By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – While some people like to drink in a bit of the grape on New Year’s Eve, there’s also a tradition of eating a dozen grapes at midnight, just as the clock strikes 12:00, one for good luck in each month of the New Year. But, even if you forgot last night, why not eat grapes on New Year’s Day?

Grapes, which grow on the plant Vitis vinifera, have been consumed for thousands of years not only because they make tasty and intoxicating wine and champagne for parties, but also because they’re good for you any day of the year.

Cultivated since ancient times, modern medicine is now touting the health benefits of grapes – particularly blue varieties – since studies show that the antioxidants and phenolics in the fruit, including the skin and seeds, help fight heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and even protect against bacterial infections and slow the aging process.

So, go ahead and enjoy some grapes for good luck and good health – and maybe even plant some yourself in the New Year.