A superfood that may literally extend your life.

A superfood that may literally extend your life.

 

For a long time, scientists have been excited about a compound called resveratrol. I take resveratrol every single day in supplement form, and consider it one of the best anti-aging nutrients in the world. Dozens of studies have shown that resveratrol can extend the life of almost every species that’s been tested, from yeast cells to fruit flies to mice.

In humans, high resveratrol intake is associated with a reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease, and a reduced risk for cancer. Resveratrol is also a powerful antioxidant, helping to protect cells against DNA damaging free radicals.

You’ve heard about the health benefits of red wine for years, and the main reason red wine is considered to be so beneficial is because it contains the very same compound we’ve been talking about- resveratrol.

But here’s the thing- alcohol can be a problem for a lot of people- but there’s just as much resveratrol if not more in the red and purple grapes that wine is made from.  Red and purple grapes are one of the best sources of resveratrol on the planet. By consuming them regularly, you can get all of the terrific potentially life-extending benefits of reseveratrol plus a whole lot more.

You see, the benefits of grapes don’t stop with resveratrol. Grape seeds and skins are also a huge source of a class of flavonoids called proanthocyanidins. These guys are powerful antioxidants- much more potent than vitamins C and E.  They help protect against the effects of internal and environmental stresses like pollution and second hand smoke.

Substances in red and purple grapes have also been shown to lower cholesterol. Even the Physicians Desk Reference calls these proanthocyanidins in grapes “cardioprotective” which is doctor-speak meaning they protect the heart. And these same substances may also be good for allergies according to at least one expert on the subject who says they have a natural antihistamine effect.

Some people are concerned about the sugar in grapes, and yes, the carb count is moderately high if you’re watching your carbs, but the glycemic load  is moderately low (under 10). The trick is not to overeat them, which is sometimes a difficult trick. One cup contains 106 calories (and one cup disappears really quickly!).

By the way- I recommend eating them seeds and all. Too many amazing health-promoting compounds have been extracted from the seeds to throw them away.

And here’s a trick from my kitchen: Freeze them. The little guys make an amazing desert eaten fresh from the freezer frozen. They taste like sherbert. You can also mix them with some fresh whole yogurt and top with some almonds for an amazingly healthy whole food snack.

by Dr. Jonny Bowden

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