Having a salad for lunch today? Be sure to include these two fruits as the combination may be especially good for your health.
Researchers in the UK have found that a compound found in red grapes and a compound found in oranges worked especially well together to improve the health of people with diabetes and reduce the risk of obesity and heart disease.
Trans-resveratrol (tRES) is one of two configurations of resveratrol present in red grapes. We have been studying resveratrol for some time and it appears that the nutrient may delay the development of cardiovascular and neurogenerative disease, improve glycemic control in Type 2 Diabetes and may even extend lifespan.
Hesperetin (HESP) is a flavonoid found in citrus fruits and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The combination is rarely found together naturally, but when they were studied together, they appeared to act in tandem to decrease blood glucose, improve the action of insulin and improve the health of arteries. They act by increasing a protein called glyoxalase 1 or Glo1 which neutralizes a damaging compound known as methylglyoxal (MG). Increased MG accumulation through a high-sugar/high-energy diet is a driver of insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes. The accumulation also damages blood vessels and impairs the handling of cholesterol associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Unfortunately, the study which found this unique combination beneficial is not attainable through diet alone (the amounts and types required were pharmaceutical doses packed into supplement form). But of course, there are benefits to eating more of the fruits that have these nutrients.
Grapes, for example, not only contain resveratrol, but also quercetin, a natural anti-inflammatory that may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and protein against the damage of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Fiber and potassium in grapes also may help support heart health.
Oranges, of course, are a fantastic source of vitamin C – an antioxidant that protects the cells from free radical damage which may be effective in cancer prevention. In addition, CSIRO (The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research) found that adding one extra serving of citrus fruit per day can result in a 19% reduction of stroke risk. Citrus fruits may also protect against overweight and obesity because they are low-fat, low-glycemic index, nutrient-rich foods.