Grapes are not only the star ingredient of the succulent wine or a key element in the celebration of the new year, are a complex fruit packed with powerful nutrients and antioxidants. Grapes have been part of the Mediterranean culture for many years, not in vain have they been consumed since prehistoric times for their long list of medicinal benefits. Recently a new clinical study published in the scientific journal Nutrients found that consuming grapes significantly increases the diversity of bacteria in the gut, an aspect that is considered essential for good health in general. And therefore they are a magnificent dietary addition to strengthen the immune system, increase the body’s defenses and thus more effectively combat the risk of contracting various diseases and infections.
Among other great findings related to the consumption of grapes, scientists discovered that they have the power to significantly reduce cholesterol and bile acid levelss, which plays an integral role in cholesterol metabolism. Grapes were also shown to be a great ally to improve heart health and that is why they are a great addition to reduce the risk of various cardiovascular diseases. One of the main reasons is its content in essential nutrients, antioxidants and especially fiber.
The study was conducted by the University of California, LA and was led by lead researcher Zhaoping Li. The research work had the participation of healthy subjects, who they consumed the equivalent of 1.5 cups of grapes per day, for four weeks. Complementary to this, throughout the study the participants followed a diet low in fiber and polyphenols. The results? After 4 weeks of consuming grapes, there was a significant increase in microbial diversity measured by a parameter called the Shannon index, a commonly used tool for measuring species diversity.
Among the discoveries that most caught the attention of specialists, they discovered that among the beneficial bacteria that increased was one in particular called Akkermansia. It is a bacterium of great interest for its beneficial effect on glucose and lipid metabolismAnother of its great benefits is that it acts positively on the integrity of the intestinal lining. In addition, a decrease in blood cholesterol was observed, including total cholesterol by 6.1% and LDL cholesterol by 5.9%. Bile acids, which are related to cholesterol metabolism, were reduced by 40.9%.
In addition, other studies have proven that grapes are one of the most unique fruits that we have access to as they are incredibly rich in phytonutrients. They belong to the berry family, in particular black grapes are rich in antocianinas y resveratrol, while in the white / green, its quercithin content stands out. At this point we all know about the medicinal properties and the high nutritional value that these substances provide, there are numerous studies in which it is more than proven.
According to Dr Li’s final statement on the study: “We found that grapes have a beneficial effect on gut bacteria, which is great news, as a healthy gut is essential for good health.” This study deepens our knowledge and expands the range of health benefits of grapes, it is also a research work that supports the heart health benefits of grapes and that are largely related to its ability to reduce high cholesterol levels.
It is well known that a balanced gut microbiome contributes to better health. It is the key to enjoy a better physical, mental and emotional health, not in vain for years it has been said that the intestinal system is the second brain. According to experts, following a healthy lifestyle and a quality diet is essential to protect your gut and microbiome health. Therefore, it is very important to guarantee the consumption of natural, seasonal and processing-free foods, such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and abundant fruits and vegetables. In addition, grapes are a wonderful sweet snack to take care of body weight. At some point there was a belief in its high caloric content, however in 100 grams we will get only 70 calories and this is compensated with its 80% water, which gives it great purifying properties.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.