(NaturalNews) You may have heard of resveratrol, a miracle antioxidant found in grape skins (and many other foods) that’s linked to a lower risk of heart disease and enhanced longevity. Unlike other antioxidants such as anthocyanins, which give blueberries their color and are an integral part of the fruit, plants produce resveratrol only in response to fungal or bacterial attack. That’s right — resveratrol is a natural antibiotic and fungicide that’s intelligently synthesized by the grape plant in order to survive a biological attack!
This means that the more natural fungi and bacteria a plant is exposed to, the more resveratrol it will produce. That’s why if a grape plant is repeatedly sprayed with synthetic fungicides — and grapes are among the most pesticide-intensive crops cultivated — the resveratrol content in the fruit will be lower. Conventionally-grown grapes, in other words, contain relatively low levels of resveratrol. Wild grapes, on the other hand, contain enormous quantities of resveratrol (because that’s how they survive in the wild).
That alone may be incentive enough to buy organic grapes and wines, because resveratrol may also help maintain “healthy programmed cell death,” which means a process by which cancer cells commit “suicide” and kill themselves. (This helps prevent cancer from growing.) Studies have also shown that resveratrol can make chemotherapy more effective, weaken viruses including influenza and HIV, counter the effects of a high-fat diet and increase physical endurance. Perhaps most miraculously, resveratrol supplements appear to extend the lifespan of yeast, worms and even fish.
NaturalNews recently published a downloadable resveratrol report that contains a wealth of well-cited research about the astonishing health benefits of resveratrol.
Click here to download that report right now (FREE).
(NaturalNews) If you spend a lot of time in the sun, and are looking for a way to help naturally protect your skin from potential damage caused by sun exposure, new research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry just might have your answer. Scientists from the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Spanish National Research Council have found that flavonoids in grapes help to protect against skin cancer.
Contrary to popular belief, the sun is not evil, and the ultraviolet (UV) rays it emits are actually beneficial because they induce the natural production of vitamin D in the body. But too much sun exposure can obviously lead to damaging sunburn in some people, which may eventually cause melanoma and other forms of skin cancers.
But according to the study, antioxidants found in grapes apparently help prevent skin cells from being damaged or killed by excess sun exposure, effectively limiting its potentially harmful effects. Skin creams made with grape flavonoids, in effect, just might be the natural alternative to conventional sunscreens, as they could protect the skin against harm while also allowing the sun’s UV rays to penetrate skin and produce vitamin D.
“This study supports the idea of using these products to protect the skin from cell damage and death caused by solar radiation, as well as increasing our understanding of the mechanism by which they act,” said Marta Cascante, a biochemist from UB and lead author of the study.
The team did not indicate whether consuming grapes, wine, or other grape products provides the same benefits as topical applications appear to do. Many Mediterranean countries, however, where people spend a lot of time in the sun — but that consume lots of grape products and also have low rates of skin cancer — may itself be a testament to the power of grapes, among other things, in protecting the body against skin damage.
(NaturalNews) Beets are often ignored by shoppers, even if they are available all year round. Perhaps you’re one of those who pass by the beet section looking for other veggies. Understanding the merits of buying, preparing, and consuming beets might make you reconsider and give them a fair trial.
Before getting into the eight health reasons, here is some information on preparing beets.
Purchasing and Preparing
Whole fresh organic beets offer two vegetables in one. The leaves are edible and tasty if steamed and topped with some butter, lemon or lime and your favorite spices. Those greens are similar to spinach in taste and texture and quite nutritious. Simply separate the beets from the leaves and store them until there are enough to steam. The separated beets can last for days in the fridge.
There are several ways to consume the red beets. The outer skins should be peeled regardless of how you prepare them. Then they can be grated raw and sprinkled on salads. Or chop them up into quarters, steam them and prepare as you would any vegetable. Consider a mild sauce topping or mush up some soft goat cheese for your topping.
Or, wait until the cooked beets cool and make a cold side dish with the beet chunks and some crushed walnuts: top off with goat or bleu cheese and olive oil and vinegar, yum!. There are several possible variations, all surprisingly tasty.
Of course, raw beets offer the most complete nutrients. And juicing beets with a slow masticating juicer is highly recommended. Juicing a few beets with lots of carrots and an apple or two is the tastiest way to go. And this adds more nutrients intact with important enzymes.
Eight Health Benefits
(1) Beet juice is alkaline and helps stave off acidosis, a harbinger of all diseases.
(2) Beet juice helps stimulate liver cells and cleanse and protect bile ducts. It also helps relieve the kidneys of stress to help cure gout. It also helps relieve constipation.
(3) Beets help cleanse the blood and create more red blood cells. They are useful for treating and curing anemia. Heavy daily beet consumption has even been used to treat leukemia and other cancers. With normal consumption, one can benefit from beets’ anti-carcinogenic properties.
(4) Red beets and their leaves are a high source of folate, which is the natural base of folic acid. Folate helps build tissue and red blood cells. Folic acid from folate is more beneficial for pregnant women than folic acid synthetically derived. It is healthier long term to depend on folate rather than to use folic acid supplements. Unfortunately, the two terms are misused interchangeably.
(5) Beets contain lots of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which help prevent or even cure macular degeneration and other age related eye issues.
(6) Beets are a high source of phytonutrients called betalains. Beet betalains provide strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
(7) Beets help lower blood pressure, maintain blood vessel elasticity, and even help eliminate varicose veins.
(8) Beets are high in fiber, potassium, magnesium, niacin, calcium, iron, and biotin.
Beets can be so detoxifying that if you are in a toxic condition you may experience Herxheimer events (healing crisis) such as headaches and fatigue.
Red coloring in the stool or urine is not uncommon after consuming beets. It’s no big deal, though some say it might indicate a bit of anemia.