In the world of health and fitness, not all supplements are given the same attention, whether it be good or bad. Some hit headlines and end up in viral buzz, whether they deserve it or not and some never get the attention they deserve. Resveratrol, a type of antioxidant, kind of falls under both categories. While it did hit headlines and got some attention, that attention was very brief. It was popular for a short time and became associated with the “French Paradox”, then seemed to fade away. That’s too bad considering all the health benefits that it can provide. Here are a look at just six of the main reasons we think you shouldn’t put it on the back-burner.
Decrease Risk for Cardiovascular Health Conditions
Heart disease was at the forefront of cause for death in 2011, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Resveratrol, commonly associated with red wine, may be able to help if you’re at risk for heart disease. In a Canadian study, those who consumed five to ten ounces of wine per day greatly reduced their chances of developing artherosclerotic disease. Artherosclerotic disease is often followed by stroke and heart attack. By reducing their chance of developing artherosclerotic disease they, in turn, reduced their chance of death by about 30 percent. Connecticut researchers say this is because the resveratrol sort of prepares your hear to protect itself and prevent cardiac events.
Tweak Your Endurance and Performance
Is endurance training something you could never see yourself doing? What if you could get similar results and benefits of it without actually having to do it? A 12-week Canadian study in 2012 found that supplementing with resveratrol may do just that. The study, although done on rats, revealed that supplementing with resveratrol improved not only endurance, but also improved cardiac function and oxidative metabolism.
If you already do or start to do endurance training, the benefits get even better. If resveratrol supplementation and endurance training are combined, it apparent’ can increase performance by more than 20 percent.
Increase Testosterone Levels
Testosterone is commonly known to start decreasing as you get older, particularly as you get into your thirties. Your doctor can detemine if that’s the case by a simple blood test. If you find that testosterone levels are declining there are a number of replacement therapies that are used today. But you should also ask your doctor about resveratrol.
A Korean study supplemented mice with resveratrol over a 28-day period. After this time, it was revealed that blood testosterone concentration increased by over 50 percent. While there’s limited research to support it other than this Korean study, there are plenty benefits you’ll still get by giving your body resveratrol so it doesn’t hurt to give it a shot.
Help Prevent Cancer
Colon cancer happens to be the most common digestive system cancer. So if you know you’re at risk of cancer due to family history, then you should educate yourself about it. It can be fatal. But again, resveratrol may be able to help. A study that was carried out in France showed that resveratrol decreased the rate of production of cancerous cells. So if you’re at risk for cancer, definitely consider a quality natural resveratrol supplement or at least try to consume grapes, blueberries, peanuts and small amount (one or two five ounce glasses) of red wind per day to get some daily resveratrol.
Boost Mental Agility and Memory
Increasing blood flow to your brain is a good start to increasing your mental sharpness. One way to do that is to consume resveratrol, as shown by UK researchers in a study that included 22 adults. After consuming resveratrol, there was an evident increase in neurological blood flow.
Another study, in Illinois, showed that mice had an increase in memory function and overall mental performance after being given resveratrol supplements.
A third study, carried out in Germany, aimed to see if resveratrol supplementation really could improve memory. 23 overweight participants were given either a placebo or resveratrol supplements over the course of six months. Prior to beginning the study, each participant had a brain scan and took a memory test.
At the end, researchers found that those who had been taking resveratrol indeed improved their memory. They could more easily remember words from a list 30 minutes after looking at it and their brains were shown to have more connections in specific areas that are related to memory function.
Preserve and Protect Eyesight
Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that resveratrol, a common substance typically found in high levels in grape skins (and therefore red wine), can stop the growth of harmful blood vessels and protect the vessels in the eye from being damaged from the effects of aging.
In another study by Missouri researchers showed similar results. It was shown that resveratrol can offset angiogenesis, which is how it inhibits the growth of eye-damaging blood vessels.
Food Sources of Resveratrol
You don’t have to drink red wine, which is normally what you see associated with resveratrol, in order to benefit from this powerful antioxidant. Here are some other sources that you can get it from:
Itadori tea – This is a great alternative if you don’t drink wine. Red wine and Itadori tea are the best sources of reservatrol if you don’t want to use a supplement.
Red Grapes – makes sense, red wine… red grapes. The resveratrol is found in the skin and the fruit doesn’t have to be fermented in order for you to get it. Purple grapes are a second choice (green doesn’t offer much, if any, benefit in regards to reservatrol) Plus, red grapes also offer vitamin C, vitamin K and B1.
Blueberries and Strawberries – While they don’t have as much as grapes, you’re still getting a little bit. Plus, blueberries give you fiber, other antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. If using strawberries, remember that most of the reservatrol found in them are in the seeds.
Dark Chocolate – Here’s your reason to enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate on a daily basis. You get a nice blend of resveratrol and other antioxidants, iron manganese and copper.
Peanut Butter – You can get up to .13mg of resveratrol per cup of peanut butter. Plus, you get manganese and niacin too.