Extra Virgin Olive Oil
One of the most important foods in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet is extra virgin olive oil.
One five-year study gave older adults at risk of heart disease 4 tablespoons a day of extra virgin olive oil alongside a Mediterranean diet.
The olive oil group had a 30% lower risk of major heart events, such as stroke and heart attack, compared to people who followed a low-fat diet .
Olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, the kind that may help raise good HDL and lower bad LDL cholesterol.
It is also a source of polyphenols, some of which reduce the inflammation that can drive heart disease .
High cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for heart disease.
Thankfully, you can lower this risk by incorporating certain foods into your diet.
You can also practice techniques like mindful eating to make sure youre enjoying your meal and getting full without overdoing it.
Whole Grains Especially Oats And Barley
Extensive research ties whole grains to lower heart disease risk.
In fact, a review of 45 studies linked eating three servings of whole grains daily to a 20% lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Benefits were even greater when people ate more servings up to seven of whole grains per day .
Whole grains keep all parts of the grain intact, which provides them with more vitamins, minerals, plant compounds and fiber than refined grains.
While all whole grains may promote heart health, two grains are particularly noteworthy:
- Oats: Contain beta-glucan, a
Fruit is an excellent addition to a heart-healthy diet for several reasons.
Many types of fruit are rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels .
It does this by encouraging your body to get rid of cholesterol and stopping your liver from producing this compound.
One kind of soluble fiber called pectin lowers cholesterol by up to 10%. Its found in fruits including apples, grapes, citrus fruits and strawberries .
Fruit also contains bioactive compounds that help prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Eating berries and grapes, which are particularly rich sources of these plant compounds, can help increase good HDL and lower bad LDL cholesterol .
SummaryFruit can help lower cholesterol and improve heart health. This is largely caused by its fiber and antioxidants.
Plant Compounds May Protect Against Certain Types Of Cancer
Grapes contain high levels of beneficial plant compounds, which may help protect against certain types of cancer .
Resveratrol, one of the compounds found in this fruit, has been well-studied in terms of cancer prevention and treatment.
It has been shown to protect against cancer by reducing inflammation, acting as an antioxidant and blocking the growth and spread of cancer cells within the body .
However, the unique combination of plant compounds found in grapes may be responsible for their anti-cancer benefits. In addition to resveratrol, grapes also contain quercetin, anthocyanins and catechins all of which may have beneficial effects against cancer .
Grape extracts have been shown to block the growth and spread of human colon cancer cells in test-tube studies (
While studies on grapes and cancer in humans are limited, a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods, such as grapes, has been linked to a lower risk of cancer .
Summary Grapes contain many beneficial plant compounds, such as resveratrol, that may protect against various types of cancer, including colon cancer and breast cancer.
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Contain Several Compounds That Benefit Eye Health
The plant chemicals found in grapes may protect against common eye diseases.
In one study, mice fed a diet supplemented with grapes showed fewer signs of damage to the retina and had better retinal function compared with mice who were not fed the fruit .
In a test-tube study, resveratrol was found to protect retinal cells in the human eye from ultraviolet A light. This may lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration , a common eye disease .
According to a review study, resveratrol may also help protect against glaucoma, cataract and diabetic eye disease .
Additionally, grapes contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Several studies have demonstrated that these compounds help protect the eyes from damage from blue light .
Summary Grapes contain several compounds, such as resveratrol, lutein and zeaxanthin, that may protect against common eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma.
Top 12 Health Benefits Of Eating Grapes
Grapes have been cultivated for thousands of years and have been revered by several ancient civilizations for their use in winemaking.
There are many types of grapes including green, red, black, yellow and pink. They grow in clusters and come in seeded and seedless varieties.
Grapes are grown in temperate climates across the world, including Southern Europe, Africa, Australia and North and South America. The majority of grapes grown in the US are from California.
Grapes offer a wealth of health benefits due to their high nutrient and antioxidant contents.
Here are the top 12 health benefits of eating grapes.
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Are You Team Red Or Team Green
Both green and red grapes can be purchased and consumed all year round. Always pick wrinkle-free and hard grapes. They should be washed before consumed.
Try eating fresh grapes since most grape spreads, jellies, and juices contain added sugars. Meaning, they can be high in calories. I enjoy grapes daily in different ways.
Sometimes, I slice them in half and add them to a chicken salad. Other times, I make fruit cocktails with pineapple, strawberries, sliced peaches, and of course, grapes.
Grapes are best stored in the fridge. However, you can also freeze them and consume them as a healthy snack anytime, anywhere. Green vs red grapes, whos the winner?
I would say red grapes since they have more health benefits. However, to be honest, I prefer the taste of green grapes. Theyre sourer than red grapes, but I dont mind.
