Grapes and their potential health benefits have been lauded for many years now. In addition to being tasty and versatile, modern science finds many beneficial compounds within these fruits.
One of the more impressive grape antioxidants is resveratrol, found in grape skins. From preventing complications caused by diabetes to fighting signs of aging in the skin, studies have found that resveratrol can do amazing things for the body.
Keep reading to learn all about resveratrol, including what it is, what it can do for your health, ways to use it, and more.
Resveratrol is a plant compound that falls into the category of polyphenols, a group of compounds that are thought to act like antioxidants. It occurs naturally in foods such as grapes, peanuts, certain berries, and even cocoa. Specifically, high concentrations of resveratrol are found in the skin of grapes and in fermented grape products.
In addition to being found in some foods, resveratrol is often taken in the form of a supplement—whether it’s a pill, powder, or liquid. Resveratrol has also become a popular ingredient in skincare products such as serums, moisturizers, and masks.
While there is still much more research to be done on this ingredient, the findings are promising so far. Specific health benefits of resveratrol include:
Resveratrol has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which protects the body in several ways. Specifically, studies show that resveratrol may help to slow cognitive decline that is caused by age.
So how exactly does this work? Resveratrol has been shown to fight against the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also been shown to protect brain cells from damage caused by processes such as oxidative stress, which occurs when there’s an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body.
Several studies do support these claims. However, scientists believe that additional research is necessary, as the immediate effects of supplemental resveratrol on the brain are still in question.
High blood pressure is a dangerous condition that can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. There are several ways you can help to lower your blood pressure, including consuming resveratrol.
A 2014 study found that high doses of resveratrol may reduce the pressure that’s placed on the walls of the artery as the heart beats. This pressure typically increases as we age, and the higher it is, the more at risk we are for heart disease. Resveratrol aids in the production of nitric oxide, which may help to relax blood vessels.
Researchers have found that resveratrol may help to increase insulin sensitivity and fight against complications caused by diabetes. Specifically, resveratrol has been shown to:
This is certainly a big claim, but animal and test-tube studies have found that resveratrol may help to fight several types of cancer cells, including colon, skin, gastric, prostate, and breast.
Essentially, resveratrol is thought to be able to do this in three ways:
With this being said, much more research needs to be done on the topic in order to prove that resveratrol can have these same effects in the human body.
Supplements like resveratrol are often used to treat and prevent joint pain, a main symptom of arthritis.
Joint pain is often caused by cartilage breakdown, and resveratrol is thought to help combat this. One study in particular found that when resveratrol was injected into the knee joints of animals with arthritis, they experienced less cartilage damage.
Resveratrol has been shown to positively impact cholesterol levels by reducing the effects of an enzyme that controls cholesterol production.
Due to its antioxidant properties, resveratrol may decrease the oxidation of what’s known as “bad” LDL cholesterol, which leads to the buildup of plaque in artery walls.
In a recent study, participants were given grape extract with extra resveratrol. After six months, it was found that those who took the resveratrol-enriched grape extract experienced a larger drop in LDL versus those who took the unenriched grape extract.
Resveratrol has become quite a popular ingredient in the skincare world. When applied topically, this antioxidant offers a multitude of benefits for your complexion:
Many dermatologists recommend incorporating resveratrol into your nighttime skincare routine. While you sleep, your cells work hard to regenerate. Resveratrol can help to maximize this process and boost the production of antioxidants in the skin cells.
While resveratrol is commonly associated with grapes, it’s important to note that fresh grapes contain very small amounts of it. If you’re really looking to boost your resveratrol intake, a supplement is most likely the best choice.
Resveratrol supplements have been shown to be generally safe. However, there’s a lack of research on exactly how much you need to take in order to fully experience its health benefits. Additionally, large doses of resveratrol may not interact well with other medications, so it’s best to always consult a doctor before introducing this antioxidant into your routine.
At the end of the day, resveratrol is a powerful ingredient that can offer incredible benefits for the body. While some benefits are still inconclusive, you can’t go wrong with boosting your resveratrol intake or introducing it into your skincare routine.