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Magic Fruit – Grapes the ultimate snack food!

Naturally sweet, full of goodness and vitamins, Grapes are widely available and easy to eat – just like other snack foods, but without the added fat and sugar!

Fruit Juice has it's downside – when you eat whole fruit you are getting all that fibre which stops you over indulging. When you drink juice, sweetened or unsweetened it is all too easy to overdo the kilojoules. That is why it has been getting a bad rap lately from health professionals concerned juices have a sneaky tendency to bypass the satiety part of our brain that says “stop eating”!

You don’t need to avoid juices altogether, just keep your consumption to “occasional” and definitely not every day! The best choice to quench your thirst is water or mineral water. One of the best ways to control overindulging in “Fructose” the sugar that fruit contains is to add water - start with 2/3 of a glass of juice and 1/3 water ultimately reducing to 50/50 fruit juice and water combination, and still make sure is the occasional treat! Another effective solution is to add vegetable juice which is not as high in sugar, but again make sure you dilute the cocktail with water.

Grapes are a great low GI, no mess, no fuss finger food to snack on between meals or pack in a lunch box for a delightful sweet treat that will help those blood sugar levels on an even keel. Low in kilojoules, sweet and juicy, they are a good source of vitamin C and have a fair amount of Potassium. Purple and red skinned varieties also have the added advantage of containing a protective anti-oxidants called anthocyanin, that has a number of added health benefits, including reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease. Grapes contain quercetin, a plant pigment that’s thought to regulate the level of blood cholesterol and also reduce the action of palettes, blood cells that are instrumental in forming clots.

Health Benefits

Grape skins contain a phytochemical called resveratrol that is linked to a reduction of heart disease as well as lowered risk of cancer. The good news is that it is not just the skin that contains all the benefits. Recent studies have shown that the skin, flesh and seeds all have heart protective properties.

Menu possibilities

Grapes are perfect for;

  • the lunch box

  • Anytime snack

  • Adding to a salad with mixed salad leaves, shredded chicken, walnuts, cucumber and red onion and your favourite vinaigrette.

  • Add to a fruit salad of strawberries, blue berries, rock melon and lychees. Serve with a dollop of unsweetened Greek Yoghurt and passionfruit pulp – just delicious!

  • Served with a cheese platter to keep the palate fresh.

  • As a topping for a Baked Italian Cheese Cake Torta di Ricotta - delicious!

Cooks tip – store your Grapes in the fridge (unwashed) but don’t forget to wash well before consumption.

...and remember...have a fabulous retirementLIFE....

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