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Friday, February 3, 2017

What's New and Beneficial About Grapes

  • Several grape phytonutrients are now believed to play a role in longevity. At the top of the list in this area of research is resveratrol (a stilbene phytonutrient present mostly in grape skins, but also in grape seeds and grape flesh). Resveratrol has recently been shown to increase expression of three genes all related to longevity. (These three genes are SirT1s, Fox0s, and PBEFs.) Interestingly, some researchers have shown a parallel between activation of these longevity genes by resveratrol and activation by calorie-restricted diets. In aging and longevity research, our ability to get optimal nutrition for the fewest possible amount of calories is related to our longevity, and the more we can decrease our calories while staying optimally nourished, the better our chances of healthy aging and longevity.
  • Grapes have long been classified as a low glycemic index (GI) food, with GI values ranging between 43-53. But having a low GI value is not necessarily the same as having blood sugar benefits. In the case of grapes, recent studies have shown that the low GI value of grapes is also a good indicator of this fruit's blood sugar benefits. Better blood sugar balance, better insulin regulation, and increased insulin sensitivity have now been connected with intake of grape juices, grape extracts, and individual phytonutrients found in grapes.
  • The 2014 edition of the Shopper's Guide to Pesticides by the Environmental Working Group has once again identified conventionally grown grapes as one of most problematic fruits and vegetables in terms of pesticide residues. There's new evidence that pesticide residues can be successfully avoided by purchase of certified organic grapes. In a recent study of 99 vineyards in the Aegean Sea area of the Mediterranean, pesticide residues were found on conventionally grown table grapes, but were determined to be undetectable on grapes that had been organically grown. This new evidence adds to our confidence about the added health benefits of selecting organically grown grapes

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