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#eatclean: How Instagram is fueling the healthy-living brand boom …

Planning to try that hot new aqua-yoga class or eyeing a subscription to that organic food delivery service? Chances are you first discovered it on Instagram, just like Melody Lowe, an Austin-based copywriter, who learned about the Whole30 diet on the platform.

“One of the hardest things is planning your meals,” said Lowe. “But Whole30 is great, the community is so engaged, and you never run out of ideas.”

The rise of Instagram has prompted some of the biggest shifts in the health and fitness industry in recent years, fueling a legion of new brands from meal plans like Whole30 and delivery services like Sakara Life to fitness programs like Bikini Body Guide and boutique fitness brands like ModelFIT. These brands have managed to elbow their way into the mainstream by catering to evolving priorities in health and fitness, as well as by employing an unconventional approach to digital marketing focused on user-generated content, a grassroots influencer approach and by cultivating dedicated communities on platforms like Instagram.

“Social media has catapulted the fitness and healthy-eating craze,” said Stephen Boidock, director of marketing at Austin-based agency Drumroll. “Until a few years ago, people learned about the latest workout or plan in the magazines, but now they more likely than not found it on Instagram.”

Changing attitudes
A major reason for the rise of these brands is the huge shift in American attitudes toward diet and fitness in general. The definition of health and fitness is no longer focused on fixing what is wrong and losing weight but rather on overall wellness, nutrition and betterment. Instead of subscribing to restrictive diets, consumers are actively choosing to incorporate fitness into their day-to-day lives. Instead of pushing weight-loss goals, healthy living embraces a body-positive attitude.

“In the past, health was about fixing sickness and very much driven by doctors and health authorities. Then it went into ‘wellness,’ which was about being balanced and living well,” said Alison Earl, strategy director at Burns Group, who also heads up its internal think tank, BG Hatch. “Now, health is about status and self-enrichment.”



In fact, according to a yet-to-be-released report on health by JWT Intelligence, the trend-forecasting arm of J. Walter Thompson, 43 percent of the respondents said that when they think about “health,” they also think about mindfulness, said Shepherd Laughlin, director at JWT Intelligence. This may seem like a low number but is significant, he said, “considering that we only just started talking about ‘mindfulness’ a few years ago.”

People are also moving away from traditional gyms. According to the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, from September 2016, the use of traditional pieces of fitness equipment has declined in recent years. Instead, people, especially those between the ages of 18 and 34 are a leading force in the growth of boutique fitness studios.

It is no surprise then that programs like Whole30, which specifically instructs participants to not use the weighing scale, and Sakara Life, a meal delivery service that encourages consumers to make healthy eating a lifestyle change, are becoming so popular.

“Even we tried juice cleanses and yo-yo dieting before realizing that we couldn’t live between extremes,” said Whitney Tingle, co-founder of Sakara Life, on why she and her co-founder Danielle DuBoise founded the company. “We wanted to push the broader societal transition to a more healthy lifestyle, rather than just cater to it.”

Using Instagram as a marketing channel
Health and fitness have also become a more integrated part of people’s social lives over the past few years. Social media platforms like Instagram have emerged as huge outlets for everyone to post their exercise routines, healthy meals and weight loss journeys.

Just take a quick glance at your feed, and you’re bound to find at least a few mentions of hashtags like #bbg, #fitfam or #whole30. Health and fitness today is as much about broadcasting your journey on social media as it is about following the diet.

“Experiences — including health experiences — are very important to how people define themselves now,” said JWT Intelligence’s Laughlin. “Before social media, fitness was about what your body looked like at the end of the process, but today, people share every step along the way, from selfies at the gym to yoga poses and even photos of their post-workout smoothies.”

This is something that brands like Whole30 and Sakara realize, and have actively furthered in their marketing, especially on Instagram. Both Whole30 co-founder Hartwig and Sakara co-founder Tingle credit Instagram with organically helping propel their brands forward. Whole30 has 1.3 million followers on its accounts @whole30, @whole30recipes and @whole30approved combined, with over 2.4 million photos tagged with the hashtag #whole30 itself (up from 1 million in August 2015). Meanwhile, Sakara Life has over 85,000 followers on its account @sakaralife.

