Are Purple Grapes The Most Nutritious? How Do Grapes Enhance Your Health?
Recent discoveries concerning the remarkable health benefits of a natural substance called resveratrol has boosted the sales of supplements containing the nutrient. Resveratrol benefits include the ability to combat aging and disease such as heart disease, various types of cancer and fatty liver disease as well as promote a longer, healthier life.
Scientists have discovered that certain human genes, which are activated when stressed, have the ability to enhance health through protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism. For over fifty years it has been known that restricting calorie intake activates these gene. Animals who have had their calories cut by forty percent were found to live longer and healthier lives. Although this method is highly effective, few people who would be interested in a diet that left them feeling hungry all of the time.
Scientist have being conducting experiments with thousands of different plant compounds in recent years to try to discover a way to activate this health enhancing gene without the need to cut calories. There have been several plant compounds that have the ability to activate the gene, but the most effective has been resveratrol.
The compound can be found in a number of foods which include peanuts, red wine, grapes, grape juice and dark chocolate. The major drawback of consuming this compound through food sources is far too much food would have to be consumed in order to benefit from this nutrient. For instance, a bottle of red wine typically contains only five and ten milligrams of resveratrol, but the dosage believed necessary to activate the gene that enhances health is between fifty to one thousand milligrams daily.
Although food does not contain enough of the compound to be effective, a healthy diet is still a necessary first step to seeing it activate the health enhancing gene. In fact, consuming unhealthy foods such as those that contain toxic fats, chemicals, antibiotics, hormones and those that have no nutritious value can cause this same health enhancing gene to create inflammation in the body, leading to diseases such as cancer, stroke, Alzheimer's and heart disease.
Supplementation in addition to a healthy diet is the way to activate the gene. The exact dosage from supplements is still uncertain. Studies with animals have shown that is is somewhere between fifty and one thousand milligrams daily. There appears to be no toxic side effects from taking the compound, even in humans that have been given up to five thousand milligrams daily.
Supplements can be found containing almost one hundred percent resveratrol, or in combination with other nutrients. Combinations that contain added resveratrol include probiotics combined with dark chocolate, grape seed and quercetin, green tea and omega 3 fatty acids with and in liquid form containing a combination of blueberry juice, mangosteen juice and acai juice.
Grapes are a great source of resveratrol and other nutrients. Grape nutrition includes saponins, resveratrol, quercetine, gallic acid, phosphoric acid, calcium, magnesium, tanin, manganese, pectins, phlobaphene, iron, silicic acid, enzymes, folic acid, B1,2,6,12 and Vitamin K.
Grapes have been effective in improving many health conditions:
High cholesterol - Saponins present in grape skin prevent the absorption of cholesterol by binding with it and prevent inflammation. They also contain a compound capable of lowering cholesterol levels.
Constipation - Grapes contain organic acid and cellulose which are very effective at eliminating constipation. They also prevent chronic constipation by toning the stomach and intestines.
Asthma - Grapes can improve asthma because they have the ability to increase moisture in the lungs.
Heart disease - Nitric oxide levels in the blood are increased by eating grapes. Nitric acid has the ability to prevent blood clots which cause heart attacks. The antioxidants in grapes prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol which blocks blood vessels.
Fatigue - Light colored grapes help replenish iron in the body, which helps prevent fatigue. Grape juice also increases energy and the antioxidants boost the immune system.
Breast cancer - Recent studies have shown that purple Concorde grape juice has the ability to shrink mammary tumors.
Macular degeneration - Research has shown that phenols found in red and white wine may inhibit the oxidation of the macula, which is responsible for sharp vision.
Alzheimer's disease - Studies have shown that grapes can improve brain health and stop the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Resveratrol, one of the ingredients found in grapes has been found to improve blood flow to the brain by 30 percent, thus reducing the risk of stroke.
Indigestion - Grapes help relieve stomach irritation which can lead to indigestion.
Kidney disorders - Grapes have the ability to reduce the acidity of uric acid, which reduces the work of the kidneys.
Antibacterial activity - Red wine and purple grape juice have been found effective at inhibiting the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers as well as Salmonella and E. coli.
How to Choose Grapes
Imported grapes have been frequently found with a high level a pesticide residue. Therefore, it is a good idea to avoid imported grapes unless they are grown organically. In the U.S. they were also found to be fairly high in pesticide residue. Organic grapes have been found to have up to 50% more antioxidant power than conventionally grown grapes. The most nutritious grapes with the greatest health benefits are purple grapes. When choosing grapes, look for grapes that are plump and wrinkle free. They should be firmly attached to the stem and not leaking any juice. Choose fully ripened grapes to receive the most antioxidant value.Grapes tend to spoil and ferment at room temperature so they should always be kept in the refrigerator. Unwashed grapes should be loosely wrapped in a paper towel and then placed in a plastic bag. Storing them this way will allow them to last for several days in the refrigerator.