- Diet & Weight Loss
Grapes And Grapeseed Oil for Health
Grapes for Health
Most people enjoy grapes, and like any other fruit they are very good for us. However not everyone is aware of the benefits of grapes and grape seed oil for health, and for healthy cooking.
Grapes are most helpful in the fight against coronary heart disease or atherosclerotic heart disease, which is caused by the accumulation of plaque on the inside of the arteries, causing blockage in the blood vessels to the heart, resulting in heart attack. The same plaque buildup causes blockage in the blood vessels to the brain, causing a stroke.
Studies have shown that eating grapes can prevent the accumulation of oxidised cholesterol and the development of these blockages. This is because of their polyphenols, natural antioxidants. Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in grape skin, is what helps to protect against this arterial wall damage.
Grapes and Grapeseed Oil
are also known to fight against viruses and tumours, because of their high
concentration of another polyphenol, Tannin.
Grapes are very low in saturated fat & sodium and have none of the 'bad' cholesterol LDL. They are very high in vitamins C and K, and the 'good' cholesterol HDL.
The only possible drawback with grapes is their high glucose content. Eating too many can cause too much blood sugar, and the skin of the grape is actually more beneficial to you than the flesh.
The skin holds all these wonderful polyphenols, while the flesh can produce sugar. Taking the juice diluted in water is an option.
However the only people badly affected by grapes could be diabetics and hypoglycaemics, and that's only if 'overdosing' on grapes!
A normally healthy person should not have any problems at all with grapes or their juice.
Red grape juice and red wine has a high concentration of resveratrol, but not white wine or juice. This is because the skin will be used in the producing of red juice and wine, but not in the white. Resveratrol is an anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory with properties that help fight against viral infections, and even cancer.
When making your own grape juice at home, make sure to use the skins and the seeds in your blender as well as the flesh. The broken seeds will release their oil, and a crushed skin will release these essential polyphenols. You can strain it later but you must extract the necessary nutrients.
Grape skins have beta carotene, lycopene, resveratrol, ellagic acid, amongst their nutrients.
Grape seeds have excellent flavenol antioxidants, to attack free radicals and promote tissue growth and repair.
Grape juice is a very good natural 'health and sport drink', replenishing energy and heat to your body very quickly, and stimulating the metabolism. Very good to drink after exertion or sports.
Whether red or green, the grapes with the deeper, darker colour are richer in flavonoids. Grapes also contain a vast amount of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C.
They are a rich source of minerals, including calcium, chlorine, fluorine, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, sulphur and silicon. Also present are large amounts of numerous acids: tartaric, Malic, fumaric, succinic, glyceric, caffeic, each having healing properties.
Grape juice is an anticoagulant, which helps with blood circulation and in preventing clotting.
It's an anti-inflammatory, which helps in problems like rheumatism, arthritis, gout and asthma.
This juice helps immensely in the cleansing of the bladder, improving the flow of urine and bile, preventing the buildup of stones, and helping in the elimination of waste materials.
A high, rich content of antioxidants, means grapes are immensely helpful in the prevention of cancer.
Grape juice is a mild laxative, a kind way to help with constipation.
The flavenol compounds found in grape seeds are helpful in the treatment of eyes: retinal disorders, night blindness and for the vision impaired.
Grapes and grape juice help reduce fever, and in the case of flu, help to relieve fatigue and replace energy.
Grapes are also helpful as a remedy for :
Indigestion, much gentler and easier to take than most heartburn cures.
For mouth and throat infections (especially unripe or sour grapes for these infections)
Migraine and headaches
Kidney function; grape juice is a natural diuretic, and helps prevent the formation of kidney stones.
(Those with a history of calcium oxalate kidney stones should avoid the Concord grape, as it contains high levels of oxalate)
Liver function, the wonderful minerals in grapes help with detoxification and other liver functions.
Clear skin; vitamin C content and the cleansing properties in grape juice, make it very beneficial to a clear skin. Taking a full grape, cut in half, and rubbing directly on the affected areas of the skin, can help to quickly clear up acne and other skin blemishes.
The folate found in grapes is very important during pregnancy, for both mother and baby. Although the grapeseed supplements are not recommended, during pregnancy or nursing.
Grapes in a dried form, like sultanas or raisins, are very good for constipation, and contain a large amount of boron, which our bones need. Boron also helps fight tooth decay and gum disease.
Concord grape juice has been known to help shrink breast tumours.
Resveratrol has also been known to help in the treatment of Alzheimer's, and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Varicose veins, and other circulation problems in the legs, have been helped by grape seed oil.
Grapes have long been bought as a gift for patients in hospitals, and not without reason. Apart from all the aforementioned benefits to health, they have been known to help in the dispersal of oedema, the swelling around surgical scars, or cuts and abrasions.
Grape seed extract in particular, has been used in studies of breast cancer patients. The oedema and pain was markedly less in those patients using the extract, compared to those using placebo.
Grape seed extract has also been helpful in quick recovery from sports injuries.
It is also known to act as a blood thinner, which while helping in some cases, care should be taken when using blood thinning drugs, such as warfarin. Those taking this drug, and indeed haemophiliacs, should not take grape seed extract, certainly not without consulting a doctor.
This extract is not recommended for children, although fresh grapes are a wonderful, healthy snack for them.
A double handful of grapes, or a cup of juice, would contain only about 60 calories, and no 'bad' cholesterol. They are quick and easy to digest.
In all the depictions of Greek and Roman gods, and in ancient Egyptian drawings, you will find the grape. By their Latin name, Vitis Vinifera, they were extolled as the food of the gods.
Egyptians have been known to eat grapes since at least 6,000 years ago, and the ancient Greek philosophers told numerous stories of the healing power of grapes. (and Wine!)
Old folk healers used the sap from grapevines to make ointment for treating skin diseases and eye problems. The leaves were used as bandages for inflammation and bleeding.
Wine was also extolled back then as a 'medicine' and even today is believed to help protect the heart by lowering LDL or bad cholesterol. The French are convinced this is what keeps heart disease down in their country, compared to the USA. There is no evidence of this, however.
In summary, grapes are a delicious, healthy fruit.
Keep some beside your chair when watching TV. Picking at a bowl of grapes is far better than any other snacks and 'nibbles' that you may be accustomed to.
You will also probably find that you enjoy them a lot more!