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8 Amazing Benefits of Grapes (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

8 Amazing Benefits of Grapes (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

A healthy and well-balanced diet is key to living life to the fullest. Amidst our busy lives; however, none of us really take the time to think about what we use to fuel our bodies. Are we eating the right kinds of food to get us through the day? Are we filling ourselves with the proper nutrients? For the majority of us, we probably aren’t. Fortunately, we can solve this problem one baby step at a time, starting with a step as simple as eating a few grapes a day.

Grapes, you ask? Is that it?

Well, no, it will not solve all of your diet problem. However, striving towards a healthy lifestyle begins with healthy eating. It is not so commonly known that in terms of nutritional value, grapes are some of the most delicious, nutritious, and versatile fruits you can come across.

For those who have not already been enlightened with the extensive health benefits of grapes, here are a few reasons you may want to throw a few in your shopping basket during your next grocery shop.

1.) Aids the treatment of acne

An antioxidant derived from grapes known as resveratrol can prevent the growth of acne-causing bacteria. According to experts, the antioxidant in grapes, combined with prescribed treatments for acne such as benzyl peroxide, can provide effective treatment against acne.

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2.) Promotes a healthy digestive system

The abundant presence of fiber and nutrients in grapes allow them to promote a healthy digestive system, assisting in the prevention of constipation and indigestion. A healthy intake of fiber promotes healthy bowel movement. For those lacking in daily fiber intake, grapes are a delicious and low GI way to fill those fiber needs.

3.) Grape seed extract

Grape seed extract (an industrial derivative of grape seeds) is abundant in therapeutic properties, such as the treatment of high cholesterol and the prevention of cancer. The inclusion of grape seed extract, as well as calcium, can improve bone strength and assist in the treatment of bone weakness from low calcium levels.

4.) Assists with management of asthma

A healthy and nutrient-filled diet has been proven to assist with the management of asthma. Studies show that children with a high consumption of fruits (such as grapes) are less likely to have asthma-like symptoms. A component in grape seed extract contains anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, studies have also shown that grape seed extract improves lung function and increases lung capacity.

5.) Assists with management of diabetes

An extract derived from the skin of grapes (grape skin extract) can be developed and used to aid the management of diabetes. Studies also show that the low GI nature of grapes and grape products can provide health benefits for individuals suffering type-2 diabetes. Due to their high nutritional content and low calorie count, professionals recommend red and black grapes for diabetics.

6.) Lowers the risk of heart disease

Studies suggest that the consumption of grapes or other polyphenols (abundant micronutrients) is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Grapes contain an extensive variety of polyphenol compounds (such as resveratrol). Daily intake of these nutrients assists with cardiovascular health.

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7.) Cancer prevention and longevity

Grapes contain powerful natural chemicals which provide a variety of everyday health benefits, and are even known to assist in the slowing or prevention of cancer. According to studies, these chemicals have the potential to stop the spread of cancer cells. It is also believed that several grape phytonutrients play a role in an individual’s longevity.

8.) Helps protect eyesight

Not only do grapes aid in the prevention of cancer and treatment of diabetes, they are also beneficial for healthy eyesight. Research suggests that regular grape consumption protects retinal structure and function, as well as preventing retinal deterioration.

Now, For Some Delicious Recipes

Grapes are nutritious, delicious, and so easy to incorporate into your diet. Traditionally eaten on their own, in a juice, fruit salad, or wine, it might come as a surprise that there are several other ways to incorporate nutrient-rich grapes into your everyday life.

1.) Mixed Greens with Grapes & Feta

Mixed Greens with Grapes & Feta
    Photo: patchofearth.com

    Salads are perfect for a classy first course or a healthier dinner choice. Add a few grapes in there for a delicious and nutritious alternative.

    Check out the recipe here.

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    2.) Seared Steak with Pan-Roasted Grape & Port Sauce

    Seared Steak with Pan-Roasted Grape & Port Sauce
      Photo: foodnetwork.com

      Impress your loved ones with a unique take on a steak roast dinner. Quick and enhanced with port wine and grape flavors, this is a sure-fire way to win over hearts at your weeknight dinner.

      Check out the recipe here.

      3.) Grape-Rosemary Focaccia

      grape foc close3
        Photo: mostlyfoodstuffs.blogspot.com

        Incorporating the perfectly balanced taste of sweet and savory grapes, this focaccia is the perfect snack or appetizer, perfect for any day of the week.

        Check out the recipe here.

        4.) Lighter Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad

        101_0117
          Photo: bakingwithblondie.blogspot.com

          Pasta salads filled with color and flavor variety provide the perfect means to spice up your food life. While they can often be filling, replacing heavy ingredients with lighter, low GI ingredients like grapes provides the perfect healthy alternative.

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          Check out the recipe here.

          5.) Grilled Antipasto Skewers

          Antipasto_From_Tall_Guy
            Photo: www.tallguyandagrill.com

            Skewers are everyone’s party favorite. They’re easy to make, easy to handle, and absolutely delicious. Make it your personal favorite by mixing in a few grapes.

            Check out the recipe here.

            Featured photo credit: wikimedia.org via upload.wikimedia.org

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            Elizabeth Andal

            Elizabeth is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips and lessons learned in life on Lifehack.

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            Last Updated on November 9, 2020

            10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

            10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

            Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

            Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

            Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

            If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

            Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

            1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

            Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

            Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

            Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

            2. No Motivation

            Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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            This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

            If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

            3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

            Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

            A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

            A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

            The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

            4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

            One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

            We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

            Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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            You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

            5. Upward Comparisons

            Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

            The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

            These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

            Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

            6. No Alternative

            This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

            Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

            Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

            Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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            7. Stress

            As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

            When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

            We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

            If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

            8. Sense of Failure

            People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

            Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

            Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

            If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

            9. The Need to Be All-New

            People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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            These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

            10. Force of Habit

            Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

            Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

            These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

            Final Thoughts

            These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

            There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

            More on Breaking Bad Habits

            Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
            [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
            [3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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