I think that almost everyone is aware that drinking red wine can help your heart stay healthy. You may have even used that little nugget of science to justify a glass or two. I have to admit, I never understood why grape juice didn’t have the same heart health benefits that wine does. And now a recent study reports that in terms of heart health, grape juice and wine are quite similar.
The study found that certain kinds of grape juice can have protective effects against heart disease – similar to those you get from red wine. The flavonoids found in both grape juice and wine prevent the oxidationof your “lousy” cholesterol. This helps prevent the build up of plaque in theartery walls.
The study also found that the heart health benefits of grape juice extend a bit further than wine. Grape juice lowers your risk of developing blood clots, which contribute to heart attacks and stroke. And while red wine does the same, it only does so when consumed in large quantities. So you have to be intoxicated to reap this benefit of wine.
Grape juice also improves the functioning of cells in the blood vessel linings, and its antioxidants stay in the system longer than the ones from wine. However, the alcohol in red wine has been found to increase “healthy” cholesterol levels in the body, a benefit that grape juice does not provide.
It is important to note that not all grape juice is created equal. Purple juices are richer in antioxidant flavonoids than red or white varieties. And eating grapes won’t give you the same benefit as drinking theirjuice. When grape juice is made, the entire grape, including the skin and seeds, is crushed. It is the grape seed that is particularly high in these heart healthy flavonoids.
Remember that juice is high in calories and that one serving is only four ounces. Many people pour themselves an eight ounce glass of juice without realizing that they are actually drinking two servings. Over consumption of high calorie beverages can contribute to weight gain.