What Is Resveratrol?
Scientifically, Resveratrol is a type of natural phenol as well as a phytoalexin. But what does that actually mean? Let’s break it down. Phenol is a natural compound made by some plants and is often synthesised as a response to damaging ecological factors such as bacteria, pathogens and radiation. Similarly, phytoalexin is an antioxidant that appears when a plant is under attack.
This essentially means that Resveratrol is a protective compound. It can be found in foods such as dark chocolate as well as in the skin of blueberries, mulberries, raspberries and peanuts as well as Japanese Knotweed. It is also found in the skin of red grapes (or red grape extracts), which is where the association with red wine often comes in. It is created by these plants as a response to injury or attack, which is why it is known as an excellent natural protector.
What Does It Do For Us?
As it’s an antioxidant and is produced by plants when they’re under attack, it can also do the same for us when we get enough of it into our bodies. Antioxidants are molecules that help to protect the body from free-radical damage. This can be caused by a number of factors, often ones that we can’t avoid in modern life, such as pollution, smoking, alcohol, radiation and even UV rays from the sun. Essentially, the majority of things that can cause harm on a cellular level is caused by free-radicals. Antioxidants work to neutralise these free-radicals, and so are considered a natural internal protector.
What Are The Benefits Of Resveratrol?
As Resveratrol is an antioxidant, it’s main benefits are for protecting the body. This is a bit vague though, so here are some more specific benefits of this amazing superfood:
One of the most popular uses and benefits of Resveratrol is that it can have an anti-ageing effect on the skin. One of the main causes of premature ageing is free-radical damage and so, because Resveratrol is an antioxidant, it can greatly help! Free-radicals age the look of the skin, so Resveratrol can help with fine lines, wrinkles and crow's feet for a younger looking complexion. This is also why many consider Resveratrol as a top skincare and beauty supplement.
Traditionally, the French have been said to have better heart health than a lot of its neighbouring countries, and many people have said this is down to the grapes and the wine! Well, there might be some science behind that! The theory is that by drinking red wine in moderation (binge drinking won’t help!), the French gained a regular source of Resveratrol, therefore, lowering the risks of heart disease and other heart problems. Whilst this has not been proven, it is still nice to think that drinking red wine can help keep your heart healthy!
Having high blood pressure can put you at serious risk of many heart problems, including a heart attack, and is most commonly caused by factors such as diet, high salt intake, high cholesterol levels, diabetes and stress. Due to the antioxidant properties of Resveratrol, it is said that it could help to lower blood pressure. One study noted that high doses of the superfood could help reduce the pressure on artery walls, also known as systolic blood pressure. Research is still to be done in this area, however, to fully understand how it can help and the right dosage to take.
A massive contributor to both blood pressure as well as general heart health are cholesterol levels. One of the many effects of Resveratrol is said to be that it can reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol levels and boost the ‘good’ ones. According to a study, it can have an effect on the enzyme that controls cholesterol production, therefore lowering ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. This means that Resveratrol can be ideal for those looking for a natural way to give their overall heart health a boost.
Also due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Resveratrol, it can benefit the brain! This is because it can help to protect the brain from free-radical damage in the same way as it can the skin. This is why many studies have looked into the advantages of taking Resveratrol supplements as well as drinking red wine (again, in moderation!) to help lower the risk factor of many cognitive diseases.
Another way the antioxidant properties of Resveratrol can aid the body is by supporting the joints. Many studies have looked into the benefits of superfoods for the joints, and one of the most useful has been Resveratrol. One study has concluded that it may help reduce the rate in which the cartilage deteriorates, which could otherwise cause a lot of joint pain. As a result, taking regular doses of Resveratrol could potentially have a long-term impact on those with joint issues like arthritis, but note that there are also many other factors that can lead to joint problems.
How To Take Resveratrol
Whilst Resveratrol health benefits can be found naturally in a number of fruits and even in red wine, that might not be the best route to go down if you really want to receive the maximum benefits. Whilst there is no problem with adding red wine to your diet, as long as it is done in moderation and in a safe way, it does still have the side effects of making you feel drunk as well as being high in calories.
Should I Take Resveratrol?
This is why many prefer to take a Resveratrol red wine supplement to get their daily dose with ease. The daily recommended amount to take is 250-1000mg daily, but this will depend on the specific brand you choose as well as any other beneficial ingredients it might contain (such as red wine extract). When you compare this strength with what you can find in a glass of red wine, you’ll easily see which is the more convenient and strongest option!
|How Much Resveratrol Is In Red Wine?|
|Pinot Noir - California||5.01mg per litre|
|Beaujolais - France||3.55mg per litre|
|Zinfandel - California||1.38mg per litre|
|Merlot - Chile||1.5gmg per litre|
|Cabernet Sauvignon - California||0.99mg per litre|
Is Resveratrol Safe?
Yes! Resveratrol is a natural compound found in many berries and other plants, so is completely safe to consume. Just make sure to check the method for consumption to ensure it is safe. As red wine contains alcohol, there are always going to be precautions to take to keep you safe so make sure to not drink in excess. When it comes to Resveratrol pills, make sure you are buying a high-quality supplement from a reputable supplier that you trust. Plus, you should always check the list of ingredients for any supplement, especially if you have any personal allergens.
Resveratrol is an excellent superfood to add into your diet, and thanks to its antioxidant properties, it can be ideal for protecting the body against all sorts of cellular-level damage. As a result, it can be the ideal natural supplement for those looking for help with their heart, brain and even ageing skin! Just make sure that you find the right supplement for you, and if you want to enjoy a cheeky glass of red wine now and again, you can still feel good about it!