If you’ve been keeping up with the latest health news, you’ve probably heard of the wonders of resveratrol. It’s an antioxidant so powerful it has been heralded a modern day “fountain of youth.” This potent anti-aging compound is found in wine, fruits, some nuts, and cocoa, and it promises some pretty remarkable health benefits.
Usually associated with grapes and red wine, some have believed resveratrol is the solution to the “French Paradox” – the observation that the French have great cardiovascular health despite the fact they eat some of the richest, most fattening food, smoke a lot, and have a particular love for red wine.
How can this be? Studies have shown that resveratrol has the ability to protect your body from damaging molecules that trigger harmful inflammation. So, it follows, their wine drinking may help save them from the consequences.
Inflammation is a natural body response to invading bacteria and viruses so in that sense it’s a good thing. However, an improper diet and environmental toxins can lead to a state of chronic inflammation which in turn can led to the onset of chronic diseases, including heart disease.
The power of resveratrol.
While there are plenty of antioxidants that can do wonders for your health, resveratrol has properties that sets it apart from the crowd. Part of this can be contributed to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. This enables resveratrol to help protect the brain, nervous system, and body cells with wide reaching benefits. Resveratrol combats:
- Free radical damage
- Cancer spread
- High blood pressure
- Heart and blood vessel damage
- Alzheimer’s onset
- A high inflammatory response
- Body toxins
- Decreased energy
- Weight gain
- Poor absorption of nutrients
Sources of resveratrol.
Red grapes produce resveratrol as a defense against fungi. Grapes with extra thick skins and numerous seeds produce the highest concentration. This is why there is such an abundance of resveratrol in red wine . . . and why enjoying a glass or two is actually good for your health. Since resveratrol is soluble in alcohol, your body can absorb more of it from red wine than other sources.
But if you’re not a big red wine drinker, resveratrol is also found in cocoa, dark chocolate, green teas, and peanuts.
Since resveratrol is also available in supplement form people are flocking to health food stores in search of this fountain of youth. However, it’s important to remember that nutritional supplements aren’t created equally. That’s why you must do your own due diligence when it comes to choosing a supplement that will truly deliver the benefits claimed.
And remember, taking fistfuls of supplements is not a substitute to a healthy diet. But when it comes to protecting yourself from the results of a toxic environment and possibly extending your lifespan, resveratrol could possibly be one important nutrient you can’t afford to do without.