Both brands use Instagram to directly engage with existing consumers online and build connections with new ones. Whole30’s @whole30recipes handle, for example, is a mosaic of user-generated content, consisting of weekly takeovers from members of its community who share their own recipes and recipe hacks. “They’ve done an exceptional job of understanding their audience and catering to their needs in terms of their content,” said Lowe, copywriter at agency Drumroll, who has done the program three times herself. “It is very relatable, and getting support and comments from people on your posts is very encouraging.”

Just shared my #whole30 survival guide on the blog! Link in profile, friends.

A post shared by Melody Lowe @MustacheMelrose (@mustachemelrose) on Mar 7, 2017 at 8:55pm PST

They also don’t shy away from highlighting their consumers in order to build credibility. Sakara Life, for instance, has a feature called S-Life Mag, where it shares influential stories from its consumers.“We don’t have a storefront or big advertising dollars, so Instagram is the most important channel for us to reach people, spread awareness and build community,” said Sakara’s Tingle.

In a sign of how much traction these brands have gained on the platform, some of their more popular fans have ended up launching businesses in their own right. One of them is Elianne Alexander, a 34-year-old mother of two who started the Bikini Body Guide two years ago, gathered a sizable following and has recently launched her own program FitWithBAE. Alexander has worked with brands ranging from U.K. athleisure brand Sweaty Betty to Bliss Spa.

“The Instagram fitness community may seem very large, but it actually isn’t,” she said. “One of the most important reasons many of these brands have exploded on Instagram is because of the community aspect.”

It is this community aspect, paired with a generational shift in thinking about health, that will perhaps sustain these brands long-term, despite criticism that there are far too many of such brands with too niche a focus. Many of them are also adding to the cult of their classes and programs with more revenue-boosting lines such as clothing, food and cafes to safeguard their future. Whole30’s Hartwig, for example, has her eyes set on the health startup space and has personally invested in several startups, including Nutpods and Kettle Fire Bone Broth.

“What makes these brands successful is how the users relate to them,” said Drumroll’s Boidock. “They empower their influencers, who are their biggest currency, and are even enabling those influencers to become brands in their own right.”

Article source: https://digiday.com/marketing/eatclean-instagram-fueled-boutique-health-fitness-industry/

Healthy Living Conference offers aging advice

The Hampton Roads Coalition of Agencies is hosting its 21st annual Healthy Living Conference, “Navigating the Summit,” on April 6. The event intends to educate people 50 and older on ways to flourish through the aging process.

Topics will include prescription drug use and staying active to offset the effects of growing older. The keynote speaker is Dr. Joan Vernikos, a former director of life sciences for NASA and author of “Sitting Kills, Moving Heals.”

Community service providers will be on site with additional information for seniors. A healthy cooking demonstration will also take place and complimentary continental breakfast will be provided.

The event runs 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 6 at the King of Glory Lutheran Church. Admission is free and space is limited. Those interested in attending can pre-register through Friday by calling 757-890-3883 or visiting aarp.cvent.com/Williamsburg4617VA online.

Article source: http://www.vagazette.com/news/va-vg-aging-conference-0329-20170329-story.html

Healthy Living: March 28, 2017 UPDATED

Healthy Living: March 28, 2017

Depression and Diet: Does What You Eat Impact Your Mental Health?
By: Dr. David Prescott – Acadia Hospital

Depression is estimated to impact more than 350 million people worldwide, and is one of the leading global causes of disability. Psychotherapy and anti-depressant medications have proven to be effective in helping many people with depression, yet these treatments are not universally available, nor universally effective.
Mental health researchers have started to examine the relationship between diet and depression. Preliminary results suggest that what you eat may be important in maintaining good mental health, and that diet may be a useful addition to standard treatment approaches for depression.
What Types of Food Might be Effective in Reducing Depression? It should first be emphasized that the state of the research between depression and diet is preliminary. Large studies with proper controls have yet to be performed. However, suggestions from researchers about dietary habits that appear promising in reducing depression include:
1. “Traditional” dietary habits such as Mediterranean, Norwegian, or Japanese: There is some evidence that these traditional diets, often high in fruits, vegetables, fish, and plant based foods, may be beneficial in combatting depression. One possible pathway by which these dietary approaches help is that they appear to increase levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which tends to be low in people with depression.

2. Increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, wholegrain cereals, nuts, and seeds. Not only may eating these types of foods be helpful in reducing depression in the general population, but some research has suggested that particular groups of people at higher risk for depression, such as people with diabetes, may especially benefit.

3. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids: Fish, such as salmon, light tuna, and sardines, are often identified as good sources of certain healthy types of fatty acids. People with coronary artery disease, who are also at higher risk for depression, have been identified as a group where eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may improve both physical and mental health.

4. Limited intake of processed foods, ‘fast’ foods, commercial bakery goods, and sweets: Several different potential pathways, in the blood, brain, and other physiological systems, have been identified as potentially increasing the risk of depression in people who eat high levels of processed or commercially baked foods. For example, diets high in these types of foods may lead to immune system responses which are associated with increased levels of depression.

Will Dietary Interventions Replace Psychotherapy or Anti-depressant Medication? In a word, no, at least not based on current scientific evidence. However, interventions such as changing typical food choices or increasing moderately vigorous exercise, may be important adjuncts to traditional treatments for depression, which are psychotherapy and anti-depressant medication.
The Mind-Body Interaction: People with chronic illnesses, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and others, are at higher statistical risk for being clinically depressed. As with most areas of medicine, scientists and researchers are finding more and more evidence that ‘psychological’ interventions can help with physical illness, and ‘physical’ interventions, like diet, can help with psychological illness.
The exact mechanisms through which changes in diet might help are not well understood. It could be that improving your diet helps bolster your sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy, both important in combatting depression. Or, certain dietary habits may promote the development of neurotransmitters which are involved in the development of depression. Perhaps healthy diets may reduce the intensity of chronic physical ailments, which are associated with developing depression.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
American Psychological Association: www.apa.org http://www.apa.org or www.apa.org/news/psycport/ http://www.apa.org/news/psycport/
National Institute of Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/chronic-illness-mental-health/index.shtml

Article source: https://wabi.tv/2017/03/28/healthy-living-march-28-2017/

EarthCraft-certified Organic Life House teaches Atlanta agrihood residents about healthy living

An American agrihood making waves with its sustainable living movement turned heads again with the completion of the first Organic Life House early this year. Located on the outskirts of Atlanta, Ga., the Serenbe community teamed up with Rodale’s Organic Life Magazine to build an EarthCraft-certified demonstration home to teach residents and visitors about healthy living and eco-friendly building practices. Constructed from natural materials, the 6,000-square-foot dwelling draws energy from renewable geothermal and solar sources and features a variety of wellness-promoting spaces.

Organic Life House at Serenbe, EarthCraft certified homes, Organic Life House by JP Curran, eco-friendly housing in agrihoods, agrihood sustainable architecture

Designed by architect J.P. Curran and built by Bobby Webb, the Organic Life House is a four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home that promotes wellness and connection with the outdoors. In addition to the use of natural materials throughout the home, the stone-clad Serenbe house reinforces its ties with nature with views of the preserved woods, edible and medicinal gardens, and a series of outdoor spaces like the labyrinth and multiple porches. Thoughtful choices for the neutral-toned interior, from the flooring to window treatments, create a healthy indoor environment promoting wellness and relaxation. Tall ceilings, ample natural light, and warm textures create a homey feel.

Organic Life House at Serenbe, EarthCraft certified homes, Organic Life House by JP Curran, eco-friendly housing in agrihoods, agrihood sustainable architecture

“The partnership between Serenbe and Organic Life is the perfect collaboration,” says Steve Nygren, founder of Serenbe. “We are both dedicated to helping people enjoy well-balanced lives that are in tune with their environment and community. The Organic Life House will be an exciting opportunity to introduce the Serenbe lifestyle to the Rodale audience and show how they can apply these practices in their own homes.”

