Skip to main content

Why to eat Grape Leaves ?


Grape leaves are a staple in the cuisine of Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Turkey and Lebanon. In these countries, grape leaves are typically steamed and stuffed with rice, ground meat, vegetables and herbs. In a sense, they are as important in the Mediterranean diet as tortillas are in Mexican cuisine, except grape leaves are lower in fat and higher in some nutrients. You can find grape leaves in smaller ethnic grocery stores, and you can be buy them raw, canned or bottled.

Cuisine

Grape leaves are part of Mediterranean cuisine because grape vines thrive in the region. Grapes are made into red and white wines, whereas the leaves have developed into convenient and nutritious wrap for tasty finger foods. In Greece, rice, minced meat, parsley and spices wrapped in grape leaves are called "dolmathes," whereas a similar dish cooked in tomato sauce is called "warak diwali" in Arabic countries. Grape leaves are slightly bitter and not especially appetizing if you eat them raw, which is why they are not typically added to salads. However, once steamed or lightly marinated in some vinegar, grape leaves become much more palatable.

Low in Calories, Fat and Sugar

Like many other leafy greens such as spinach, grape leaves are very low in calories because they contain virtually no fat and almost no digestible carbohydrates or sugar. A handful of grape leaves has less than 30 calories, which is probably less energy than it takes for you to chew, swallow and digest them. Due to the lack of sugar, grape leaves have a very low glycemic index of nearly zero. The glycemic index is a measure of how a food impacts your blood sugar levels and insulin secretion. Consequently, grapes leaves are an excellent choice for diabetics and anyone worried about her weight.

High in Fiber

While grape leaves have virtually no digestible sugars, they are rich in fiber. The type of fiber in grape leaves is primarily insoluble fiber, which is often called cellulose or simply “roughage.” A very small amount of insoluble fiber is digested or fermented in your large intestine by friendly bacteria, but the vast majority of it passes through your gastrointestinal tract undigested. There are some health benefits to consuming insoluble fiber because it cleans your large intestine by bulking stool, and it reduces constipation by promoting regular bowel movements.

Nutrients

Grape leaves are an especially good source of calcium and vitamin A. One-hundred grams of canned grape leaves contain about 290 milligrams of calcium and a little more than 5,000 international units of vitamin A. Calcium is important for strong bones and normal muscle tone, whereas vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that promotes good vision, especially at night. The leaves contain less significant amounts of vitamins B-2, B-3, B-9, C, E and K, as well as iron, magnesium, copper, selenium and manganese.

Traditional Uses

Grape leaves have been used for many centuries in the Mediterranean region as herbal medicine. Ancient people ate grape leaves to combat a variety of issues including diarrhea, stomach aches, heavy menstrual bleeding, canker sores, liver inflammation and arthritis. Grape leaves contain compounds that are mildly anti-inflammatory, and they are able to reduce edema. Reducing edema is especially important for people with chronic vein problems of the lower legs.

References

Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet; Tonia Reinhard
Human Metabolism: Functional Diversity and Integration; J. Ramsey Bronk
Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine; Simon Mills and Kerry Bone


Popular posts from this blog

Weekend with Home Chefs #3 - David D'Souza

Welcome to the third episode of the "Weekend with home chefs series". In this episode we are introducing to you Mr. David D'Souza, a home chef with a great passion towards cooking and enjoys Goan cuisine very much.
Before proceeding to the interview, you will have to know a bit about the Goan food. It's spunky; it's got personality and is seriously addictive! Authentic Goan food is one of the biggest reasons tourists flock to this glorious tourist destination.  A brief introduction to Goan Cuisine It's a potpourri of flavours: beef, pork, coconut, jaggery, cashew and an endless variety of seafood. A lot of Goan dishes like Prawn balchao and Sorpotel are well known and relished around the world.

Goan food has many similarities with Portuguese food and this is mainly because of Portuguese inhabitants who lived there for almost 450 years. Goans didn't take after their prominent use of garlic in every dish, but definitely latched on to their flair for bread-…

Weekend With Home Chefs #4 - Melissa Martins

Once again Chef’s Special series, introducing Melissa Martins from Vasco De Gama, Goa a culinary expert and pastry chef bringing baking to life … from developing and inventing recipes to sampling some of the finest ingredients, confections, spices and sweets, there is, admittedly, much to love about a gig like this….

Introduce yourself – tell us a bit about yourself My name is Melissa Martins. My little home enterprise named after my daughter RENEES GOODIES specializes in baking and cooking varied types of cuisines. I am based in Vasco da Gama, Goa but my unequaled palate of sight, taste, and touch has been displayed through my creativity in baking and cooking enabling me to cater across Goa. I am a passionate foodie who loves cooking and baking, with a mix of creativity and talent , the food business has become a full time career spanning a spectre of 20 years.. I specialize in wedding cakes, traditional Goan food etc. ensuring every event that I cater to is an unique experience wi…

Handpicked Vegetarian Restaurants in Dubai

Yea. I am trying to be a vegetarian for some time. Found time to visit few restaurants in Dubai to try some different and authentic vegetarian delicacies. I am a hardcore non-veg eater but after visiting all these places I felt like I am falling in love with vegetarian food. Here comes my personal favourites. 1. Rasoi Ghar
A hidden gem! First impressions... It is packed! I do not exaggerate when I say that there were hoards of families just waiting and waiting for a table.

Good ambience and good food. It's a Thali concept restaurant with Gujarati and Rajasthani food. Reasonably priced at AED 45. Along with a wide variety of everything what you will love is the staff. Right from the hostess to the servers, they are all pleasant and love to feed you . So if you have a big appetite and do not have much time to waste . This place is a must try. They are all proactive and you will be done before you know it.

We started off with a glass of jaljeera followed by a platter of snacks! Whic…