If you do mind, opt for red grapes. Hopefully, you learned something new about grapes today. Drop any questions, suggestions, and cooking tips in the comments.
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Are Red Grapes Healthier Than Green Grapes
According to studies, yes. Theres a bigger difference than just color. However, although red grapes have more health benefits, its up to you which grapes you pick.
Most health experts would recommend picking red grapes over green ones due to their larger amounts of phytonutrients. These fruits that begin with R are sweeter and less sour than green ones.
Nonetheless, I cant tell what tastes better for you. Put both green and red grapes to the test and decide for yourself if the taste of red grapes is also superior to green ones.
Have you ever used any superior oil made from grapeseed? Its another healthy grape-based product that you can include in your cooking. Its rich in Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E.
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Foods With Added Sterols And Stanols
Sterols and stanols are plant chemicals which are a similar size and shape to cholesterol. They are absorbed from the intestines into the blood stream and block some cholesterol from being absorbed, lowering the cholesterol in your blood.
We get a small amount of sterols from plant-based foods such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, but its not enough to lower cholesterol. So, food companies have developed foods with plant sterols or stanols added to them, such as mini yogurt drinks, fat spreads, milk and yogurts.
These fortified foods lower your cholesterol gradually, over a few weeks, and how much depends on the amount you eat. Some experts believe they are the most effective single food for lowering cholesterol.
Who should eat foods with sterols and stanols added?
Sterols and stanols have been thoroughly researched, so they can be added to foods and are safe to eat.
They are suitable for:
- People with high cholesterol theres no real benefit if you dont have high cholesterol.
- Children with inherited high cholesterol such as familial hypercholesterolaemia with support from a doctor or dietitian.
- People taking statins sterols and stanols will help to lower your cholesterol further because they work in a different way to the statin.
They are not suitable for:
Aim for: one to three servings of fortified foods a day. This will give you 1.5 to 3g of stanols and sterols.
Three servings of: OR
- 1 glass of milk
One product a day:
Your Stomach Might Get Upsetif You Eat Too Many
“While grapes are very healthy, too much of a good thing can still be a problem,” says Claybrook.
If you were to eat, say, 2 cups of grapes, you’d be getting almost 47 grams of sugarthat’s almost the equivalent of two candy bars.
“Sugar causes weight gain, so you don’t want to eat grapes by the pound,” adds Claybrook. “Grapes could also cause gas, bloating, diarrhea, and an upset stomach if you overdo it.”
One serving is about 1/2 cup or 16 grapeswhich may seem small, but controlling your portion sizes of this fruit will allow you to reap the benefits without the risks of digestive issues and weight gain.
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Help Deal With Diabetes
Including red grapes in a healthy balanced diet can help if you want to control your blood sugar levels. The benefits that red grapes offer to people with diabetes can be attributed again to resveratrol. Research has found that this compound can reduce blood sugar levels as well as improve insulin sensitivity.1213
If you are wondering about the sugar content of grapes, dont worry. Grapes actually have a low glycemic index, that is, they release sugar slowly into the bloodstream and dont cause a sudden spike. 14 But steer clear of grape juice and have the whole fruit instead. Studies show that while having whole grapes is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, drinking the fruit juice may actually pose a higher risk. 15 You can safely have up to 23 servings of fruit depending on your calorie and carb intake for the day. Include grapes in this to make the most of its benefits.
Other Essential Benefits Grapes Offer
Grapes help the body in various other ways. Below are other benefits you get to derive from eating it.
- Aids digestion
- Improves eyesight by preventing the retina from deteriorating
- Helps reduce insulin resistance by enhancing insulin sensitivity
- Significantly improves cardiovascular health
- Prevents Alzheimers disease, dyslipidemia, and hypertension
- Possess anti-aging properties
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May Help Protect Against Cancer
Cancer is one of the major causes of death across the world.22 Many studies have shown that resveratrol which has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can fight this disease. It can slow down cancer and inhibit tumors in the breast, stomach, liver, and lymph as well as trigger the death of colon cancer and leukemic tumors.23 Once this is established with more research, it could offer a breakthrough in cancer therapy.24
To make the most of these benefits of red grapes, buy them from certified organic sources with minimal or nil pesticide exposure. And remember, while dietary intake of grapes as part of your daily five veggies and fruits is fine, be sure to check with your doctor before consuming large amounts. This especially applies if you are on medication such as beta blockers or blood thinners.