Related: America’s first urban ‘agrihood’ feeds 2,000 households for free

Organic Life House at Serenbe, EarthCraft certified homes, Organic Life House by JP Curran, eco-friendly housing in agrihoods, agrihood sustainable architecture

The Organic Life House expands on the Serenbe mission to serve as an inspiring leader for agrihoods and wellness communities, and was the first home to break ground in the 1,000-acre community’s newest neighborhood, Mado. Like Serenbe’s other energy-efficient homes, the Organic Life House features renewable energy systems like geothermal heating and cooling as well as energy-saving appliances. The home also includes a yoga and meditation studio, saltwater lap pool, and hot tub.

+ Organic Life House

Images by J. Ashley Photography

Organic Life House at Serenbe, EarthCraft certified homes, Organic Life House by JP Curran, eco-friendly housing in agrihoods, agrihood sustainable architecture

Organic Life House at Serenbe, EarthCraft certified homes, Organic Life House by JP Curran, eco-friendly housing in agrihoods, agrihood sustainable architecture

Organic Life House at Serenbe, EarthCraft certified homes, Organic Life House by JP Curran, eco-friendly housing in agrihoods, agrihood sustainable architecture

Organic Life House at Serenbe, EarthCraft certified homes, Organic Life House by JP Curran, eco-friendly housing in agrihoods, agrihood sustainable architecture

Article source: http://inhabitat.com/earthcraft-certified-organic-life-house-teaches-atlanta-agrihood-residents-about-healthy-living/

Healthy Living: Learn to better manage your asthma

As an asthma self-management coach working with patients in our region, I see how difficult the disease can be for individuals, children and families. Yet, I’ve also seen how proper education can really help people cope.

Asthma is not a temporary or sporadic event but a persistent condition. However, most people can manage their illness and enjoy a full life without restrictions.

In my work with patients at local schools and throughout the community, I see barriers preventing patients and families from fully understanding their condition, and this, in many cases, leads to unnecessary suffering.

Asthma can be managed best when people know their internal and environmental triggers. Those triggers include dust, pollen, smoke, strong emotions, mites, cold and flu and more. It is important to understand these triggers and take preventative measures.

There are other ways to fight asthma, too. In my interventions with patients, many were initially very afraid of using inhaled steroids due to concerns about potential addiction or dependence. Parents of young children are often especially concerned. Through asthma education classes and one-on-one follow-up, these doubts have been reduced, and fears and myths about inhaled steroids overcome.

These types of educational programs can significantly reduce severe asthma attacks for many patients. Netter education and knowledge on proper use of medications can reduce emergency room visits, saving money for families and our overall health care system.

In school-based programs, many students are receiving enrichment classes about asthma. It is encouraging and heartwarming to see how these pupils react to the information. Most of them are very enthusiastic about learning how to better manage their asthma.

Interestingly, studies have indicated that a population group most affected by asthma is the hispanic community and, in particular, the Puerto Rican population. In my interventions in the community, it appears that a language barrier is contributing to a lack of disease knowledge for some people. For example, it is hard to correctly use a medication if you cannot read the instructions.

I sometimes accompany patients when they go to see their primary doctor or specialist and I see the language barrier firsthand. It is part of my job to help bridge this communication gap, helping different patients better communicate with their physicians, as well as other community agencies that can provide help.

As an example, there is a program called Breath Well/Respira Bien in New London that is available to help patients.

I hope this column will encourage patients and families throughout our region to pursue the information that can help you and your loved ones best cope with asthma and allergies.

Jennifer Lemus is an asthma self-management coach at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.

Article source: http://www.norwichbulletin.com/entertainmentlife/20170327/healthy-living-learn-to-better-manage-your-asthma

‘We All Eat’ event offers tips, tasting for healthy living

Curious about pressure cooking? Not sure what to do with that cast iron skillet? Need a few healthy recipes? The first “We All Eat” event has you covered.

