Grape Seed Extract – Why You Need It
When you eat grapes with seeds, you probably find them to be an annoyance, but these seeds can actually provide substantial health benefits. That’s one of the reasons why you’ll find grape seed extract in a lot of different supplements on your grocery store shelves. It’s also an important component of a lot of beauty products, as well as products that help keep your skin looking its best.
How Grape Seed Extract Can Help You
Grape seed extract contains proanthocyanidins, which act as antioxidants inside the body. Antioxidants are critical to your overall health because, as the name implies, they fight the effects of oxidation. While oxidation is a natural process that we actually need to survive, it can also have harmful side effects. One of the worst is the production of “free radicals,” molecules that can, in many instances, start chemical chain reactions that lead to serious illnesses. In addition to proanthocyanidins, grape seed extract is rich in vitamin E, linoleic acid, and flavonoids.
The antioxidant properties alone would be enough to warrant you getting more grape seed extract into your body. But this is just one of its many health benefits. Here are a few others:
Supporting Cardiovascular Health
Flavonoids, found in abundance in grape seed extract, have been shown to reduce the amount of harmful cholesterol in the body, the kind that attaches to the walls of arteries and can eventually produce a life-threatening clog.1 Wine is thought to help protect the body against heart problems, with flavonoids being one of the main reasons why. Additionally, flavonoid-rich grape seed extract may have substantial cardiovascular health benefits.2,3
Blood Pressure Regulation
Research suggests that grape seed extract could also help lower blood pressure. In one study, adults diagnosed with pre-hypertension (the early stages of high blood pressure), consumed drinks containing 150 mg of grape seed extract two times a day for six weeks. The participants saw an average systolic blood pressure reduction of nearly 6 percent, and a reduction in diastolic blood pressure of nearly 5 percent. Participants with higher initial blood pressure readings saw nearly twice the average amount of systolic and diastolic reduction.4
Improving Skin Health
Grape seed extract is rich in vitamins C, D and E, which all help reduce wrinkles and improve the appearance of skin.5 The polyphenols found in grape seed extract have also been shown to help wounds heal faster, and to help reduce the occurrence of scarring.6
How Do You Get More Grape Seed Extract?
You can probably find grape seed extract supplements in your local grocery store, but if for some reason you can’t, then they should definitely be available in your nearest health food store. But it’s very important that you look at the label to make sure you’ll be getting the maximum benefits.
For example, you want to make sure any grape seed supplement has an ample supply of proanthocyanidins – 80 percent is the optimum number, because it will help to ensure that you get enough antioxidants into your system. Another great thing about grape seed extract is that it works extremely well when combined with other kinds of supplements and vitamins. If, for instance, you already take vitamins E and C, that will help your body do a better job of absorbing grape seed extract. The relationship works in the other direction as well. For example, if you take vitamin E, taking grape seed extract can help boost the health benefits of the vitamin.
You should strive to take somewhere between 150-300 mg of grape seed extract each day in order to get the most out of your supplement. Make a habit out of using it on a daily basis so that your body can absorb it in the most efficient way possible.
Even though it is generally believed to be completely safe, talk to your doctor before making significant changes to your diet like taking grape seed extract or any other supplement (like the Lectin Shield supplement, probiotics, etc.).