One of the most famous and powerful quotes of Odysseas Elytis is: “If Greece was destroyed, you can rebuild it with an olive tree, a vineyard and a boat”.
September-October in Greece means grapes. When the season of all other fruits is over – even the last melons – grapes take the main place in the table. Vineyards offer some of the most iconic scenes in Greece and its traditional varieties of vines date back to ancient times. Wine is the first product of the vines that pops up in our mind, but there as many uses of this superb plant as there are varieties worldwide.
The Greek National Institute of Vines and Subtropical Fruits in Crete has studied many old Greek varieties.
How about a ‘grape diet’? Edible varieties of vines offer delicious and unique grapes, high in nutritional value.
It is true that grapes are a ‘powerful’ food, but is it good to follow a diet totally based on raw grapes and water? Supporters of this diet argue that there are many benefits – they help detox, fight cancer, facilitate weight loss, and have other good qualities But the truth – for every diet based on one ingredient – is that the body does not get the appropriate intake of all basic nutrients. Detox take place through your liver, but the ‘grape therapy diet’ causes loss of muscle mass – that is the undesirable source of the desirable weight loss.
The American Cancer Society has researched the diet and concluded that there is no evidence of cancer fighting benefits.
On the other hand, grapes have nutritional ingredients that increase the action of genes which are relevant for long life. Also, grapes contain polyphenols which helps with metabolism, Type 2 Diabetes, and obesity. Polyphenols have anti-inflammatory action and prevent many diseases. They are also rich in antioxidants like flavonoids, vitamin C, manganese, and b-carotene, and reduce free radicals (this is how they are supposed to ‘help’ prevent cancer). The cardiovascular system is also supported by eating grapes.
Long story short, there are benefits from this fruit, but eating only that even for a few days does harm, not good. A healthy, balanced diet can lead to weight loss and a healthy body, but extreme measures just tire your system. There are no ‘miracle diets’ nor ‘bad’ or ‘good’ foods, just making the choosing the correct combinations and making the right choices.
* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an Msc in Botany-Biology.