The free community event takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Sedgwick County Extension Office. It is sponsored by the Health and Wellness Coalition of Wichita.

“At this hands-on event, all participants will leave with doable ideas for making healthy eating a bigger part of their lives,” Tammi Krier, healthy eating director at the YMCA, said in a release.

More than 50 organizations will share about incorporating healthy choices into different areas of life. The event will include giveaways, panels and activities, all about healthy eating.

Article source: http://www.kansas.com/living/health-fitness/article141087918.html

Mayor’s Neighborhood Expo focuses on healthy living – WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

On Saturday, the La Crosse community converged in the La Crosse Center for the 4th Annual La Crosse Mayor’s Neighborhood Expo.

This year’s expo was titled, “Living Well in the City: Together We Can.”

The neighborhood expo gave community members the chance to learn more about the work community members are doing to promote healthy lifestyles.

One of the breakout sessions addressed the topic of locally-sourced food in schools.

The Farm2School movement focuses on eating food grown locally.

“We want to make the healthy food choices the easiest for kids to get,” said Lyn Halvorson, supervisor of school nutrition programs in La Crosse schools.

In some schools, healthy eating starts in the backyard with a school garden.

“The biggest joy that we get is from the kids starting the seeds, putting it in the garden, working to see how it grows,” Halvorson said. “Then we harvest, some of our staff help them harvest it. We bring it into our kitchens, clean it up and prepare it, so it really comes full circle.”

She says it is important to start kids eating healthy when they are young.

“If we can establish really healthy lifelong eating habits, we’re going to have a healthy generation,” she said.

Community organizations have joined together to bring kids healthier food options.

“All of the community members and all of the different people bringing their passions together for one purpose, and that’s to have a healthier community,” Halvorson said.

The kids might not always like the food they grow, but Halvorson says it is important to keep exposing the kids to new foods.

“Food is such an integral part of learning, and so I feel like the school nutrition program is important in developing kids so that they’re ready to learn when they go in the classroom,” Halvorson said.

The Neighborhood Expo celebrated healthy living, and healthy living could begin around the table.

“The living well in the city together is trying to have a comprehensive look. It is a healthy place, it’s a wonderful place. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for, and the expo is all about trying to highlight that,” said La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat.

Other breakout sessions discussed resources for all age groups living in La Crosse and the concept of Third Places.

Although neighborhood associations represented some of the vendors at the Neighborhood Expo, businesses from La Crosse and the surrounding areas showcased their work as well. 

Mayor Kabat said the Neighborhood Expo recognizes individuals working to make La Crosse a better place.

“If you care about the place where you live and work, that responsibility for its success is partly on you, and this is a whole event and a whole room full of folks who take that responsibility very seriously and do all kinds of great things for people,” he said.

Mayor Kabat said the Neighborhood Expo offered a comprehensive look at many aspects of healthy living in La Crosse, as it is more than a single person or group that makes it possible.

The Annual Neighborhood Expo makes Mayor Kabat accessible to the public, giving them a chance to speak with him personally.

Article source: http://www.wxow.com/story/34998415/2017/03/25/mayors-neighborhood-expo-focuses-on-healthy-living

Thomasville parks designed to promote relationships, healthy living

THOMASVILLE — Thomasville’s peaceful, picturesque green spaces belie the planning and ongoing efforts to maintain and improve the facilities.

A MacIntyre Park improvement plan is under way. A Weston Park project involves city officials and a steering committee meeting weekly to plan and gather feedback from park users and people who live nearby.

“The same type of workshop is planned for Paradise Park in the fall,” Lynn Williams, assistant city manager/communications and marketing, said. Paradise is an 18-acre park established in downtown Thomasville in the late 1880s during the town’s Victorian era heyday.

“The City of Thomasville is responsible for administering the LOST (Local Option Sales Tax) funding for city and Thomas County recreation,” Williams explained.

Thomasville YMCA Inc. manages fields and programming for recreational facilities.

The 2017 countywide recreation budget is $1.75 million.

