Muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifoliaMichx) is native to the south-eastern United States and was the first native grape species to be cultivated in North America. Muscadine grapes are late in breaking bud in the spring and require 100-120 days to mature fruit.
In colour the fruits range from greenish bronze through bronze, pinkish red, purple and almost black. The flavour and appearance of the dark coloured muscadine fruits are remarkably similar to the jaboticaba.
Muscadines are not only eaten fresh, but also are used in making wine, juice, and jelly. Muscadine grapes are rich sources of polyphenols and other nutrients studied for their potential health benefits.
A single grapevine can produce enough new growth every year to arch over a walk, roof an arbor, form a leafy wall, or provide an umbrella of shade over deck or terrace. Skins and seeds are often used in food supplements and nutraceutical products.
The purple variety packs even more punch with the antioxidant, anthocyanin, in the purple pigment. Studies in humans have shown improved antioxidant capacity when grape seed supplement is added to the diet, as well as improvements in blood vessel function.
However, the studies did not specifically include muscadine grapes, which have extremely high levels of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds when compared to other fruits.
Muscadine grapes are rich sources of polyphenols and other nutrients studied for their potential health benefits.
Gallic acid, catechin and epicatechin are the major phenolics in seeds, while ellagic acid, myricetin, quercetin, kaempferol, and trans-resveratrol were the major phenolics in the skins.
In research, resveratrol demonstrated the ability to improve the dilation of blood vessels, which may allow blood to flow more easily through blood vessels.
It has also been shown to relax the walls of the blood vessels, making their diameter larger, thereby lowering blood pressure, and allowing a higher volume of blood to flow through all areas of the body, delivering increased oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells.
Grapes also help in reducing the acidity of uric acid and also try to eliminate the acid from the system which results in the reduction of pressure on the kidneys.