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Grapes for your gut

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Grapes May Lower Obesity Risk and Promote Gut Health

It’s no secret – we’re gaga for grapes! Previous research has found grapes may be good for your bonesheart, and brain and components of grape seeds may be beneficial in managing weight. Now, research from the North Carolina Research Campus and University of North Carolina at Greensboro finds the same benefit may be true for the whole fruit.

Research has shown that eating grape polyphenols (phytochemical) with high-fat foods leads to 40% less weight gain. Furthermore, it was shown that insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance can be improved, that the intestinal flora is influenced positively and that polyphenols have an anti-inflammatory effect.

So what might be going on? “High fat diets normally trigger chronic inflammation in the intestines,” explains Dr. Mary Ann Lila, Director of the Plants for Human Health Institute and coauthor of the study. “The inflammation can disrupt normal membrane structure and function, and can lead to inability of insulin to signal normally. What this study clearly demonstrated was that grape polyphenols work with natural microbes in our digestive system to create a favorable internal environment for gut health – depressing any low-grade intestinal inflammation, and removing any interference with normal insulin functioning.”

Now we wouldn’t say eating grapes gives you an excuse to eat an otherwise unhealthy, high-fat diet, but there is certainly evidence for adding red, purple or green grapes to your plate.

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