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High consumption of fruits and vegetables can prevent various diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Among the fruits that stand out are berries.
A new study from researchers at the University of California (UCLA) found that consuming grapes can significantly increase the diversity of bacteria in the gut and lower cholesterol levels.
In their article published in the scientific journal Nutrients, the group of researchers explains the experiment in which volunteers between the ages of 21 and 55 consumed 46 g California grape powder daily, equivalent to 1.5 cups of grapes (two servings). The rest of the diet of the study participants was low in fiber and vegetables (before and during the trial).
The shared results indicate that consumption of grape powder reduced total cholesterol by 6.1%; LDL cholesterol decreased 5.9%, HDL cholesterol 7.6%; and total bile acids were reduced by 40.9%.
Grape consumption increases the diversity of intestinal bacteria
The consumption of grapes for four weeks also increased the diversity of the gut microbiome of volunteers in the study conducted by researchers at the University of California.
“We found that grapes have a beneficial effect on gut bacteria, which is great news, as a healthy gut is essential for good health,” said lead researcher Zhaoping Li.
Among the beneficial bacteria that increased is the Akkermansia. Emerging evidence has shown that this bacterium can improve glucose metabolism and strengthen the lining of the intestines.
Grapes are rich in fiber and antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is a contributing factor to heart disease.
One of the antioxidants in grapes is resveratrol, which is classified as a polyphenol. They also contain vitamin C, beta-carotene, quercetin, lutein, lycopene and ellagic acid, which are also powerful antioxidants.
Due to their polyphenol content, eating certain fruits, such as apples and berries, can promote healthy blood vessels; as well can lower blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
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