Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

About Ther Buzz: Concord Grapes for Healthy Circulation?

TheBUZZ Concord grapes for healthy circulation?

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Research suggests that Concord grape juice can help promote healthy circulation.

WHAT WE KNOW

A healthy circulatory system is crucial for the human body to function properly. The circulatory system transports nutrients and oxygen in the blood to different parts of the body for use.1 However, age, weight gain and various health conditions can affect the effectiveness of the circulatory system by negatively impacting blood vessel health. A recent study found that, when consumed daily, Concord grape juice improved blood vessel function, suggesting that it can play a role in healthy circulation.

HOW WE KNOW THIS

A 2014 study looked at 51 overweight, healthy individuals who drank 12 ounces (1½ cups) of both Concord grape juice and a grape-flavored, sugar-sweetened drink daily for 4 weeks each.2 The researchers found that drinking the Concord grape juice resulted in a significant improvement in flow-mediated dilation, a measure of blood vessel function and circulatory health, versus drinking the sugary drink. However, drinking the 100% juice had no significant benefit on either arterial stiffness or blood pressure.

Further research is needed to determine if Concord grape juice intake over a longer period of time could improve arterial stiffness or blood pressure in healthy adults. The mechanism in Concord grape juice that resulted in better circulation also needs to be determined. However, Concord grape juice contains various plant phytonutrients that have been shown to contribute to health.3 The key group of plant nutrients in Concord grape juice is polyphenols, which can act as antioxidants, but also deliver other benefits to support heart health. According to previously conducted research, polyphenols in Concord grape juice may work within the walls of blood vessels to stimulate the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that relaxes blood vessels and stimulates circulation.

OUR ADVICE

Nearly 20 years of research has shown that Concord grape juice helps support a healthy heart and this new study adds to this body of evidence, suggesting that Concord grape juice supports heart health by promoting healthy circulation.4-7 Remember,

  • A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is important. Fruits and veggies contain many different phytonutrients that are beneficial to the body.
  • Exercise! Raising your heart rate improves blood flow and helps reduce the buildup of plaque made by fats and other substances on blood vessel walls.
  • Drink up! Concord grape juice can be part of a healthy, balanced diet and can promote healthy circulation.

4 Ways to Add Concord Grape Juice to Your Day

  1. Smoothie. Combine 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes with low-fat yogurt and a banana for a yummy morning smoothie.
  2. Freeze It. Pour 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes into ice cube trays and freeze. Use in your water or other favorite non-sugary beverage for a bit of sweetness.
  3. Poach Fruit. For an easy, delicious dessert, poach pears in 100% grape juice.
  4. Sauce. Make a sauce with 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes to pour over meat dishes.

 

1 “How does the blood circulatory system work?” PubMed. Last updated June 1, 2012. View

2 P. Dorsey, et al. “Concord grape juice improves endothelial function in overweight, older adults.” Presented at the 55th Annual Conference of the American College of Nutrition. San Antonio, TX. October 15-18, 2014. View Abstract

3 “About the Buzz: Concord Grapes for Heart Health.” Fruits & Veggies—More Matters. Accessed on December 1, 2014. View

4 Freedman JE, Parker C, 3rd, Li L, Perlman JA, Frei B, Ivanov V, Deak LR, Iafrati MD and Folts JD. Select flavonoids and whole juice from purple grapes inhibit platelet function and enhance nitric oxide release. Circulation. 2001. 103(23):2792-2798.

5 Anselm E, Chataigneau M, Ndiaye M, Chataigneau T and Schini-Kerth VB. Grape juice causes endotheliumdependent relaxation via a redox-sensitive Src- and Akt-dependent activation of eNOS. Cardiovasc Res. 2007. 73(2):404-413.

6 Fitzpatrick DF, Hirschfield SL and Coffey RG. Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxing activity of wine and other grape products. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 1993. 265(34):H774-H778.

7 Alhosin M, Anselm E, Rashid S et al. Redox-Sensitive Up-Regulation of eNOS by Purpule Grape Juice in Endothelial Cells: Role of PI3-Kinase/Akt, p38 MAPK, JNK, FoxO1 and FoxO3a. PLoS ONE. 2013. 8(3):e57883.

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