Grapes Team Up With Your Microbiome To Lower Cholesterol
Its always a good thing to include fruit in your diet. Most of us dont eat enough, but now weve certainly got more reason to especially when it comes to grapes
We found that grapes have a beneficial effect on gut bacteria, which is great news since a healthy gut is critical to good health, says Dr. Zhaoping Li. This study deepens our knowledge and expands the range of health benefits for grapes, even as the study reinforces the heart health benefits of grapes with lowered cholesterol.
According to previous studies, fruits containing polyphenols, such as apples and grapes, help promote healthy blood vessels and lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels. In some cases, polyphenol consumption has even been shown to lower inflammation, a factor that can contribute to heart disease.
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Antioxidants Will Swing Into Action
You’ve heard of antioxidants, right? Those powerful substances that defend your body from free radical damage? Well, grapes are chock-full of them, and they can help protect and repair your cells from oxidative stresswhich is linked to the development of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
“Oxidative stress simply means that there are too many free radicals and not enough antioxidants in your body to mop them up,” explains Claybrook. “The result is damage to tissues that can lead to disease. Fortunately, grapes contain tons of antioxidants including flavonoids, phenolics, vitamin C, quercetin lutein, beta carotene, and resveratrol.”
Research has revealed that grapes contain over 1,600 beneficial plant compounds, and since the highest concentration of antioxidants is in the seeds and the skin, it’s better to eat them whole than simply drink grape juice. Additionally, it’s also worth noting that red grapes are higher in antioxidants than green ones because they contain anthocyanins, a type of flavanoid that’s responsible for their color.
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Grape Consumption Modifies Gut Microbiome Lowers Blood Cholesterol Levels: Study
Consuming grapes significantly increases the diversity of gut bacteria, decreases cholesterol levels as well as bile acids which play an integral role in cholesterol metabolism, according to a new pilot study published in the journal Nutrients.
Yang et al. provide novel preliminary information about the effects of grape intake on the gut microbiome, host cholesterol, and bile acid metabolism. Image credit: Bruno.
Grapes are one of the most commonly consumed fruits, said senior author Dr. Zhaoping Li from the University of California, Los Angeles, and VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System, and colleagues.
They not only contain various phytochemicals, such as catechins, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, leucoanthocyanidin, quercetin, kaempferol, stilbenes, ellagic acid, and hydroxycinnamates, but are also a good source of fiber.
The antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral effects of grapes, grape extract, or grape phenolic compounds from grapes have been previously reported.
Eight weeks of dietary raisin consumption was found to ameliorate liver function and atherosclerotic lesion formation in rabbits fed an atherogenic diet .
A recent mouse study showed that table grape consumption can decrease adiposity and improve markers of hepatic steatosis, and is associated with an improvement in the gut microbiome.
Additionally, a decrease in blood cholesterols was observed including total cholesterol by 6.1% and LDL cholesterol by 5.9%.
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Fruits Are Rich In Antioxidants And Fibre Which Help In Controlling Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol levels are said to be a major reason behind heart problems. A change in diet and regular consumption of a few fruits will help in reducing cholesterol levels. This will also improve your health and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
According to experts, these five fruit items should be part of your daily diet for a healthy heart.
StrawberryStrawberries have been proven as a catalyst in reducing cholesterol levels in the human body. It is a rich source of antioxidants, which helps in controlling cholesterol levels. It is advised that you eat strawberries for breakfast.
AppleIt is recommended that all heart patients should include apples in their diets because they help in reducing cholesterol levels. The presence of fibre pectin in apples helps to lower cholesterol levels.
Citrus fruitsAll the citrus fruits have been beneficial in curing heart-related diseases. You can include citrus fruits like lemons and oranges in your diet as they are a rich source of vitamin C. Citrus fruits are also considered immunity boosters.
AvocadoAvocados can be helpful in controlling high levels of cholesterol. Regular consumption of Avocado will bring down the cholesterol levels in a few months.
GrapesGrapes are a rich source of fibre. Thus regular consumption of grapes helps in reducing cholesterol levels. Grapes also help in controlling weight, which is said to be another reason behind heart diseases.
Eating Grapes May Cut Down The Risk Of Heart Attack And Stroke
- The beneficial chemical compound present in grapes decreases blood cholesterol levels
- Too much cholesterol can block the blood vessels and lead to heart attack or stroke
- And so, eating grapes regularly benefits the heart and blood circulation
Snacking on grapes helps lower blood cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke, according to new research conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles .Heart attack and stroke are cardiovascular diseases that kill an estimated 17 million people across the world each year, accounting for a third of all deaths.
Cardiovascular diseasesNutrients.beneficial bacteria that increased was Akkermansia, a bacterium that has a beneficial effect on glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as on the integrity of the intestinal lining.total cholesterol by 6.1 percent and LDL cholesterol by 5.9 percent. Polyphenols
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