Grapes are a pretty amazing fruit with some impressive by-products as well. Think about it, when it comes to colors, grapes can be crimson, black, dark blue, yellow, green, orange, or pink. That’s almost as many colors as us kats come in. I’m sure you are aware of this, but you can thank the grape whenever you open a bottle of wine, brandy, vinegar or grape juice (OK…that last one is a little obvious). Oh yeah, don’t forget jelly, raisins or grape seed oil either. Now there is one you may not be quite as familiar with, but it is quite remarkable when it comes to health benefits and that would be Grape Seed Extract.
Before I go on any further, I feel it is my obligation as a member of the feline species to let you know that while grapes are amazing for you humans they are not meant for us kats or even for dogs. They can make us ill or even cause kidney failure. So indulge in all that grapes have to offer yourself, but please do not share them with your pets. Okay, enough jibber-jabber, on to the benefits…
Grape Seed Extract is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants destroy free radicals, which are waste products that develop from the conversion of food to energy and also occur in response to environmental toxins. Free radicals damage cells and genetic material and may contribute to aging and disease, including heart disease and cancer.
Vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid, and OPCs (keep reading, you’ll find out what it means in a second) are highly concentrated in grape seeds. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant, but even more powerful are the flavonoids called oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes, or OPCs. OPCs are plant metabolites that help support healthy blood pressure levels, cardiovascular and circulatory health. OPCs are one of only a few antioxidants that cross the blood brain barrier and may support healthy soft tissue and healthy cell production.
So how can Grape Seed Extract help maintain healthy blood pressure? Antioxidants, like the ones found in grape seed, help protect blood vessels from damage and thus enable them to function effectively according to their design and purpose.
Studies have also shown that Grape Seed Extract has been effective in supporting healthy cell growth. And, for you history buffs, grapes have been heralded for their health and nutritional value for thousands of years. Egyptians, Europeans and the ancient Greeks all used the power of grapes for a variety of health supporting purposes. I think they were onto something and I think you could be too.