Now that I am back in the Middle East, it is only fitting that my next health post is on the benefits of grapes. Grapes are a popular fruit in the region because they can be enjoyed in several ways – as a fresh or dried fruit, drink, or cooked into dishes.
Did you know that in the 9th Century AD, the finest wines were produced in the Persian city of Shiraz, and the great Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics illustrated the cultivation of grapes?
The continued popularity of grapes over the thousands of years is no coincidence. There are some incredible health benefits packed into these tiny berries.
Despite the high sugar content in red grapes, approximately 23g of sugar in a 1 cup serving, these fruits are an excellent source of natural vitamins.  The same one cup of grapes contains:
- 27% of your daily intake of vitamin C;
- high amounts of vitamin K, which helps to prevent blood clots and excessive bleeding; and
- thiamin, the nutrient responsible for energy production. 
Due to their water content, grapes – no matter the colour – are a great source of hydration, which is critical for bowel movement, and to help relieve constipation. When dried, raisins are packed with fibre. One cup of grapes contains one gram of fibre, whereas consuming one cup of raisins contains seven grams of fibre. 
Don’t forget grape leaves! These leafy accompaniments contain incredible nutrients and are low in calories, “about 14 calories for every fives leaves.” Grape leaves also contain mild anti-inflammatory properties.
So, the next time you’re enjoying dolma for your appetizer, followed by a main of rice cooked with saffron and raisins, then finishing off with fresh grapes being fed to you off the stem (Cleopatra style), think of all the health benefits you are reaping whilst enjoying a lovely meal.
Now, that’s what I call servings for your mind, body and soul!
The information published in this post was intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in the content should be considered, or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.