Latest research unveils how grapes can improve eye health in just 16 weeks
(NaturalHealth365) Grapes are delicious and one of the healthiest snacks you can enjoy. Their vibrant pigmentation reflects the rich concentration of polyphenols and antioxidants in their skin, making them a valuable addition to your diet. Naturally, just to be clear, we are talking about organic grapes being the best choice and (obviously) if you have blood sugar issues, eat them in moderation. But, for everyone else, the news you’re about to read will be interesting!
A group of Singaporean scientists delved into the powerful antioxidant effects of grapes in a study aimed at assessing their impact on oxidative stress markers, particularly concerning eye health. While you probably don’t need more reasons to incorporate grapes into your daily diet, let’s delve into this study to uncover just how valuable that handful of grapes can be for your well-being.
Grapes: A colorful path to better eye health and beyond
Polyphenols are plant compounds that are beneficial for various reasons, from relaxing blood vessels to fighting free radical damage. Oxidative stress is one of the most significant contributing factors to all modern diseases, from cancer to diabetes and heart disease. Hence, antioxidants from whole foods like grapes play a prominent role in healthy living.
This study focused on oxidative damage as a causal factor in reducing eye health. It is understood that the buildup of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and a reduction in macular pigment optical density (MPOD) are indicators of a decline in eye health due to oxidative stress. Because of the effects of grapes on fighting free radicals, the researchers hypothesized that an increase in grape compounds in the diet would increase MPOD and decrease AGE.
44 Singaporean adults were recruited for the trial and had MPOD and AGE calculated during intake. Over the course of the trial – 16 weeks – the group was given either grape powder or a placebo.
At the end of the study, MPOD and AGE were once again evaluated in both groups. The group that had been receiving regular doses of grape powder had significantly more dense macular pigment and significantly less advanced glycation end products.
Are grapes great for your eyes?
This study did not look at the concept of eating grapes and how it affects your vision directly. Instead, what the researchers intended to do was study the effects of grape consumption on factors that coexist in people with declining eye health. To that end, this study does indicate that an increase in grapes within the diet of adults does seem to correlate to a reduction in oxidative stress in the eyes.
So, while we cannot confirm that grapes are directly “good for your eyes,” this study does indicate that grapes are at least protective against oxidative stress within optical structures. Keep in mind, following the logic of the study in this article, the more you can eat an antioxidant-rich (organic) diet … the more likely you are to minimize the threat of oxidative stress.
Here is how to get the most from your grapes
The good thing about this study is that it’s not overly complicated. You don’t need to use grape powder the way that the researchers did here; simply adding organic grapes to your diet is enough. If you already eat grapes regularly, then here are some other good ways to improve your eye health.
It is worth noting that grape powder is extracted from whole grapes – the same benefits are possibly not present if you simply drink grape juice or wine. This is likely because the polyphenols are densely aggregated within the fruit’s skin. It is also worth noting that polyphenols and other plant substances beneficial for human health are almost always densest in the skin of said plants.
Consumption of whole foods is almost universally beneficial for human health. In particular, vibrantly colored plants and fruit are highly nutritious; this is just another example of how plants are healthy without us even fully realizing the potential.
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