Food Selection - Grapes
No other season can be compared to early autumn in terms of the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. Grapes should be paid particular attention to among this vitamin diversity. It’s not in vain that doctors compare grape therapy to a trip to a mineral water resort. But why do we have to go anywhere when if we can have the same at home?
The curative properties of grapes have been known for a long time. According to the Bible, the first plant cultivated on the mountain Ararat was grapes. Greeks and Romans who lived in ancient times used the curative properties of grapes to recover strength and to improve metabolism. They also used grapes to recover from tonsillitis, mouth ulcers, and blood coughing. Grapes and grape juice were known as a wonderful diuretic (they have up to 70-80 percent water containing attenuated sugar, acids, vitamins and salts). The juice is also a laxative (due to glucose) and an expectoration remedy. The later property of grapes can be explained by the presence of acids that they contain. They irritate the respiratory track slightly, making it easy for phlegm secretion. The “Isabella” variety of grape is recommended as a remedy against catarrhs of respiratory tracks, while the “Muscat” variety is helpful against throat inflammation. Dried grapes (i.e. raisins) can be used as a sweet pill against lung, liver and kidney disease.
There are large amounts of microelements and easily-assimilated mineral salts (such as zinc, calcium, iron, copper, magnum and manganese) in grapes. Grapes are especially rich in potassium, and that’s why grapes are beneficial for individuals with heart problems. They are also recommended for people suffering from leukemia since they increase the quantity of blood cells and increase the level of hemoglobin. They also bring the correlation between blood cells to a normal level and stimulate the hematosis performance of marrow.
For medical purposes, entire grapes are used -- including the peel and the leaves. Grape juice is also healthy. For example, one liter of juice has the same number of calories as 1.5 kilos of apples and peaches, or 650 grams of beef. The energy that a person gets out of one kilo of grapes is 700-850 calories. Considering these calculations, we can say that four kilos of fresh grapes (or one kilo of raisins) can provide you with enough energy for 24 hours.
The seeds of grapes have also become an object of close study. A lot of active substances (polyphenols) have been found in the seeds -- they have the ability to bind free-radicals within the body. Free-radicals are known to be the reason behind aging and the starting point of cancer.
Today, they even add grape seeds to different food additives in order to strengthen vessel walls and diminish the risk of cardiovascular disease. In folk medicine, grape seeds were used against allergies.
Grape seeds are also a wonderful raw material for cosmetologists. For example, shampoo with grape seed oil helps to strengthen and restore hair. Massaging the skin using the same oil will make the skin smooth and soft.
Grape leaves are rich in ascorbic oil, and they are a valuable ingredient of any salad. Grape leaves are widely used in Caucasus cuisine and lead to longevity.
But the main useful secret of grapes is in the content of glucose and fructose. Grape sugar does not undergo significant transformation and goes directly to the blood. This favorably affects muscle tone, intensifies cardio muscle contractions, improves metabolism, and stretches blood vessels.
The grape-cure method itself.
The first dose should not be large –- about 400 grams of grapes per day. Gradually increase the amount of grapes you consume, so that by the end of the fourth week you consume up to three kilos of grapes per 24 hours. Distribute the grapes into three doses: one in the morning, the second two hours before lunch, and the third three hours after. Some nutritionists advise stopping grape therapy gradually -- decrease amounts by one dose over time.
The food you consume while being on grape therapy should be special. First, do not overeat since grapes are high in calories. Second, it is not recommended to consume sweet sodas, smoked meat, pickled or high fat dishes, or some vegetables (cabbages, beetroots, and radish). Finally, you will have to say “no” to other berries and fruit greens.
Dairy is a bad combination with grapes. Grapes make dairy sour, contributing to a sour stomach. If there is some degree of stomach upset, take a two- to three-day break from grape therapy.
The only rule which you will have to take into consideration if you decide to try grape therapy is to have your teeth checked in advance -- the acids and sugars in grapes cause pain and speed up the decay of caries in teeth. Dentists recommend rinsing your mouth with water after you have
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