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The Great Grape Confusion of National Wine Month

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With it being National Wine Month we have been learning more about those heart-healthy grapes that pack a dose of antioxidants. Although many people will raise of glass of wine, few understand the heart-health benefits that are found in grape juice.

In fact, a Porter Novelli Styles survey of more than 4,000 adults found that 66% of consumers know that their glass of vino is good for their heart but only a fraction of them connect the heart-health benefits of grapes in wine to the grapes used to make 100% grape juice. The survey also revealed a gap between consumers'?? awareness of the heart-health benefits of certain foods and their purchase habits.

Although we love our glass of wine, we also learned that wine isn't the only way to get those heart-healthy benefits. Casey Lewis, MS, RD, Welch'??s health and nutrition lead, filled us in on the various levels of grape science and how you can still get those benefits without a glass of vino.

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Momtrends: What are some heart-healthy foods and staples for a family?
Casey Lewis: Heart-healthy eating includes nutrient-packed foods, like whole grains and lean sources of protein, as well as low-fat dairy and plenty of vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, most people don't get enough fruits and vegetables every day. In particular, few people are getting enough purple and blue fruits and vegetables, which only account for about 3% of total produce intake. A diet rich in a wide variety of colorful produce, including purple and blue, helps ensure that you get a broad range of vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant nutrients.

Momtrends: What are the health benefits of grapes and grape juice?
Casey Lewis: Concord grapes and 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes are not only family favorites, but they can make it deliciously easy to add a boost of purple fruit to a heart-healthy diet. Each 4-ounce glass of 100% grape juice counts as 1 serving (1/2 cup) of fruit and contains no added sugar. To add to that, Concord grapes provide a mix of plant nutrients called polyphenols'??many of which are the same as those found in red wine. Not only do these polyphenols give Concord grapes their vibrant color, certain polyphenols can act as antioxidants and deliver benefits to help promote health. In fact, research suggests that thanks to the Concord grape, 100% grape juice can help support a healthy heart.

Momtrends: How does this compare to the benefits in wine?
Casey Lewis: While the alcohol in red wine has been shown to provide heart-health benefits, 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes can be an option for those that choose not to drink alcoholic beverages. Research suggests that, in addition to the alcohol, the polyphenols in red wine may play a role in supporting heart health, and many of these same polyphenols can also be found in grape juice made with Concord grapes. To build on that, over a decade'??s worth of research suggests that 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes can benefit the heart.

For more on the science behind the Concord grape'??s health benefits, including heart health and more,
be sure to check out

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