(NaturalNews) In this article you will discover some interesting facts about grapes and how incredibly healthy they are for you. Spanish explorers brought the grape to America about 300 years ago. It is about 80 percent water making it a delicious low-calorie snack. Read on to read about some of the health benefits and short explanations on how these facts about grapes were found.
Grapes Protect the Heart A study done at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center fed groups of rats with enriched grape powder made from a mixture of red, green and black table grapes, including the skins and seeds. All of the rats were from a research breed that develops high blood pressure when fed a lot of salt. Half the rats were put on a high salt diet and another half on a low-salt diet. A third group of rats were designed as the control group and had no grape powder added to their food. After 18 weeks, the rats that ate the grape-enriched diet had lower blood pressure, better heart function, reduced inflammation, and less signs of heart muscle damage compared to the rats that ate the same salty diet without the grape powder.
Grapes Block Colon Cancer A study led by Dr. Randall Holcombe found that resveratrol, a substance found in grapes, blocks a cellular signal pathway known as the Wnt pathway. This pathway has been linked to more than 85 percent of sporadic colon cancers. Researchers split colon cancer patients into three groups, one group was given 20 milligrams of resveratrol daily in the form of a pill; the second group drank 120 grams daily of grape powder mixed in water, and the third group drank 80 grams daily of grape powder.
The researchers found that the supplements did not have any effect on existing tumors, but biopsies showed that the Wnt signaling in the patients taking 80 grams of grape powder (third group) was significantly reduced. These effects were not seen in patients taking the higher dose of grape powder or the pills. The researchers aren't sure why the lower dose was more effective than the higher one. They believe that the active components in grapes may function differently at lower dosages, which they say is a fairly common occurrence in nutritional studies.
Grapes May Provide the Same Benefits As Red Wine Numerous studies have shown the health benefits of red wine, but drinking grape juice provides most of the benefits, without the risk that comes with alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol usage can lead to liver problems, higher blood pressure, heart arrhythmias and alcohol addiction. Red wine can also cause migraines and gout in some people. Red wine usually contains preservatives, flavoring and unnatural colors which are not really things that we want to put into our bodies. Resveratrol is concentrated in red wine but is found in small amounts in grapes; this means that you have to drink more grape juice compared to red wine to get similar benefits.
Eat All Fruits, Not Just Grapes! There are many studies done on individual fruits, but these studies should only serve as confirmations of how healthy fruits and vegetables are. The current recommendation is to eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Eating more than this isn't bad; on the contrary, the more raw, organic and fresh fruits and vegetables you eat, the better you will feel.
How to Eat and Preserve Grapes Fresh grapes usually stay good for about two to three days in the refrigerator. Before you eat them, make sure that you rinse them with water. For enhanced taste and flavor, serve grapes slightly chilled. If you're planning on squeezing your grape juice by yourself, use a glass bottle and fill it completely; this prevents oxidation and damage to the juice. The longer the juice is stored, the more nutrients are lost; this is why it is recommended that you drink your grape juice as soon as possible.