Healthy Benefits of Grape Leaves!

Grape leaves, the leaves of the grapevine plant, are used in the cuisines of a number of cultures. They are most often picked fresh from the vine and stuffed with a mixture of rice, meat, and spices, and then cooked by boiling or steaming. Stuffed grape leaves can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish.

Grape leaves have been a very popular food of the heart-healthy Mediterranean cuisine. Grape leaves are extremely rich in vitamins and minerals. While raw or fresh grape leaves are usually best eaten after they are steamed or blanched, they are also found in a canned or bottled form as well. A popular Greek dish called dolmas uses grape leaves as a wrapper for rice, onions and meat. Grape leaves are listed on the suggested shopping list based on the healthy dietary guidelines for Americans by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Grape leaves are also on the low glycemic food list as well as having anti-inflammatory properties for this delicious food! If you are watching your weight…grape leaves seem to be very low in calories — approximately 14 calories for every five leaves. “Wow…That’s Amazing!” Grape leaves are also a great source of nutrients, including vitamins C, E, A, K & B6. They are also a good source of calcium, copper, iron, fiber, folate, magnesium, manganese, niacin and riboflavin, Just imagine this…in one cup of grape leaves, has no fat or cholesterol and is very low in sodium and sugar.

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