muscadine-7lovejohnsonTakes me back home :)… Muscadine grapes, also called scuppernong grapes, grow primarily in the southeastern United States and are usually commercially available in September and October. Not only do muscadine grapes make a delicious snack–as well as being well-suited for use in cider, jellies and jams–but you also can obtain significant health benefits from eating these low-calorie, high-fiber fruits. The World’s Healthiest Foods notes that grapes may provide many of the heart-protective properties credited to red wine without the health risks of alcohol.


Most of the muscadine grape’s health benefits come from its phytonutrients, which include metabolites called flavonoids. The World’s Healthiest Foods states that the flavonoids found in muscadine grapes include quercetin, which can reduce blood clots and scavenge harmful free radicals, and phenolic acids, which may help prevent heart disease.

The skins of muscadine grapes contain yet another group of phytonutrients called saponins. These may bind to cholesterol and prevent its absorption. Muscadine grapes also contain ellagic acid. The United States Department of Agriculture notes that ellagic acid is thought to protect against cancer caused by chemicals. Muscadine grapes are also rich in anthocyanins. These flavonoids, which provide the grapes with their rich color, are potent antioxidants.


Another phytonutrient in muscadine and other grapes, resveratrol, is believed by scientists to have cancer-fighting abilities. In a study conducted by Tang and colleagues and published in the May 2008 issue of Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, researchers found that resveratrol inhibited the growth of human breast cancer cells. Resveratrol also inhibits the production of blood vessel constrictors, helps keep heart muscle healthy and supple and improves blood flow to the brain. The World’s Healthiest Foods says that resveratrol may have applications in treating Alzheimer’s disease. The phytonutrient decreases the levels of a certain peptide found in the brain tissue of people with Alzheimer’s disease.


Muscadine grapes are an excellent sources of manganese, a trace mineral found in bones and some internal organs. Not only does manganese help your body form connective tissue, but it’s also necessary for brain and nerve function. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, experts believe that as many as 37 percent of all Americans don’t get the recommended dietary intake of manganese. The World’s Healthiest Foods lists 1 cup of grapes as containing close to one-third of the recommended daily value.


In addition to their other virtues, muscadine and other grapes are good sources of some vitamins and minerals. The World’s Healthiest Foods lists a cup of grapes as containing 0.08 mg of vitamin B1, 10 mg of vitamin B6, 72 mg of potassium, and 3.68 mg of vitamin C.

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by Seven Lovaste'

7Lovaste': Executive Creative Director; Organic Positive Living Wellness Sage

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