Resveratrol is a powerful polyphenol and anti-fungal chemical which is often touted as the bioactive compound in grapes and red wine. But many more foods contain this amazing antioxidant and incorporating them into your daily diet could be an effective strategy to advance health and prevent disease.
Here are 5 foods that are great sources of resveratrol:
Red Grapes: Grapes don't have to be fermented to contain this antioxidant. It's actually found in the skin of red grapes along with other nutrients, such as minerals manganese and potassium and vitamins K, C and B1.
Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is great for dressing up apples and celery, but it also contains some resveratrol (up to .13 mg per cup). Peanut butter is a great source of niacin and manganese.
Dark Chocolate: In dark chocolate, resveratrol blends nicely with other antioxidants and also minerals, such as iron, copper and manganese. Who doesn't like chocolate?
Itadori Tea: Used in Japan and China as a traditional herbal remedy for the prevention of heart disease and strokes, itadori tea: contains resveratrol, consequently, The Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry studies state that, ”For people who do not consume alcohol, Itadori tea may be a suitable substitute for red wine.”
Blueberries: Blueberries don't have quite as much resveratrol as grapes, but they are also a great source of other antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins C and K and manganese.
For all of the above, it would be wise to choose organic sources to reduce pesticides, especially for red grapes, peanut butter and chocolate.
Low doses of resveratrol improve cell survival as a component of cardio- and neuro-protection, while high doses increase cell death, so this is always something to keep in mind before purchasing supplements with the next greatest dose.
"Reports on the benefits of red wine are almost two centuries old," said Lindsay Brown, associate professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Queensland
* Resveratrol exhibits therapeutic potential for cancer chemoprevention as well as cardioprotection.
"It sounds contradictory that a single compound can benefit the heart by preventing damage to cells, yet prevent cancer by causing cell death, said Brown. "The most likely explanation for this, still to be rigorously proved in many organs, is that low concentrations activate survival mechanisms of cells while high concentrations turn on the in-built death signals in these cells."
* Resveratrol may aid in the prevention of age-related disorders, such as neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
"The simplest explanation is that resveratrol turns on the cell's own survival pathways, preventing damage to individual cells," said Brown. "Further mechanisms help, including removing very reactive oxidants in the body and improving blood supply to cells."
* Low doses of resveratrol improve cell survival as a mechanism of cardio- and neuro-protection, while high doses increase cell death.
"The key difference is probably the result of activation of the sirtuins in the nucleus," said Brown. "Low activation reverses age-associated changes, while high activation increases the process of apoptosis or programmed cell death to remove cellular debris. Similar changes are seen with low-dose versus high-dose resveratrol: low-dose resveratrol produces cellular protection and reduces damage, while high-dose resveratrol prevents cancers."
Mae Chan holds degrees in both physiology and nutritional sciences. She is also blogger and and technology enthusiast with a passion for disseminating information about health.