Grapes are a seasonal fruit but when out of season you can still buy dried grapes (sultanas) so you can eat them all year round. I would like to share with you the health benefits of grapes.
1. Health benefits of grapes
i) Spleen, Kidney and Pregnancy
Chinese medicine considers that the whole pregnancy, including production of the egg, implantation and the growing of the fetus all are related to the major organs of the kidneys and spleen. For example, kidney essence from the parents are associated with the baby’s constitution and original essence. The spleen function supports Qi energy and blood to the uterus ensuring the uterus can acquire enough blood supply so the baby can grow well. In my clinical experience of pregnancy problems, many miscarriages or unsuccessful pregnancies are associated with kidney and spleen function disorder.
The symptoms of weak spleen and kidney’s are lack of energy, pale complexion, lower back weakness or pain, arms and legs tired and heavy, bloating (especially after eating), diarrhea or sluggish stool, frequent urination in the evening, lower libido, irregular period or iron deficiency.
Many women in the early stage of pregnancy may suffer from severe nausea, vomiting, lack of energy or poor appetite. These are to due to kidney and spleen deficiency or disorder.
I suggest that if you have any of the symptoms above before or during a pregnancy, you can eat a certain amount of grapes or sultanas to support your pregnancy while your undergoing treatment.
ii) Grapes can Help Support Pregnancy and Help Tonify Blood and Qi
A traditional diet therapy book called “Shen Nong Ben Cao” suggests that grapes taste sweet and mildly sour and have a neutral characteristic (neither hot nor cold). Grapes help kidney and spleen organs and channels. It has effects whereby it tonify’s Qi and blood and supports pregnancy by balancing spleen and kidney function.
iii) Benefits to Bones and Joints
Ancient renowned Chinese herbal treatise “Book of Shennong Herbals” recorded unlimited properties and uses for grapes. Grapes can nourish the liver and kidneys, strengthening the bones and muscles. Therefore those suffering from bone diseases, such as joint pain, stiff or weak joints and may have osteoporosis or osteoarthritis. Eating a certain amount of grapes will help improve your condition whilst undergoing your medical treatment.
iv) Tonifying Blood
Grapes, especially sultanas have high nourishing properties containing high natural sugars and iron which invigorate the Qi and enriching the blood. This is suitable for the following people:
a. Growing children
b. Women after labour, period, pregnancy or breast feeding
c. After an operation and long illness. Traditional diet therapy books also mentions that it is suitable for those who have a low white blood cell count.
d. Those who are overworking mentally and physically
i) Grape Porridge
Very easy to cook – boil 2 handfuls of oats for 1-2 minutes and add 1 tablespoon of dried grapes or sultanas.
ii) Grapes can be eaten once to three times a week with approximately one tablespoon of sultanas or a handful of fresh grapes.
i) Grapes are high in natural sugar which makes them unsuitable for some diabetics and those who require a low sugar diet.
ii) If you are unsure of your constitution or if grapes are suitable for you, you should seek the advice of your experience Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner.