The Truth about the Grape Diet
The grape diet is a diet where the only food you eat is grapes. While grapes have been often used over the centuries in treating various diseases and ailments, in those circumstances, substances are made by using grapes or eating grapes. But the grape diet is truly unique because it literally means eating nothing at all besides the grapes themselves.
Historically, the first person to suggest eating a grape diet was Johanna Brandt. Ms. Brandt was a dietician in South Africa. She announced her discovery of the benefits of a grape diet in 1925, and then three years later, she authored a book, indicating not only that grapes were good for losing weight, but that an all-grape diet had cured her of cancer. This book has been continually published since that time under many different titles.
Johanna Brandt was so convinced of the results of the grape diet that she moved to New York City and opened the Harmony Healing Center, a treatment facility where people could go to partake of this unique diet and be cured. The center did not have a long life and was closed because of the many complaints received and lawsuits against the treatment center. People who entered the program and did not receive positive benefits were understandably upset, and Ms. Brandt had little upon which to base her claims, given that there was no scientific evidence that grapes had any effect on health conditions or diseases.
The chances are good that once the reality of what was involved in the grape diet was known, people wanted to see some benefits for their trouble as well as their money. The diet did not just start with the substitution of grapes for all other foods. It, in fact, started by cleansing the system with several days of fasting and enemas. This part most likely resembled and had the same results as a modern day colon cleansing. Its goals were to remove all toxins from the body and literally clear out the colon before giving it a new start with the grape diet.
The next stage after the cleansing of the digestive system was to start eating grapes and drinking water. This part of the diet lasted for a minimum of two weeks. Every meal and snack consisted of grapes and water. After the grape stage was over, the first foods that could be added to the diet were sour milk and fresh fruits. The chances are pretty good that the first chosen fruit was not grapes!
After several days of fruits and sour milk, raw vegetables were allowed to be added. From there the grape diet progressed to salads, honey, nuts, olive oil, and other dairy products. If you were receiving benefits from the diet, you could work your way up to adding one meal of cooked food a day.
The thinking that brought about the grape diet is not too far from many of the theories of colon cleansing and weight loss that are being practiced today. The truth is, grapes are full of antioxidants, especially quercetin and reservatol, considered to be flavonoids. Research shows that these antioxidants protect the cells in the body from being damaged by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules the body produces naturally, which can cause damage to tissue as well as aging, and certain diseases. Such environmental hazards as toxic chemicals, pollution and cigarette smoke contribute to free radical damage.
Antioxidants are found mainly in fruits and vegetables. They can protect the good cholesterol and prevent some instances of heart disease. Other studies have shown that antioxidants can help prevent some types of cancer. These findings may give a little more validity to the claims that grapes can help prevent and cure certain types of cancer as Johanna Brandt originally claimed. As far as using a grape diet to lose weight, the loss would be primarily water and the results would not be long-lasting.