If you have high blood pressure, you probably take medication to lower it, but a University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study indicates that eating grapes may add important protection against cardiovascular damage.
In the study, rats who are bred to develop high blood pressure were fed a high salt diet. Those who received grape powder in their diet not only had lower blood pressure, but escaped heart damage that occurred even in rats that were given a medication to lower blood pressure. In spite of the salty diet, the rats who got the grape powder had better heart function and lower blood pressure.
The lowering effect on blood pressure is thought to be due to the high level of phytochemicals – naturally occurring antioxidants – that grapes contain. The study used a combination of green, red and black grapes.
“Although there are many natural compounds in the grape powder itself that may have an effect, the things that we think are having an effect against the hypertension may be the flavanoids – either by direct antioxidant effects, by indirect effects on cell function, or both. These flavanoids are rich in all parts of the grape - skin, flesh and seed, all of which were in our powder.”
Read more at the University of Michigan Health System website.