Why do we always react to someone going into hospital by immediately going out and buying some flowers or some grapes? It has long been a tradition that these gifts will somehow help, cheer up or nurse a patient back to health. But is there anything truth in this?

Well it would appear some hospital trusts may be looking to ban such gifts as flowers due to concerns about spreading germs especially on wards where patients are particularly vulnerable. Aggravating allergies and taking up too much space are also reasons given. When undergoing treatment there is a lot of equipment around the bed, everything in an already limited space. So whilst it might appear at first "health and safety" over-reacting large bunches of flowers may not always be the most welcome gift.

But what about grapes, 1 of our 5 a day. Surely we are not saying no more grapes? 

It’s difficult to resist a luscious bunch of grapes placed in front of you and the good news is that these fruits are packed with essential nutrients and are almost medicinal due to various health benefits they provide. 

After all, people have been cultivating and eating them for thousands of years. Grapes of all colours contain a variety of antioxidants, are a great source of vitamins (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B and Folate) and essential minerals (Copper, Zinc, Calcium, Phosphorous, Iron and Selenium).

Along with their strong antioxidant support, grapes provide us with equally strong anti-inflammatory benefits. So a double benefit! But the good news doesn’t stop there. Research suggests eating grapes helps with the regulation of blood sugar levels, and provides both anti-aging and cognitive benefits too. So it would appear that it is not without reason that grapes are known as the queen of fruits. 

So this easy to eat, no need to peel fruit seems like an obvious choice when visiting someone in hospital. You just need to make sure you're the first one to visit or it may be a case of no more grapes!