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.