Although grapes are most popular for their use in winemaking, they’re also excellent tabletop fruits. They come in a variation of colors from red to green to purple and sometimes even yellow. There are over ten thousand kinds of grapes but they all have the sweet tart taste.
If you‘re going to eat grapes as a snack, you may want to confirm if they have seeds or not. So, do grapes have seeds? Yes. Grapes have seeds, but most of those commercially available today are seedless. That’s why you’ll be pressed to find a seeded grape next time you go grocery shopping. Grapes with seeds are much more common in farmer’s markets and wine-country where they are in higher demand.
Like other fruits, most grape varieties originally had seeds. Over time, farmers discovered a genetically mutated grapevine that grew seedless grapes. The mutation also prevented the hard exterior of grapes from forming. It was subsequently propagated because of its commercial appeal — seedless fruits are easier to consume, juice, and use for other means.
There are over 12 varieties of seedless grapes, but most commercially available ones are obtained from one of three types: the Thompson seedless, the Russian seedless, and the Black Monukka.
Can You Eat Grape Seeds?
If you’re able to find grapes with seeds, your next challenge will be enjoying them. While you can consume grape seeds without side effects, the seeds are crunchy and bitter, quite different from the pleasant taste of the grapes themselves. This is why seedless grapes are so popular.
Grape seeds are small, pear-shaped, and concentrated in the middle of the fruit, much like you have with other crops. Most grape varieties have seeds as small as half a centimeter. As a result, it’s easy to chew one when eating a grape mistakenly. However, you don’t have to spit it out if you can bear the bitterness because it doesn’t have any harmful effects.
Are Grape Seeds Good for You?
Yes, grape seeds are good for you. So much so that several supplements and seed oil extracts have been gotten from grape seeds. These seeds are rich in what’s known as proanthocyanidins, which are antioxidants.
Antioxidants protect the body in several ways, including reducing inflammation and reducing tissue damage by mopping up free radicals. Polyanthocyanidins can also reduce swelling and improve blood flow. Other helpful compounds found in grape seeds include flavonoids, melatonin, and gallic acid.
Grape seeds are used to make dietary supplements like Grape Seed Extract (GSE), which is favored for its helpful effects on blood circulation. GSE is made by extracting seeds from grapes, drying, and grinding them.
Some people also buy grape seeds whole to prepare teas and tinctures since they contain the same helpful compounds as GSE.
Can Grape Seeds be Harmful to your Health?
In rare cases, consuming excess grape seeds can be harmful, especially for people on blood thinners. Because grape seeds have effects on blood circulation, they may cause bleeding. The side effects may be exaggerated in people taking GSE since they contain higher concentrations of the compounds found in seeds.
Besides Seeded and Seedless, How Else are Grapes Classified?
Grapes are mostly classified as wine grapes or table grapes based on their use. Table grapes are eaten as is or used to make grape juice, and wine grapes are used to make wine. Even though these grapes belong to the same species, they are different, thanks to selective cultivation and breeding.
Table grapes usually have large, seedless fruits and relatively thin skin. This maximizes the consumption pleasure that you get when you eat them. Wine grapes, on the other hand, have seeds and thick skins. Their thick skins are critical to the winemaking process as they contribute to the aroma. Wine grape seeds are used to make GSE, the dietary supplement.
Table grapes and wine grapes are also harvested at different times. To maximize their sweetness, wine grapes are harvested when their sugar content is about a fourth of the overall grape’s weight. Table grapes, on the other hand, are harvested at 15% sugar content.
Are Grapes Berries?
By definition, grapes are berries because a berry has a flashy body, is without a stone, and is produced from a flower with one ovary. The controversy arises because berries don’t have a stone, and some grapes have a hard and inedible pit in the middle.
The classification of berries is interesting because fruits like bananas and tomatoes fit the definition. They don’t have a stone and are produced from a flower with one ovary. However, calling a banana a berry would be ridiculous. This contrasts with the strawberry, which has ‘berry’ in its name but isn’t an actual berry.
What Else Can You Do with Grapes?
Grapes are also used to make raisins, currants, and sultanas which are used to prepare various kinds of dishes. While they are processed in similar ways, raisins, currants, and sultans differ by nomenclature and use. The term raisin is gotten from a French root and refers to any dried grape.
Currants are dried grapes, specifically from the Zante Black Corinth. The name is also taken from a French root.
Sultans are raisins made from red or white grapes that have been bleached to resemble the traditional sultana grape.
Raisins, currants, and sultans are used in recipes all over the world to cook meals like sautéed spinach, pasta, and even salads.
What Kind of Grapes are Best?
Both seeded and seedless grapes have their merits. However, one may be better for you, depending on your preferences. Seeded grapes are more nutritious and better-tasting. They are cultivated for high sugar content, and their seeds are packed with antioxidants. Seedless grapes, on the other hand, are more enjoyable to consume raw. They are also used to make grape juice.
- Grapes have both seeded and seedless varieties.
- There are over 12 seedless grapes, but most ones sold come from one of three categories.
- Grape seeds are crunchy, bitter, and edible.
- Grape seeds have tremendous health benefits and have been used to make health supplements.
- Grape seeds can have adverse health effects if consumed in excess.
- Grapes are technically berries.
- Grapes are classified as table grapes or wine grapes.
- Wine grapes are sweeter, but table grapes are more enjoyable when eaten raw.
- Grapes are used to make raisins, currants, and sultans, which are used in cooking recipes.
- All types of grapes have their benefits.