Grapes May Lower Heart Disease Risk

We love taking charge of our health through diet and lifestyle. Obviously, we listen to our doctors, heed their advice and go for all of our checkups. But, in addition, when there are steps we can take to boost our health naturally, we go for it. When you help your health through diet, you lower your risk for problems down the line and aid your overall wellness, and that’s wonderful. That’s why we’re taking a closer look at what eating grapes can do for your heart.

According to a study, eating grapes can lower your heart attack or stroke risk. The study, from UCLA, looked at the microbiota of people over the age of 100. It was quite short-term, and there were only 19 people in the study, so there are limitations to the research.

The 19 participants ate a low-fiber, low-polyphenol diet for four weeks. After that, they followed the same diet but added 46 grams of grape powder a day. By using stool samples, the researchers saw an increase in the microbial diversity in the participants’ guts. They had a rise in Akkermansia, a bacteria that helps glucose and lipid metabolism and the intestinal lining. They also had a 40.9 percent drop in bile acid and decreased cholesterol.

Prof. Zhaoping Li of UCLA said, “We found grapes have a beneficial effect on gut bacteria, which is great news, since a healthy gut is critical to good health. This study deepens our knowledge and expands the range of health benefits for grapes. It reinforces the heart health benefits of grapes, which include lowering cholesterol.”

BP Dove’s ingredients grape seed extract to aid artery flexibility. Grapes contain potassium that also helps blood pressure levels.

An older study on grapes and cholesterol had people eat red or white grapes. They ate three cups of either red or white grapes every day. At the end of eight weeks, people who had eaten red grapes had lower LDL cholesterol, while people who had eaten the white ones had not. Red grapes are higher in antioxidants, so they are a healthier choice when you are in the grocery store. They are incredibly high in resveratrol. That’s an antioxidant known to protect against heart disease, some cancer and can aid blood sugar.  

With this wealth of knowledge, it seems like a good time to eat more grapes. People have been talking about the health benefits of wine for decades. But you can cut out the fermentation process and just enjoy the fruit for many of the same health perks without the alcohol. With clearer arteries, you lower your risk for heart problems. And, you’ll be shoring up your gut health as you add more fiber to your diet.  

Banner image: Jene Yeo via Unsplash

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