The fruit of the vine has a real romance to it. And whether it’s a coincidence or not, grapes protect your heart.
You see, when your heart’s antioxidant defenses falter, that’s when you’re open to high blood pressure which leads to heart disease.
But research shows that grapes can help the heart defend itself against cellular damage.
A study at the University of Michigan demonstrates that natural chemicals in grapes help the heart produce extra glutathione, one of the body’s most powerful native antioxidants that also lowers blood pressure.
Oxidative stress has been linked to high blood pressure. A lack of glutathione, in turn, has been connected to heart failure.
In the Michigan study, animals fed grapes had a lower risk of heart enlargement and fibrosis (scarring). Heart function improved and the grapes were found to activate the heart’s antioxidant defenses, boosting the gene activity that results in extra glutathione manufacture.
And in another study from Greece, grape extract increased glutathione in endothelial cells, the lining of the blood vessels that regulates blood pressure.
The grapes with the most antioxidant power are muscadine grapes, which are native to the United States. They have even more ellagic acid than resveratrol. And ellagic acid is well known to reduce high blood pressure.
Muscadine grapes come in both purple and “bronze” varieties (a kind of a reddish-tinged green grape that looks more dark gold than green). You can find them in many specialty health food stores, and they should stay fresh in your refrigerator for at least two weeks.