Grapes have a somewhat duplicitous quality about them.
On the one hand, grapes and their cousin, the raisin, are some of the worst-known health foods known to man as they deliver more sugar per ounce than any other fruit; on the other hand, grapes that help to make wine offer some of nature’s most potent antioxidants, too.
It’s that secondary quality that leads scientists to conclude that these weird grapes from North Carolina may hold the key to living 10 years longer.
Muscadine Grapes: Not Any Ordinary Grape
Muscadine grapes are a little-known grape that grows throughout the south and is ubiquitous in North Carolina.
Unlike their numerous cousins, muscadine grapes aren’t laden with sugar, aren’t small and easy to eat by the handful, and aren’t easy to find in the grocery store.
What makes them different than any other grape is both their size and their nutritional content. Muscadine grapes possess a thick resilient skin that their European counterparts do not.
This skin exists because the hot, humid climate they grow in is overrun with bugs and other threats, and it helps to prevent early death on the vine.
Inside of the skin is a series of compounds that help the grapes to survive hard-growing conditions as well as impart serious health benefits.
- Deliver 6x the amount of resveratrol as regular grapes
- Loaded free radical fighting ellagic acid (it is the only grape containing ellagic acid)
- Are 40x richer in antioxidants than regular grape varieties
- Offer a rare form of vitamin E called tocotrienol
The combination of these nutritive compounds, when delivered in supplemental form (either in capsules or concentrated juice), has been shown in multiple clinical studies to offer protective benefits for humans.
The combined capacity of all these nutrients combined has some researchers and quite a few doctors thinking that muscadine grapes could help people live longer.
What the Research Says about Muscadine Grapes Life-Extending Power
We’ve known for some time that resveratrol in grape skins and stems has the power to extend life.
And that’s why adding muscadine into a supplement regiment (or eating them if you can find them), could help to add 10 years to a person’s life.
A study from the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” released in 2010 indicated that muscadine grapes had the highest antioxidant levels in the fruit, followed by the skin and pulp.
That’s why many supplements contain a blend of the three.
According to their study, “The seeds contained 87 percent phenolic antioxidant compounds, skins contained 11.3 percent and pulp contained 1.6 percent. The researchers identified a total of 88 different antioxidant compounds in muscadine grapes, 43 of which occurred in the seeds. Seventeen of the compounds were unique to muscadine grapes.”
And that antioxidant activity may help to prevent early death from heart disease (which the famous “French Paradox” study indicated).
The Wake Forest Baptist School of Medicine discovered that muscadine grapes might help to dilate arteries, which can lower blood pressure and lead to improved cardiovascular health.
While they encouraged more research in the future, their study was predicated on previous studies supporting low-levels of resveratrol helping, so they believe that muscadine grapes might provide a more potent way of improving heart health.
Get them Online and In Some Health Food Stores
Because muscadine grapes aren’t that well known and aren’t a fruit that anyone can grow, there’s a good chance you won’t easily find them in grocery stores.
However, they are available in supplement form in many health-food stores and online in stores like Amazon.