In general, fruits and vegetables offer plenty of health benefits. The greatest benefits are obtained from the presence of antioxidants and fiber. In addition to this, there are other components capable of having disease preventing roles. Grapes are excellent examples for possessing health promoting compounds. The best example is the presence of resveratrol in grapes. This compound is an antioxidant and is also believed to slow down the process of ageing. Resverartrol offers several health benefits including protection against heart disease and diabetes.
Water, the key to weight control
Scientific studies suggest that drinking water before a meal can prevent weight gain. Water provides a filling effect which can reduce consumption and thus, prevents the entry of excess calories into the body. The same effect is seen when fruits containing significant quantity of water are consumed before a meal. Grapes which contain a high percentage of water can therefore, contribute to prevention of weight gain.
Action of naringenin
Grapes also contain another important antioxidant called naringenin and it is this compound which gives a slightly bitter flavor to grapes. This compound offers several health benefits. The liver is the chemical factory of the body and carries out a large number of chemical reactions. Under normal circumstances and during fasting, the liver prefers to oxidize fatty acids. Glucose is preferred as a fuel only when the blood glucose levels are high. Thus, after a meal when the blood is loaded with glucose, fatty acids are ignored and the preferred fuel is glucose. When naringenin is provided before a meal, it stimulates the liver to produce a fasting like response. Thus, even in the presence of increased blood glucose levels, the liver is prompted by naringenin to utilize fatty acids, which is a fasting like response.
While naringenin in grapes can provide several health benefits, these effects are minimized by the poor absorption of naturally occurring naringenin from grapes. To overcome this problem, a new supplement containing naringenin has been developed. In this supplement, naringenin is enclosed in nanoparticles of cyclodextrins and in this form naringenin is absorbed to a greater extent. Cyclodextrins are cyclic sugar molecules in which glucose residues are linked head to tail to form a cyclic ring.