The Amazing Grape

The Amazing Grape
20 AUG 2014

Who knew the grape was so amazing?

The Ancient Greeks long used different parts of grapes for their medicinal qualities, but now modern science is re-discovering all the big things this tiny little fruit can do. Studies have shown that the extracts of grape seeds and red wine have many benefi ts, especially when it comes to promoting healthy aging.

Among the ailments grape seed extract is purported to help treat and prevent are complications from diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gastrointestinal disorders, constipation, poor circulation, macular degeneration and osteoporosis. Grape seed extract holds strong antioxidant properties that is considered stronger than vitamins C and E, and is one of the few antioxidants that can penetrate the blood brain barrier to protect nerve and brain tissue.

But what’s most exciting about grape seed extract is how fi ercely it fi ghts infl ammation, which leads to so many health problems in people of all ages and all walks of life. Decreasing infl ammation is at the core of treating and preventing some of the most common and widespread diseases affecting Americans, and taking measures to reduce infl ammation can greatly improve and maintain your health as you age. Grape seed extract is particularly benefi cial with improving markers of infl ammation and glycemia in Type 2 diabetics and decreasing cardiovascular risk.

A recent study in mice exhibited grape seed extract’s ability to help delay the development of Alzheimer’s disease by easing infl ammation and preventing the accumulation of certain substances that form the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s. Previous studies indicated that it lowered the growth rate of certain cancers by up to 67 percent.

Because grape seed extract is a natural substance, it is generally safe and well-tolerated when taken orally as a supplement, but can have some mild adverse effects such as headaches, nausea, dizziness and itchy scalp.

The incredible results and even brighter promise of grape seed extract can only be matched, however, by the another byproduct of the amazing grape — red wine extract. Although many plants contain resveratrol, its highest content is found in red wine — specifi cally, in the skin, leaves, seeds, branches and pulp of the grapes. The powerful benefi ts of these parts of the grape are transferred into red wine during fermentation.

But alcohol is a toxin, so for the most healthy doses of resveratrol, it’s best to take it in supplement form. You may have heard about red wine extract or resveratrol in the news recently. Studies on mice have shown that resveratrol, a component of red wine, protects animals from obesity and diabetes, and also helps animals live longer in spite of poor diet and lack of exercise.

That doesn’t mean you should eat junk food, sit around the house, take red wine extract and expect to be in perfect health. The amount of resveratrol given to the mice in these experiments was equivalent to hundreds of glasses of wine and pills. But what researchers found is that resveratrol gives a big boost to your metabolism and helps your muscles burn more energy throughout the day.

So working in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise, red wine extract can help you reach your weight loss and fi tness goals faster, along with giving you all of the antioxidant and anti-infl ammatory properties of grape seed extract. Just like grape seed extract, there are similar potential mild side effects from the use of red wine extract and you should always consult your physician before taking a supplement.

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