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With the advent of new, early and winter-hardy grapes, this crop is planted not only in the traditional southern regions of the country, but also inthe central strip, in the Urals and even in the Siberian region. At the same time, getting the first yields of berries, winegrowers discover for themselves the benefits of grape leaves, their taste and methods of use in cooking.
Armenian, Greek, Bulgarian, Moldavian, Vietnamese and many other national cuisines cannot be imaged without vine leaves. In this case, the most famous dish of grape leaves, stuffed with minced meat, has become truly international. In addition, young leaves of grapes are used for stewing and pickles, they are salted, added to soups and meat stew.
Giving the characteristic aroma and piquancy to the taste of dishes, the leaves themselves soak in the aromas of meat, game and vegetables.
However, use in cooking is not the only advantage of the product. Grape leaves are really helpful. For example, US physicians, after examining the beneficial properties and contraindications of vine leaves, included this product in the national list of valuable dietary foods.
Composition of grape leaves
For consumption, young people, who have not had time to get drunk on grape leaves, whose benefits are maximum, are harvested, the leaf plate is elastic, the veins are still juicy.
The energy value of 100 grams of such a product, which is 93 kcal, is determined by the content of 2.1 grams of fat, 5.6 grams of proteins and 6.3 grams of carbohydrates. Leaves collected from the vine are rich in fiber, vitamins A, K and PP, ascorbic acid and a number of compounds belonging to vitamins of group B.
A 100-gram serving of vine leaves can provide the human body with half the daily intake of sodium, manganese and copper.
Also in the green there are elements such as calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc. And it is such a rich biochemical composition determines the benefits and harm of grape leaves.
Useful properties of vine leaves
In Europe and several Asian countries, decoctions and infusions on green leaves of grapes have long been recognized as a means of relieving pain, firming and tonic. Up to the last century, the tincture on the leaves was recommended for diseases of the female genital tract and bleeding. Benefit grape leaves of local grape varieties noticed and Native Americans. North American Indians used tea based on such plant materials as an analgesic and antipyretic agent. The drink was given for indigestion, and lotions were used for manifestations of rheumatism.
Modern studies of the composition and possible benefits of grape leaves made it possible to talk about the loyalty of many of the guesses of folk healers.
As a source of vitamin A, grape leaves are a powerful natural antioxidant that helps:
- to maintain and enhance human immunity;
- protect the body's cells from negative factors and substances from the external environment;
- to save people from aging.
Thanks to the presence of this vitamin, grape leaves are useful for eye diseases, its sharpness, and chronic eye fatigue. Regular inclusion in the menu of dishes from grape leaves helps to improve the quality of skin and hair. And along with calcium, carotene has a beneficial effect on the nervous system and the state of the muscles.
There is an opinion that only one leaf of grapes can protect from caries. What are the benefits and harm of grape leaves in this area? Indeed, if you chew on a sheet daily, you can thereby deal with pathogenic flora, plaque deposits and the first signs of periodontal disease. However, it is important not to overdo it so that the acids in the composition of the leaves do not cause the opposite effect of the therapeutic effect.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also a component of the benefits of grape leaves.
These active substances have proven to be an effective prophylactic in the fight against cancer, arrhythmias and diseases of the joints.
Grape leaves are useful in various inflammatory processes of the gastrointestinal tract, skin and mucous membranes. With regard to digestive processes, the use of grape leaves is explained by the highest fiber content. Dietary fiber, filling the stomach, contribute to the emergence of a feeling of saturation and free the intestines from accumulating toxins, so the leaves can be attributed to products for weight loss and cleansing the body. In addition, fiber prolongs the release of sugar in the blood.
There are studies that prove the benefit of Amur vine leaves in the treatment and prevention of such a complex and terrible disease like Alzheimer's disease.
And the extract from the leaves and shoots helps to reduce the swelling that accompanies chronic venous insufficiency and exerts additional stress on the heart.
Contraindications to the consumption of vine leaves
With a huge amount of useful properties, contraindications of vine leaves are equally important and should be taken into account when including the product in the daily menu. People suffering from acute forms of gastrointestinal diseases, such as gastritis or an ulcer, as well as in the presence of excess weight to eat grape leaves after heat treatment or, especially, as part of canned food, only after permission of the attending physician.
Namely pickled or salted grapes leaves deserve especially careful handling, since such products, in addition to vegetable raw materials, contain a large amount of sodium and acids. And here the harm of grape leaves over advantage clearly prevails. Do not get involved in dishes with grape leaves to those who have diabetes, as well as women in the long periods of pregnancy and lactating mothers.