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

Eating Out in Dar-es-Salaam | 10 Restaurants You Should Try

Bustling Dar es Salaam (‘place of peace’ in Arabic) is Tanzania ’s commercial and cultural powerhouse. Travellers tend to pass through the city on their way to Kilimanjaro or Zanzibar, but they’re missing out on a the sprawling markets, skyscrapers and colonial mansions that embody the vibrancy and diversity of modern Africa. Dar’s cuisine, long inspired by spices from Zanzibar and Indian migrants, provides a vivid snapshot of Tanzanian society. © Ali Damji/Flickr 305 Karafuu Although it only opened in 2013, the simply named  305 Karafuu  has already gained a reputation as one of the finest eateries in the whole of Dar. Located on a quiet side street in Kinondoni, it has the aura of a family home. The owner’s friendly service is second to none, and the bar is possibly the best stocked in Tanzania. Inside you’ll find low, contemporary yet rustic furniture and an odiferous open kitchen. The walls are bedecked with paintings from local artists, all available for sale. The food –

What Makes A Healthy Breakfast

While the benefits of eating breakfast are well-known —  it can  prevent weight gain ,  boost short-term memory ,  lower the risk of type 2 diabetes , and even  make us happier  — most of those health rewards depend on choosing the right foods. "In general, a healthy breakfast contains protein, fruits, whole grains, or vegetables," says Ruth Frechman, MA, RDN, CPT, nutritionist and author of " The Food is My Friend Diet ." Typically, you want to include foods from at least three of these groups, says Frechman. The portion sizes will depend on your age, activity, and diet goals, but as a general guideline your "plate" should consist of about 25% protein, 25% carbohydrates, and 50% fruits and/or vegetables, says Frechman. Frechman emphasizes the importance of eating breakfast, but recommends waiting until you're legitimately hungry to break bread. "If you force yourself to eat at 7 a.m. when you're not hungry, chances are you are going t

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