Shimmering in the sunset sun’s rays with all the colors of the rainbow are bright grapes berries – blue, green, red. A divine fragrance emanating from bunches of grapes, sheltered from the scorching sun in the shade of spreading leaves. The rays of the sun leaving the horizon shine on the surface of the berries. In the distance, you can see mountain peaks and columns of the ruins of ancient Chersonesos …
Similar associations can arise when mentioning such a well-known delicacy as grapes. This berry is famous since ancient Greece. And the Phoenicians began to supply grapes to France as early as 600 BC.
In Romania, it is customary to chant grapes like this: “He who eats grapes, he eats the condensed sun.” It is difficult to argue with this: a berry, filled with the sun’s light, the earth’s power and caressed by the warm southern winds, is born with only one purpose – to bring happiness and joy to all living. There are legends about grapes’ benefits: even the ancient Greeks treated colds and many other diseases with this berry. But in modern medicine, there is even a whole direction based on the treatment of diseases exclusively with grapes – ampelotherapy.
The benefits of grapes
Grapes can raise blood nitric oxide levels, preventing blood clots. Thus, grapes are useful in preventing heart attacks. Also, grapes’ benefits are efficient for such ailments as asthma, chronic constipation, indigestion, liver problems, and chronic fatigue. Grapes are rich in substances such as antioxidants and have powerful anti-aging effects on the body.
The juice from a berry is very effective in treating migraines. It would help if you drank the juice on an empty stomach. And each grape variety has its own indications for use. For example, the juice from green berries will enhance immunity, vitality, and energy levels. In contrast, the juice from dark grape varieties will have an antitumor effect on the body, stimulate brain function and improve vision. Red grape varieties have powerful antibacterial properties, protecting the body from microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Also, the juice of red grape varieties is effective in treating herpes.
We are talking about the natural juice here, which ideally you personally make by yourself, and you do not take it in a store. Store juice is most likely a collection of chemicals, preservatives, dyes, and flavorings. Generally speaking, this is just a product for flavor, not benefits.
Grapes are a storehouse of vitamins, amino acids, trace elements, fiber, pectins, enzymes, and essential oils. The benefits that grapes are hard to overestimate. Grapes are capable to:
- Neutralize the effects of cholesterol.
- Normalize the digestive tract, regulate metabolism, eliminate constipation, and have a diuretic effect.
- Improve the nervous system’s work, reduce fatigue, restore strength, give vigor, and increase efficiency.
- Strengthen the walls of blood vessels, eliminate the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Provide an antioxidant effect on the body, which in turn causes a pronounced restorative and antitumor effect.
- Cleanse the body, remove heavy metals and even radioactive compounds.
- Saturate the body with B vitamins, which will improve the functions of hematopoiesis.
- Normalize hemoglobin levels.
- Help fight fungal diseases.
- Improve complexion and skin condition.
- Improve the condition of hair, nails, teeth, bones due to a large amount of phosphorus, calcium, and riboflavin in berries.
- Stimulate the work of the heart due to the presence of such a component as potassium in berries.
Harm of grapes
However, despite all the miraculous properties of this beautiful berry, it has several contraindications. It would help if you did not use grapes during exacerbations of gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, as well as diarrhea. Diabetes mellitus and obesity, hypertension, liver cirrhosis, colitis, caries, stomatitis are also contraindications for the use of grapes.
It is worth noting the general recommendations for the use of grapes. It is advisable to eat grapes separately from other products; in extreme cases, you can combine them with sweet fruits. But with all other food products, grapes should not be consumed, as this will provoke fermentation processes in the intestines and lead to the formation of ethanol in the body.
You should also not eat grapes in the evening, after 4-5 pm – at this time, the production of insulin decreases, and the processing of fruits, particularly grapes, becomes difficult for the body. And if the grapes are not fully digested, this will also lead to fermentation processes.
Another important point: after eating grapes, you should not thoroughly rinse your mouth since the sugars contained in the berries negatively affect the tooth enamel, destroying it. You should also avoid brushing your teeth with a toothbrush immediately after eating grapes since the grapes’ acids soften the tooth enamel. If you start brushing your teeth immediately after that, the brush will severely damage the enamel. It is enough to rinse your mouth with water at room temperature thoroughly.
Also, you should be aware of the use of such grape variety as “Isabella.” It contains a high concentration of alcohol – methanol – which is a poison for the human body. Green grapes in large quantities can also be harmful: they can cause a laxative and intestinal upset. For people prone to allergic reactions, it is not good to use black grape varieties.
So, the use of the berries can lead to the following undesirable consequences:
- increased blood glucose levels;
- stimulation of appetite, which can lead to overeating;
- aggravation of caries and, if misused, the destruction of tooth enamel;
- upset stomach and intestines;
- in case of improper and excessive use – fermentation and the formation of ethanol.
The difference in varieties
Depending on the variety, the berries have certain qualities and properties that should be considered when using them. Consider the main features of various grape varieties:
- For those who suffer from allergies or tend to allergic reactions, the use of green ones is better.
- White grapes have the lowest sugar content.
- It is recommended to use blue varieties to stimulate the immune system or treat ophthalmic diseases, as they contain anthocyanins.
- Red ones are recommended for obtaining antioxidants.
- Black ones have antibacterial and antitumor effects.
The use during pregnancy
During pregnancy, a woman is conscientious about food choice, and the question arises: “Can I eat grapes?” It should be noted that they contain a lot of useful components that are necessary during pregnancy: manganese, cobalt, potassium, iron, calcium, citric and malic acids, as well as many vitamins. Among them are vitamin B, which is responsible for energy metabolism and metabolism; vitamin PP, which is responsible for the formation of fetal tissues and the nervous system’s functioning; vitamin A, which improves vision. Also important is the presence of antioxidants in the berries that remove bile and toxins. The berry contains important components for a pregnant woman as iron (the daily rate of iron is contained in 1 kg of grapes) and calcium (450 g per kilogram).
Therefore, the use of grapes during pregnancy will be beneficial for both the mother and the unborn child. One has only to warn against eating black them: due to some characteristics, it can cause harm. In this case, green grapes will be most beneficial for a pregnant woman, as they have a diuretic effect and can prevent edema, which is one of the most common problems during pregnancy.
Use common sense when consuming these berries. If the gestation period is in the summer and autumn, then you can use grapes without fear. But if it’s winter outside, buying grapes in the supermarket that have been transported to this shelf for more than one day is not worth it since it is likely to have undergone some processing, affecting the baby’s health in an extremely negative way.
What to look for when choosing grapes?
You should pay attention to its quality. Signs of quality:
- absence of dents on berries,
- lack of putrefactive spots,
- the berries are dense to the touch,
- if the branch is green – this is a sign of freshness,
- the presence of black spots on the berries is a sign of maturity,
- if you shake a bunch of grapes, you can pay attention to how many berries will fall: if there are more than 3-5 berries, the bunch is no longer the first fresh.
Thus, berries are an excellent product for a balanced, healthy diet. However, to not harm yourself, you should exercise common sense and moderation in the use of this product. Otherwise, the consequences can be very dire. The grapes are best consumed during the season – from August to October, depending on the region. In this case, there is a guarantee that these are local grapes and not imported, which means that they are not processed with various chemicals for transportation and storage.
Check out the video on how to grow grapes: