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Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Health

 

Health benefits of grape juice vs. red wine

 

glass of 100% purple grape juice and a bunch of grapesResearch has long supported the recommendation of 1 glass (5 ounces) of red wine for heart health, but many non-alcohol drinkers want to know if grape juice offers the same health benefits? The answer is, yes, if it’s 100% purple grape juice.

 

“You get similar benefits, but red wine would provide those health benefits at a bit higher level,” shares Susan Mills-Gray, Nutrition & Health Education Specialist with MU Extension.

 

When grapes are fermented the process creates/liberates tannins, which are the beneficial compounds found in red wine. Tannins act as antioxidants in suppressing production of the peptide responsible for hardening arteries.

 

Grapes and red wine also share the health benefits from resveratrol, an antioxidant found in the skin of red and purple grapes. Resveratrol promotes healthier blood vessels which leads to better blood flow and overall improved heart health. Resveratrol has been found to block immature fat cells from developing and functioning, which can prevent/reduce body fat. Resveratrol is also found in blueberries, cranberries, peanuts and peanut butter.

 

“The typical rule of thumb is that if you don’t drink alcohol, you shouldn’t start, so 100% purple grape juice is certainly a good option,” adds Mills-Gray.

 

Juice also contains slightly less calories than wine – juice has 4 calories per gram, wine has 7 calories per gram.

 

For more information contact your local MU Extension Center or contact Susan Mills-Gray at mills-grays@missouri.edu.

 

Sources:
UCLA Geriatrics, July 2012
WebMD
Scientific American, November 2006

 


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Last update: Monday, July 30, 2012