Cold and wind did not prevent Moultrie and Cairo women from taking their children to Cherokee Lake Park on a recent afternoon.

The women are friends and meet at Cherokee Lake Park — halfway between their homes — to visit and let their children play together.

“We like it all,” Julie Bumgardner, of Moultrie, said about the park. Bumgardner particularly likes the picnic area, playground and trail around the lake.

Amber Mangini, of Cairo, agrees. She also likes the covered picnic area and the lake.

Mangini said park restrooms that are unlocked are convenient for people with small children.

“People love Cherokee Park,” Williams said. 

The park provides opportunities for family and friends to gather and promotes healthy living and overall better health, she added.

Thomasville has:

• 307.25 acres of parks

• Nine city parks/playgrounds — Balfour Park, Cherokee Lake Park, Francis Weston Park, MacIntyre Park, Northside Park, Paradise Park, Remington Park, Wallet Park, Flipper Park

• Walking trails — Cherokee Lake, one mile; Community Trail in progress, 1.65 miles

• Baseball fields – Francis Weston Park, 1; Remington Park (YMCA), 13; Varnedoe Park, 2; Northside Park, 1

• Soccer fields – Remington Park (YMCA), 3 full size that convert to 6 youth-size fields

• Multipurpose – Remington Park (YMCA), 3 used for football and youth soccer

Picnic sites, tables, pavilions:

• Balfour Park – Covered shelter, picnic tables, grill, restrooms

• Big Oak (Elizabeth Ireland Poe Park) – Gazebo and lawn

• Cassidy Road Park – Sheltered picnic area

• Cherokee Lake – Covered shelters and pavilions, grills, restrooms

• Francis Weston Park – Covered pavilions, picnic tables, restrooms

• MacIntyre Park – Picnic tables

• Paradise Park – Gazebo, grills, covered shelters, picnic tables

• Remington Park – Picnic tables, grills, restrooms

• Flipper Park – Picnic table

• Wayside Park – Picnic tables

• Rest-A-While Park – Picnic table

Tennis courts:

• Balfour Park, 1; Remington Park, 2 regulation tennis, 3 pickle ball court

Public waterways, ponds

• Cassidy Road Pond – No boats, fishing from pier only

• Cherokee Lake – Small electric motor boats allowed, multiple piers

Public swimming pools:

• YMCA Butler-Mason and Francis Weston YMCAs

Dog parks:

• Balfour Park/ City of Thomasville Dog Park has separate pens for small, medium and large dogs, each with running water. Pooper scooper bags are supplied. For real exercise, dogs can try out the obstacle course.

• Basketball courts — Francis Weston Park, Northside Park, Remington Park, Wall Park, Francis Weston YMCA Public Court, Varnedoe Park, Flipper Park

• Disc golf – MacIntyre Park

• Country Oaks Municipal Golf Course

• Skateboarding course – Remington Park

Thomas County cities population:

• Barwick — 386

• Boston — 1,315

• Coolidge — 526

• Meigs — 1,032

• Ochlocknee — 605

• Pavo — 607

• Thomasville — 19,340

Article source: http://www.valdostadailytimes.com/community/thomasville-parks-designed-to-promote-relationships-healthy-living/article_7c1ac116-5b40-5463-a2f4-be5ded748a91.html

Healthy Living Expo showcases exercise, food and more | Grand …

Kaija Dockter, 16, was one of several who visited the Choice booth to go through the basic steps of TRX Rip Training, an exercise regimen which makes use of a bar and elastic cable to increase mobility and strength. Choice personal trainer Zeb Miller led the demonstration and said the training method was suitable for fitness-minded people of any age and ability level.

Article source: http://www.grandforksherald.com/lifestyles/health/4240712-healthy-living-expo-showcases-exercise-food-and-more

Eat Organic Grapes for a Healthy Brain and Heart

Grapes provide a delicious burst of juicy sweetness, whether they are red, green or purple. This tiny fruit has been found to maintain heart health, improve memory and contain a “magical” ingredient for youthful vitality.

