Grapes Protect the Heart

 

Could eating grapes fight high blood pressure and possibly reduce other factors linked to heart disease? A new University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study suggests just that, revealing tantalizing clues to the heart-healthy power of grapes.

The study fed laboratory rats a powder of regular table grapes (a blend of green, red and black grapes, containing the skin, flesh and seeds), mixed into a diet that was either low or high in salt. The control group received no grapes. After 18 weeks, the rats receiving the grape-enriched meals had lower blood pressure, better heart function, reduced inflammation throughout their bodies and fewer signs of heart muscle damage. The grapes’ heart-protective effects are thought to be due to their high level of phytochemicals, naturally occurring antioxidants contained in whole grapes.

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