Discover the surprising health benefits of eating grapes and learn about the different varieties of grapes you can buy in the market.

By Doug Crichton
July 28, 2020
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The Power of Grapes

green grapes
Credit: Shutterstock

Grapes do more than look great on a cheese board. They’re also incredibly good for you:

  • Their natural melatonin may help you get a good night’s sleep.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin in grapes help protect your retina and eye lens, increase visual range, reduce discomfort from glare, and lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • One cup packs a quarter of your daily recommended vitamin C. This powerhouse vitamin helps with the production of collagen as well as mood-brightening serotonin.
  • One cup of grapes supplies about 2.5 ounces of water, which helps with hydration and healthy blood flow.

The Varieties of Grapes

Red grapes on the vine
Credit: California Table Grape Commission

Look for these in-season grapes at your grocery store or farmers market:

  • Concord: Dark purple, with a bold tart-yet-sweet flavor.
  • Cotton candy: Juicy, green, and sweet, these really will remind you of cotton candy.
  • Flame: Red, sweet, firm, and juicy — ideal for eating out of hand.
  • Moon drop: Almost black, oblong, crisp, and sweet.
  • Ruby: Deep red, oval, and juicy.
  • Thompson: Green (although they turn golden in the fall), with mild sweetness.

Bunches should have flexible green stems, and healthy grapes shouldn't have any odd spots or wrinkles. Wait to wash them until you're ready to use them.

girl holding grapes
Credit: Getty Images

The Glories of Grapes

  1. Grapes are great grilled. Try skewering multicolor grapes, grilling 2 minutes per side, and serving with your main dish.
  2. Their seeds are edible (once you get past the bitterness and crunch) and full of antioxidants.
  3. For a cool treat, freeze rinsed and dried grapes in a single layer at least 2 hours.
  4. For a fresh twist on salsa, chop grapes, red onion, cilantro, and a small jalapeño, then sprinkle with lime juice.

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2020 issue of Allrecipes Magazine.