Health Benefits 

Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation occurs naturally in the body to help protect tissues from injury and irritation, and it’s helpful in eliminating damaged cells. When chronic inflammation develops, it can cause cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis, autoimmune and pulmonary diseases. The polyphenols in grapes have been shown to help decrease chronic inflammation

Improves Memory

The memory of older adults was found to improve in a clinical study of 12 weeks where they drank concord grape juice, from purple grapes.

Cancer Fighting Food

There are anticancer constituents in grape skins, seeds and raisins (sultanas and currants).

This is because grapes have a high amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, which help to fight chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Breast, colon and pancreatic cancers in particular respond to these nutrients, according to research.

Grape extracts can adjust colon cancer cells malignancy, according to a study at the University of Milan.  Also, researchers found that grape skin extract has a positive effect against breast cancer.

Helps Keep Your Heart Strong

Consumption of resveratrol-rich grape extract had protective benefits for the heart in coronary artery disease patients in a study.

Helps with Anti-Aging

Grapes contain resveratrol, a stilbene phytonutrient that has been found to help extend life. Resveratrol is often referred to as the ‘fountain of youth’.

Antifungal Benefits

Grape juice, skin and seed extracts have been found to play an important part in a healthy gut, keeping Candida albicans in check, according to studies.

Grapes

Grapes growing

 History

  • Grapes have grown wild since prehistoric time.
  • Cultivation began 6000-6500 BC in the far east.
  • Around 4000 BC they arrived in the Nile Delta.
  • By 3000 BC the Greeks and Phoenicians brought the grapevine to Sicily, southern Italy, Spain and France.
  • By 1700 BC King Hammurabi of Babylon established wine trade rules.
  • There are many biblical stories where there is reference to the “fruit of the vine.”
  • They are also pictured in hieroglyphics in ancient Egyptian burial tombs.
  • Grapes arrived in the United States in the 17th century, planted at Spanish missions in the Southwest.

Grape Trivia

  • They have been around since biblical times, being one of the oldest fruits to be cultivated.
  • Now, the world produces over 72 million tons of grapes. The largest food industry in the world is growing grapes.
  • There are more than 8000 varieties of grapes.
  • On the average, a person eats eight pounds of grapes a year.
  • An acre of grapes can produce about 15,000 glasses of wine.
  • Grapes are actually berries.
  • Less than 10 percent of grapes are grown in the U.S. are organic.

Above from Arizona Education.

Please Note

Non-organic grapes are grown with many pesticides. Every year they show up on the Dirty Dozen list by the Environmental Working Group. Even after they are washed, pesticide residues remained, so it’s important to always buy organic grapes.

Nutrition

Grapes are a very good source of phytonutrients, vitamin K, copper and vitamin B2. And one cup of fresh grapes has only 104 calories!  For more grape nutrient information go to Nutrition Data.

Eating Grapes 

Always select grapes (plump and free of wrinkles) that are fully ripe to get the best tasting ones full of valuable nutrients. They should be intact, firmly attached to the stem and not leaking juice.

Always wash them under cold running water right before eating, or use a fruit and veg rinse if they aren’t organic. For the ones you are not going to eat right away, it is best to keep them on the stem in clusters, using scissors to separate small clusters of grapes. This keeps them from drying out.

Sometimes a recipe calls for peeled grapes; see if leaving the skin would really change the taste as grape skin contains many valuable nutrients.

To get the maximum nutrients, it is best to eat them fresh and not cooked, as high temperatures can damage some of the exceptional phytonutrients found in this tiny fruit.

Grapes

Delicious Grape Green Smoothie

How To Get Grapes Into Our Diet:

Eat a snack of the fresh fruit, jams, jellies, dried into raisins, crushed for juice or wine and grape seed oil.

Here are two recipes to get you started.

Delicious Grape Green Smoothie

Sweet Grape Juice Freshly Made in a Blender

Related
13 Health Benefits of Oranges
Health Benefits of Papaya, ‘Fruit of the Angels’
Grapefruit, Not Just For Weight Loss Anymore

Article source: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/eat-organic-grapes-for-a-healthy-brain-and-heart.html