Did you know…that 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil benefits a day helps lower LDL cholesterol?
Europeans have been using grapes, as well as their sap and leaves, to treat a variety of health conditions for 1000s of years. Grapes grabbed the attention of the West in 1991, when CBS’s “60 Minutes” reported on “The French Paradox.” How in the world are the French able to eat a high fat diet made up of cheese, chocolate and wine, and still have such low rates of cardiovascular disease?
Some experts believe the answer to the riddle lies in the French people’s high consumption of red wine, known to contain heart-healthy antioxidants, such as resveratrol. And where does red wine come from? Grapes!
You can get the same cardiovascular protection from just 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil a day.
Grape Seed Oil’s Slow Rise to Fame
Grape seed oil isn’t quite as well known as its more popular counterparts, olive and canola oil. The oversight is certainly not due to lack of merit, as many experts believe grape seed oil benefits to be the healthiest oil of them all. Perhaps it is not as popular because grape seed oil is more difficult and expensive to extract than the oil of other seeds and nuts.
Even so, grape seed oil benefits won’t break the bank and makes for a wonderful all-purpose cooking oil used for baking, frying and sautéing. It has a higher smoke point than olive oil, which makes it ideal for cooking. Its light, neutral taste doesn’t compete with food’s natural flavors and is a delicious addition to salad dressings.
Grape seed oil becomes even tastier when you add all its health-enhancing properties to the mix. Studies indicate that grape seed oil benefits and grape seed extract heal a variety of health issues, including heart disease.
An Antioxidant Powerhouse
Grape seed oil is rich in antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene. Antioxidants are important because they defend against free radical damage, which leads to premature aging and chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis.
Of particular interest to researchers is a highly potent group of chemicals in grapes known as oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs). Research suggests that it may be the powerful antioxidant properties of OPCs that render grape seed oil benefits such a heart-healthy option. One study found that healthy subjects who took grape seed extract (made from the ground-up seeds of red wine grapes) daily showed increased levels of antioxidants in the blood.
Dr. Ralph Feder, author of “The Bonus Years Diet,” explains that when you cook with grape seed oil you can raise your HDL (healthy cholesterol levels) by as much as 13% and lower your LDL (unhealthy cholesterol levels) by as much as 7%.
Lower Your Cholesterol the Safe and Natural Way
If you suffer from high cholesterol, then you probably take a statin drug, which unfortunately comes with many harmful side effects. Grape seed oil delivers the same benefits, without the unwanted side effects.
In addition to a rich supply of antioxidants, grape seed oil benefits contains linoleic acid, an omega-6 essential fatty acid that makes up 76% of the fatty acid in grape seed oil. With superior anti-inflammatory properties, linoleic acid is the only essential fatty acid proven to raise HDL levels and lower LDL cholesterol levels.
High levels of LDL cholesterol threaten your heart because when LDL cholesterol oxidizes, it sticks to your arteries. This plague buildup manifests as arthrosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), a primary cause of heart attack and stroke.
Linoleic acid protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation, thereby helping your arteries stay clean so that your blood flows freely to your heart. Studies have shown that when taken as a pure extract, grape seed oil benefits can reduce LDL cholesterol oxidation by as much as 90%!
Another promising study analyzed the effects of grape seed extract, chromium, a combination of grape seed extract and chromium, or a placebo on the cholesterol levels of 40 volunteers with high cholesterol. Results showed that a combination of grape seed extract and chromium proved most effective.
Another study, made up of 24 healthy male smokers 50 years or older, found that subjects who consumed grape seed extract twice a day for 4 weeks had substantially lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Beets may well be one of the least frequently consumed vegetables in America. Perhaps they’ve fallen into disuse in our hurry-up, everything-instant frenzy of life because they require some prep time. And beet greens probably find their way to the table even more seldom than the root that sprouted them.
But with a growing awareness of health and nutrition, the popularity of beets and their greens also seems to be on the rise.
