Friday, May 30, 2008

Give Fruit the Squeeze for Better Health

tidbits that tantalizeThey've Got the Good Stuff...

This is terrific news. Not only can you take out your frustrations on a defenseless piece of fruit, but it's good for you. Sure, you'll lower your blood pressure by venting - but, the real benefit is in the juice. It's even better for you than the whole fruit.

Researchers at the Universite Montpellier find that smashing fruit prior to consumption is a smashing health success. They studied three groups of hamsters that were living large. The little test subjects were fed diets high in fat and cholesterol, worthy of any self-destructive college student. But, some of them were also fed fruit or fruit juice.

The control group was given water, while the other two groups received either whole fruit or fruit juice. The groups fed fruit and juices showed the greatest abilities to fight off atherosclerosis, the build up of plaque in the arteries that often causes strokes and heart attacks. Purple grape juice had the largest impact, followed by whole purple grapes, apple juice and then whole apples.

The phenols contained in the fruits and juices protect against atherosclerosis through their antioxidant effects. Previous studies pointed to the benefit of diets high in antioxidant foods, but this is the first study to indicate juicing may increase the health benefits of fruit. This study found apples and grapes have about the same phenol content. But, purple grape juice has about 2.5 times the phenol content as apple juice. Other recent studies have shown purple grape juice has the same health benefits of red wine, but without the alcohol.

So, go ahead - grab some fruit and smash away. Ease your tensions, lower your blood pressure, fight against heart disease. Oh, yeah - and enjoy a terrifically refreshing drink at the same time.

To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To read more about the health benefits of purple grapes, see this from The World's Healthiest Foods.


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