Grapes are actually berries! They grow in bunches in temperate climates throughout the world. Grapes are also known as the “Queen of Fruits”. There are over a thousand varieties of grapes, and each variety offers something unique in taste and flavour. So no matter how you want to use this beautiful, little fruit, you’ll find a grape variety that will fit right into your menu plan!
According to principles of ayurveda dry grapes have the body cooling properties. Hence its use in burning micturition (burning sensation while passing urine) is very well appreciated. Soak 8-10 raisins overnight in a cup of water. Next day morning blend these with same water and consume in empty stomach. This helps in conditions like cystitis or “infection urinaire”.
Ayurveda acharyas eulogize grapes and raisins as “trishnaghna” or substances which quench thirst in conditions like fever and dosha imbalance. In these conditions we feel increased thirst which cannot be satiated by plainwater . For this boil 20 – 25 raisins in a liter of water and cool it. Sip this water frequently and chew the boiled raisins in between.
Apart from their many varieties and uses, grapes provide many health benefits too!
Migraine — Migraine attacks can push the sufferer over the edge. These debilitating headaches can be triggered by loud noise, light, or stress. But grapes can prove to be beneficial for people suffering from migraines. Ripe grape juice is an orthodox remedy that can cure migraine. The ripe juice must be consumed pure without dilution every morning for best results.
Alzheimer’s disease — Resveratrol content in grapes can reduce the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in Alzheimer’s disease patients. Grapes can also enhance the health of your brain and delay neurodegenerative diseases.
Indigestion — Grapes are useful to prevent dyspepsia. They can cure indigestion and irritation in the stomach.
For vision — Grapes are considered the best bet for eyes. Grapes are a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin that maintains good eye health. So, even if your eyesight is diminishing due to ageing, regular consumption of grapes can bring light back into your life!
Blood cholesterol — Pterostilbene compound present in grapes can lower your cholesterol level and prevent numerous cardiovascular diseases.
Asthma — Grapes contain high assimilatory power that can increase the level of moisture in the lungs. This can help an asthma patient breathe easy. Regular intake of grape can even help cure asthma completely!
Constipation — Constipation can make you feel heavy and irritable. Grapes are a rich source of sugar, organic acid and polyose, which together give the fruit its laxative properties. So, if you are looking for relief from constipation, try eating grapes or drinking grape juice. These tiny fruits contain organic acid, sugar and cellulose that can help relieve chronic constipation and tone the intestinal muscles. Grapes are rich in insoluble fiber that promotes the formation and excretion of stool.
Anti-ageing benefits — Ageing is a natural process. But due to ever increasing pollution and stress level, our skin tends to age prematurely. Free radicals are the basic cause of premature ageing that leads to wrinkles and fine lines on your skin. The antioxidants present in grapes along with vitamin C protect your skin from free radicals and reverses the signs of ageing. Grapes for skin also help tone the skin, when the pulp is rubbed on the face in a circular motion. So no more worries about wrinkles and dark spots, you can now look forever young with these tiny gems.
Rejuvenates the skin — Grapes are a warehouse of Vitamin C. This essential nutrient helps in collagen formation that helps in the growth of cells and blood vessels. This also adds to the strength and firmness of your skin. Grapes can give diseases free skin by removing all toxins from the body. Resveratrol in grapevines can protect the skin from harmful weather and can help rejuvenate it. It can also reduce skin discolouration.
Lightens scars– Green grapes can lighten the scars caused due to acne. Vitamin C helps in scar tissues and ligaments formation and repairs the skin.
Power up Weight Loss — Resveratrol found in grapes work on body to assist in weight loss. It also lowers the cells’ ability to store fat and causes fat cells to disintegrate. What a yummy way to lose weight!
Protect Your Heart — Resveratrol in grapes has the ability to improve blood vessels dilatation that allows the blood to flow very easily in the blood vessels. This also relaxes blood vessels walls and lowers blood pressure. Low BP and relaxed blood vessel walls help protect the heart from any kind of trauma and keeps it healthy.
Improve Brain Power — Resveratrol increases the blood flow to your brains by 200%, which speeds up the mental response of the human mind. Brain food indeed!
Fight Diabetes — Pre-diabetics patients consuming grapes can experience 10 percent drops in their blood sugar levels, due to the presence of Resveratrol. So, if you are looking to prevent diabetes, consume grapes!
Bone Health — Grapes are the best source of micro-nutrients such as copper, iron, and manganese that helps in the formation and strengthening of your bones. You can add grapes to your diet to prevent osteoporosis. Manganese aids in protein metabolism, collagen formation, and proper nervous system functioning.
Fatigue — Juice of Light and white grape is packed with iron content that prevents body fatigue. Anaemia patients eat grapes to promote good iron and mineral levels in the body. Deficiency of iron can make you feel tired and your mind can’t work as quickly. Drink grape juice to get instant energy boost.
Immune System — Grapes are packed with flavonoids, minerals and vitamins. They are rich in Vitamin C, K, and A, all needed for healthy organ systems and immunity. This can also reduce the chance of common colds and many more serious health issues.
Hypertension — Since many years, dry grapes have been believed to reduce blood pressure and protect heart health. Dry grapes reduce blood pressure along with hypertension. Dry grapes are beneficial due to the high level of potassium which helps to reduce the tension of the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. This also contains dietary fiber that reduces blood vessel stiffness and hypertension.
Word of Caution — All of that being said, there are a few risk factors in excessive consumption of raisins. Raisins are quite high in calories, which can increase weight gain quickly if you are not careful. You need to factor in extra caloric intake in your diet, regardless of the other benefits that small amounts of raisins can give you. Raisins also have high levels of triglycerides due to their high content of fructose (triglycerides are byproducts of the body metabolizing fructose). High level of triglycerides can increase your chances of developing diabetes, coronary heart disease, and fatty liver cancer. If you have other risk factors, then be careful and don’t add too many raisins into your diet!
I’m Dr. Malini Bhat MD (Ayu); an Ayurvedic Doctor and a health blogger. Follow me on social media to get daily health tips which you can easily adapt to a healthy lifestyle.