such a mystery. Who would have thought that the magic was in the glass of red wine they love to sip on throughout the meal?
Preparing for Juicing
Wash well. You can juice the grapes, stems and all. If you’re using a centrifugal force juicer, it’s good to scrape the skins out of the basket a few times during juicing, or the yield will be greatly reduced because of the clogged screen.
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Grape Juice Tips
Make sure you swirl the first few drinks of juice in your mouth before swallowing. If you drink too quickly, there will not be enough saliva for proper digestion, which may cause light stomach cramps during fasting. I pass the pulp through the Champion juicer twice to thoroughly extract the flavonoids from the seeds and skin. This makes for a very rich juice, so I always add some water to thin it down a little.
Without endorsements, I do recommend Welch’s Grape juice. In fact, I find this a great go-to juice when I am tight on time and need an energy boast for a busy day. During a juice fast, there is nothing like a tall glass of grape juice to get that extra mile out of a long day of working.
Picking Perfect Produce
Grapes are the most oversprayed of all the fruits, so wash them thoroughly. Sometimes you can find organic grapes on sale for the same price as, or pennies more than, nonorganic, which is a real treat. Always look for a faint, powdery appearance, indicating blooming. Bunches should have a few grapes either falling off or mushy. The stems should not be shriveled but green-looking. Dark red grapes with seeds are recommended.
Storing Your Produce
Grapes keep for a week in the refrigerator.
Grapes make excellent juice. If you find grape juice too sweet, add some lemon juice. It can also be mixed half and half with water or apple juice if the taste is too strong.
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