Ever wondered what the health benefits of grapes were?
Around two decades ago, scientists uncovered an interesting and enlightening correlation between red wine and heart health. Research found that French people had less incidence of heart disease than any other country around the world - and French people drank red wine with most meals. The 'French Paradox' was coined. In the years that followed this initial study, hundreds of other studies were carried out to test the results of the paradox. The evidence was conclusive: Over time, red wine can reduce the risk of heart disease.
But don't go glugging back a bottle of wine just yet. First off, the studies account for red wine consumption in moderation. Also, the same health benefits of grapes were found in grape juice. The juices from the grapes - fermented or not - inhibit the artery clogging effects of fatty foods.
A study published by the Journal of Nutrition proves that the antioxidants in fresh grapes (a.k.a. polyphenols) block the build up of oxidized cholesterol on artery walls. Furthermore, resveratrol (another polyphenol) helps protect the artery walls against damage. It gets better: Pterostilbene, which is another nutrient harboured in grapes, helps reduce cholesterol as well as triglycerides by interacting with enzymes responsible for blood fat levels.
SOME BEAUTY IS SKIN DEEP
Grape skin contains saponins, which are compounds that bind with cholesterol to stop its being absorbed into the body.
It does seem red grapes have more heart healthy benefits, but white grapes do carry the same positive properties, just in less proportion.
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