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A grape is the fruit of a vine in the family Vitaceae. It is commonly used for making grape juice, jelly, wine, Grape seed oil and raisins, or can be eaten raw.
Approximately 71% of world grape production is used for wine, 27% as fresh fruit and 2% as dried fruit. A portion of grape production goes to producing grape juice to be used as a sweetener for fruits canned "with no added sugar" and "100% natural". 7926000 hectares of grapes are grown worldwide with the vineyard area increaseing by about 2% per year. Spain (3052), France (2260), Italy (2240), Turkey (1432), United States (971), China (888), Iran (744), Portugal (613), Romania (610) and Argentina (506) make up the top ten for vineyard area in the world, respectively [2001 data, figures in 000 acres].
Grapes are being extensively researched all over the world as a result of the "French Paradox" contrasting the diets of the French with those of other Western countries, particularly the United States. Despite the fact that the French eat substantially more animal fat, they have a significantly lower incidence of heart disease. Many scientists now believe the reason is the greater consumption of red wine in France. Compounds such as resveratrol have been discovered in grapes.
Resveratrol and other grape compounds have been positively linked to fighting cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease and other ailments.
Although many people incorrectly assume that red grapes have the most health benefits, the fact is that grapes of all colors have comparable benefits. Red wine has health benefits not found in white wine because many of these compounds are found in the skins of the grapes and only red wine is fermented with the skins.
Wild grapes are often considered a nuisance weed as they cover other plants and form thick entangling vines.
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