The grape cure, also called uvale cure (from the Latin uvameaning grape), is a very old tradition which is perpetuated from autumn to autumn. It was notably popularized in the 20th century, by Johanna Brandt, a woman who managed to get rid of stomach cancer using grapes and who wrote a book about it. What does this treatment consist of? What are its virtues? What precautions to take? Insights from Florence Foucaut, dietician-nutritionist, member of the AFDN (French Association of Dietitian-Nutritionists).
What does a grape cure consist of?
The grape cure is actually a mono diet which consists of eating only this fruit for a few days, the time to detoxify your body. It generates a digestive break: the fact of consuming only one food facilitates digestion and saves energy. Energy that is used by the body to eliminate toxins and regenerate. But, according to its practitioners, this cure also helps to reboost the immune system and remineralize the body. There are several forms of cures:
- The so-called supplementary grape cure, acclaimed in case of poor food hygiene. It consists of eating a bunch of grapes at the start of a meal, or as a snack, around 11 a.m., then around 5 p.m.
- The so-called partial grape cure, acclaimed in case of temporary fatigue or if you do not support integral monodiets. It consists of replacing dinner with one or two bunches of grapes, to limit bloating and promote sleep.
- The so-called integral grape curewhich consists of feeding exclusively on grapes for a given time and requires a period of adaptation.
Note: it is always better to start with a supplementary or partial cure and consult your doctor for medical advice before starting.
How many grapes to eat per day?
In the case of an integral grape cure, one can consume unlimited juice and grapes throughout the day. Depending on the size, this can go up to 4 kilos per day.
For more comfort, and for the sake of logistics, it is better to start this cure during your holidays, or a quiet period, to be able to eat as you please. Also try, as long as you do this little, to motivate yourself together.
How long does this mono diet last?
This mono diet should not last too long! If it is a first cure, it is better to count on one or three days maximum, ideally under medical supervision. Start, for example, by consuming grapes with one meal, then one day, following the recommendations of your doctor, your naturopath, etc. If you are more hardened, you can follow this cure for five or six days, provided you have spoken to a professional.
What are the benefits of the grape cure?
According to its followers, the grape cure allows to:
- drain and detoxify the body
- decongest the liver by stimulating its cholagogue function
- strengthen resistance to physical and nervous fatigue
- revitalize the body thanks to energy and remineralization
It also allows to rest our digestive system. This is in fact the principle of the monodiet: the fact of consuming only one food considerably reduces the digestion time. The digestive system thus recovers time and energy to cleanse and regenerate.
A diet to lose weight?
The grape cure was not developed with a slimming objective in mind. But in fact, it contributes to a spontaneous weight loss, since we only eat grapes and the energy balance is strongly unbalanced. This weight loss is observed in the short term and this diet must absolutely not be followed in the long term, at the risk of unbalancing our metabolism, warns Florence Foucaut. She further specifies that the grams or kilos lost will be regained as soon as the person resumes eating normally.
Cure uvale: which grapes to choose?
Always prefer organic grape, to avoid pesticides. If necessary, take care of wash your grapes with plenty of water.
Daily, alternate between Chasselasa white grape with thin skin and a balanced sugar content, and muscatela highly digestible and more tannic black grape.
Should we choose grapes with or without seeds? It depends on your intestines. If you have no particular problem, you can eat the whole grape, skin and seeds included. On the contrary, if you are prone to episodes of constipation, avoid pips and very thick skins.
What precautions before the cure?
Following a grape cure is not very complicated. It is still necessary to prepare in advance: the body cannot switch to the grape monodiet overnight.
• A few days before the start of the cure, start cutting down on all animal proteins, starchy foods, processed foodsuntil they are gradually eliminated.
• Consume more raw vegetables, fresh fruits, raw juices, steamed or stewed vegetables, sprouted seeds, nuts, and organic oils.
• Gradually quit coffee, alcohol and sodas to focus on unsweetened teas and herbal teas.
• During this preparation phase, drain the intestines as much as possible to limit seizures during treatment. Bet on soft plants such as mallow, flax seeds, blond psyllium or aloe vera gel to drink.
What precautions during the grape cure?
During the detox cure, follow your intuitions. Eat grapes every two or three hours without forcing, and without depriving yourself. Organic grape juice, without sugars or additives, is authorized at the rate of one or two glasses per day. To overcome the monotony, alternate the grape varieties, or bet on occasional raisins. Avoid all other foods during the diet and drink only organic grape juice or mineral water.
How to re-accustom your body after the cure?
After your detox cure, start eating again gradually slowly reintroducing other foods in your meals. Start with vegetables, the next day, for example, then introduce cereals on the third day. Then introduce lean fish, then dairy products, starches and finally meat. Gradually advance your meals until you resume a “normal” diet and physical activity or target rehabilitation exercises.
Whatever your appetite or your gluttony, do not forget to bet on small quantities, at least at first. Ideally, the food recovery must last twice the cure. In other words, if the monodiet lasted two days, it takes four days of rehabilitation.
Grape cure: what contraindications?
The grape cure is for people in good physical health. If you suffer from any health problem, it is essential to seek the advice of your doctor! Even if you are in perfect health, this diet can still cause headaches, digestive disorders (diarrhea or constipation), nausea, etc.
Moreover, Florence Foucaut do not recommend this cure for people with diabetes, due to the high sugar content of grapes. “We recommend that diabetic patients consume a maximum of ten grapes, only at the end of a meal”, she specifies.
As a general rule, mono diets are also prohibited for pregnant or breastfeeding women, people suffering from eating disorders and people suffering from serious pathologies.
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