Beets have been around for thousands of years and flourish in all kinds of climates. Their speedy rate of growth makes it possible to harvest two crops per year even in many northern regions.
Beets are making their comeback in three primary forms: beet juice, beet greens, and beet roots, each with its unique set of benefits.
If you’re looking for a pre-workout energy drink to boost your stamina, beet juice does just that. The juice is high in nitrates that help promote blood flow and lower blood pressure.
Beet juice also contains betalain, a powerful antioxidant that is an anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, and aids in the detoxification of the body. Beet juice promotes eye and liver health, prevents anemia, and helps heal gout, kidney and gall bladder issues.
Beet greens rank as one of the richest food sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber and contain more beneficial nutrients than its root. Beet greens boast healthy amounts of:
- Vitamins K, A, C and B1, 3, and 6
- Minerals: copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus
- Carotenoids: lutein and beta-carotene
These nutrients strengthen the immune system, fight cancer and heart disease, help prevent osteoporosis, boost bone strength, and may even help ward off Alzheimer’s.
In bygone eras, beet greens were eaten, while the roots were reserved for medicinal purposes. Today, we’ve all but forgotten the leaves and eat the root.
Beet roots also contain healthy amounts of the nutrients listed above. The root is low in calories and high in fiber. Additionally, raw beets provide an excellent source of folates necessary for DNA synthesis in our cells.
The deep crimson color in beets stems from betalain and other antioxidant phytonutrients. These vary from vegetable to vegetable, not only creating a beautiful array of colors, but a host of health benefits. So a colorful presentation of vegetables on the table translates into a cornucopia of nutrients as well.
The secret is out. Beets and their greens offer a double-dose of nutrients and minerals all combined in one beautiful package. Now it’s up to you to experiment with a thousand different ways to enjoy their rich flavor and healthful benefits.
What’s the second most common cancer in men worldwide? Prostate cancer… and it’s much more prevalent in developed countries. Experts believe that higher rates of prostate cancer in industrialized nations are partially due to the Western diet and lifestyle. Researchers from the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, and Oxford recently identified three dietary components that may help slash your risk for prostate cancer.
Lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, stood out as the all-star prostate cancer-fighting nutrient.
10 Tomatoes a Week Keep the Doctor Away!
The study, published in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, is the first “dietary index” to track dietary components and their effects on prostate cancer. Researchers compared the diets and lifestyle behaviors of 1,806 prostate cancer patients between the ages of 50 and 69 with 12,005 cancer-free men. They discovered that selenium, calcium, and lycopene effectively reduced prostate cancer risk, with lycopene showing the most influence.
|FACT: Men who consumed 10 portions a week of tomatoes or tomato products (like baked beans or tomato juice) had an 18% reduced risk for developing prostate cancer!|
Lead researcher Vanessa Er, from the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol and Bristol Nutrition BRU, explains: “Our findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention. However, further studies need to be conducted to confirm our findings, especially through human trials. Men should still eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight and stay active.”
Researchers also analyzed lifestyle factors, particularly the anti-cancer lifestyle recommendations for diet, physical activity, and body weight set forth by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). While the suggestions of these two organizations are pertinent to overall cancer prevention, they aren’t targeted at prostate cancer prevention, and researchers determined that only dietary recommendations lowered prostate cancer risk. This study confirms that a high intake of fruits, vegetables, and fiber helps lower your odds of a prostate cancer diagnosis.
The Anti-Cancer Effects of Lycopene
Lycopene is a carotenoid found in fruits such as the tomato, apricot, guava, and watermelon. It has been shown to shield against toxins that damage DNA and cells. Previous studies have shown that lycopene suppresses androgen receptor expression in prostate cancer cells in vitro, and decreases prostate cancer cell proliferation. Lycopene has also been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration (the primary cause of vision loss in people over 60).
To increase your lycopene consumption, add some tomatoes, grapefruit, asparagus, parsley, and carrots to your diet. You’ll notice the results from the inside out, as lycopene also helps your skin maintain a radiant, healthy glow.