Scoot Over Wine, Here Comes Grape Juice

Sat, Jun 23, 2012

Natural Weight Loss

Scoot Over Wine, Here Comes Grape Juice

Red Wine has a huge reputation of being heart healthy, with more health benefits being added to its resume all the time. While there is no denying the health benefits associated with red wine, most of the benefits can be found in regular old purple grape juice.

Grape Juice Vs. Red Wine

Both grape juice and red wine contain grape seed extract, a derivative that comes from grape skins. Grape seed extract contains lots of vitamins and flavonoids, namely resveratrol – which makes grape juice and red wine “heart healthy.”  These benefits can be found in concord grapes, but you would have to eat a ridiculous amount in order to reap the rewards. When you drink red wine or grape juice, the flavonoids and vitamins are highly concentrated.

Grape Juice picture

Grape juice is also packed with resveratrol - so there!

According to the Mayo Clinic resveratrol has been found to reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes in mice, which benefits have been attributed to red wine because of the resveratrol content BUT this has only been proven in MICE and not in people. In order to get the same amount of resveratrol in your blood you would need to drink about 60 liters of red wine a day. That is well beyond the legal intoxication levels!

Grape juice and red wine both contain higher amounts of antioxidants, which are thought to help the anti-aging process. When you age, your body starts to oxidize. When oxidation happens to metals, we call it rusting. When it happens in your body, it’s called degeneration. Basically your body is breaking down a little each day. When your food and beverages contain lots of antioxidants then this process is put on hold slightly. This is an excellent benefit that comes from drinking just one 5 oz. glass of red wine or 1 12 oz. glass of grape juice.

Grape Juice Research

For several years, the grape juice vs. red wine debate was settled by one thing: red wine increased levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and grape juice didn’t. However, a recent study suggests that purple grape juice does in fact increase your HDL levels.

The study was conducted by Jane Freedman, MD and researcher at Boston University Medical. Freedman and her team gave individuals either a glass of grape juice or a placebo beverage and then tracked their HDL levels over the course of a few weeks.

After a 4 week flush-out period, the groups were switched and those that received the juice the first time received the placebo beverage instead. The research team found that drinking grape juice raised HDL levels from about 45 mg/dL to 50 mg/dL, an increase that matched the findings of similar red wine studies. Grape juice has the same benefits as red wine if taken in slightly larger quantities.

So far, every grape juice health benefit has been matched by red wine. What makes grape juice better? The difference lies in the risks associated with alcohol.

Neither the American Heart Association nor the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommend drinking alcoholic beverages to reduce your risk of heart disease because of the negative risks associated with alcohol consumption.

Drinking too much increases your risk of high blood pressure, liver damage, obesity, and high triglycerides – which is related to a higher risk of diabetes. In addition, alcohol can be extremely addictive and that can lead to other problems. Drinking too much alcohol regularly, wine or otherwise, can cause weaken your heart muscle, which negates the benefits gleaned from resveratrol and antioxidants.

Drinking excessive amounts of grape juice isn’t the best thing to do either – the sugar content can lead to weight gain and diabetes – but the negative side effects of grape juice are considerably less than the risks associated with alcohol consumption.

What’s the answer? Drink in moderation. If you want to avoid the alcohol then it’s good to know that the health benefits are found in grape juice, but neither beverage should be consumed in large quantities. Be safe and follow dietary guidelines in order to achieve optimal health.

About The Author: Penelope, is a regular editor and contributor for First Medical Products, an online retailer of TENS units used for pain management resulting from athletic injuries.

P.S. Want to get healthy, fit and lose weight? Not sure what to do or who to trust?

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