Surprise, grapes have been studied and noted for their value, both medicinal and nutritional for a very long time. The amazing resveratrol is a product of grapes. That’s right these studies are not just recent, but go back to olden times; even to the Egyptians whose consumption of grapes for thousands of years has been documented by historians. That is because they believed in grapes medicinal powers.
The Greeks also found grapes to be healthful and both Greeks and Egyptians used them as an ointment and the leaves were used to staunch bleeding and pain. Green unripe grapes were used for sore throats and, of course, raisins (dried grapes) were used for many conditions like cancer, cholera, kidney and liver disease just to name a few. Though red grapes were consumed mostly in the form of red wine, grape seed supplements are another way to reap the benefits of Resveratrol.
Grapes are really native to Asia and were brought to the Americas and Europe. Ripe grapes are green, purple, or red. We are looking at red grapes because they contain Resveratrol. Therefore, because during the red winemaking process, the skin of red grapes stays in the mixture longer than that for making white wine. The Resveratrol comes from the skin of the grape; therefore, more of the supplement is contained in red wine.
There are other foods that contain some of the Resveratrol, such as peanuts, cranberries, and blackberries. But red grape and red wine contain the most. It would be difficult to consume enough red grapes or grape juice to achieve sufficient amounts of Resveratrol to provide any heart-healthy benefits. You can also find Resveratrol in supplement form. This is especially useful for those persons who do not drink alcohol.
According to researchers, drinking red wine in moderation can raise HDL or good cholesterol and also stop artery damage caused by HDL the type of cholesterol that we need to avoid. Also, studies have shown that the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption are more positive with red wine than with other sources of alcohol. This is certainly not to say that non-drinkers should begin using alcohol just for possible heart health benefits. Another study tested whether consuming grape seed extract, chromium, or a combination of both would be effective in lowering cholesterol. The combination may be more effective; however, there needs to be more research before that can be established.
Smokers are another story. The effect of grape seed extract supplement in a recent study was shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels in these smokers.
This is only the tip of the iceberg with Resveratrol or grape seed extract. There are so many ongoing studies and research focusing on health issues such as the antioxidant content of red wine and grape seed extract and how it would impact cancer, aging skin, edema, diabetes, and infections just to name a few. If you are suffering from any of these conditions Resveratrol could be the answer to help you.
Using supplements in the daily diet is a personal decision; however, whenever adding a supplement or any other product to your routine should be discussed with your healthcare provider.