Vine leaves have their own specific nutritional value and the ideal harvesting period is in May, before vineyards are sprayed with pesticide.
Vine leaves are used in cooking and they are mostly used to make dolmas. Dolmas derive from the word dolmak, which means "stuffed" and refers to vegetables or sea food which are usually stuffed with aromatic herbs, rice and/or minced meat. Dolmas can be served either as an appetizer or as a main dish.
With regard to the nutritional value of the vine leaves it is important to report that they are low in calories (93kcal) and that they have a high content on vegetal fibers (11 gr).
Furthermore, vine leaves have a high content of lutein and zeaxanthin (1747 mcg/100 gr), antioxidants that protect the cells from the harmful effects of the free roots, decreasing the possibility of severe diseases, such as various forms of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. More precisely, scientific research reports state that due to the high content in antioxidants, the red grapes vine leaves extract is therapeutic to chronic venous insufficiency since it improves blood circulation and shields the vascular walls.
In addition, the nutritional value of the vine leaves is increased, thanks to their rich content in vitamin Α (27520 IU/100 gr), which improves vision, skin and bones health, has antioxidant action and is responsible for the right development and function of the body.
It is worth mentioning that the simultaneous present of vitamin K (109mcg/100 gr), calcium (363mg/100 gr) and magnesium (95mg/100 gr) in vine leaves contributes to a better vertebral health and to the avoidance of muscular cramps.