Grapes contain a polyphenol called resveratrol, which is an antioxidant that is found in wine, peanuts and berries. Resveratrol has the ability to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and your risk for cardiovascular disease as well as help prevent and reduce plaque build-up in the arteries (atherosclerosis).1,3 This also means it can reduce your risk for heart disease and heart attacks. This compound along with other polyphenols in grapes makes it a strong anti-inflammatory food and cancer fighter.1,3 The resveratrol in grapes may also prevent your blood cells from clumping together, which may help reduce the chance of developing a stroke or an unecessary blood clot and it may also regulate the body’s levels of lipids and lipoproteins. Resveratrol has the ability to reduce oxidative stress on cells and helps to recycle alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E), which is also a powerful antioxidant.1
Resveratrol can act as an estrogen agonist, which means that it can mimic estrogen’s effects on certain tissues in the body. 2 This means that it can possibly reduce the risk of hormone driven cancers such as breast cancer.
Overall, grapes are good at fighting off or reducing many of the effects of aging in the body. Besides the most common grapes we eat (red, or green grapes) Concord grapes may have an even stronger health effect because it’s much darker.
These are the darkest and likely healthiest of Grapes. These grapes contain a high amount of resveratrol both in the skin and the seeds so eat the whole grape. Eat about 2 cups per week. You can also freeze these grapes and eat them like candy.
Muscadine grapes have high concentrations of resveratrol, quercetin and ellagic acid. This makes them more resistant to diseases compared to other grapes, and, they are quite good at protecting us against many different types of cancers thanks to the higher concentrations of antioxidants. It can be found in certain wines, frozen or processed into other foods. The grapes can be green as well as dark purple.
- Ramprasath V, Jones P. Anti-atherogenic effects of resveratrol. European Journal Of Clinical Nutrition [serial online]. July 2010;64(7):660-668.
- Donnelly L, Newton R, Kennedy G, et al. Anti-inflammatory effects of resveratrol in lung epithelial cells: molecular mechanisms. American Journal Of Physiology. Lung Cellular And Molecular Physiology [serial online]. October 2004;287(4):L774-L783.
- Y.K. Park et al. / Concord grape juice supplementation reduces blood pressure in Korean hypertensive men BioFactors 22 (2004) 145–147.