More than one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese. This translates to 78.6 million people suffering from obesity in the country alone. Obesity has become an epidemic in the U.S. and even in developing countries. Obesity is associated with different kinds of diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension to name a few. Moreover, obese individuals also have a higher risk of developing different types of infection that can further lower their immunity.
The Benefits of Grapes for Obese People
Obesity robs people from living quality lives. But with simple lifestyle changes, overweight people may be able to improve their conditions. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed that eating grapes can help people with obesity problems by decreasing harmful fats in their bloodstream that are associated with heart disease. The regular consumption of grapes can help lower the risk of infection for their overall health improvement.
But what makes grapes beneficial to the body? According to a molecular biologist, Susan Zunino from the Agricultural Research Service, grapes contains high amounts of phytochemicals. These are compounds naturally found in fruits like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. These phytochemicals have positive effects on the body such as improving the condition of the immune system in people who suffer from obesity.
Grapes are one of the fruits with the highest levels of antioxidants like vitamin C, manganese, carotenoids, resveratrol, and stilbenes. Both the seeds and skins of grapes have a high concentration of antioxidants, so eating the whole fruit is necessary for capturing all of the antioxidants.
There are a lot of pro-inflammatory molecules also known as free radicals in our bodies and eating phytochemical-rich fruits can help lower the production of such particles. These include the interleukins and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). The ability of grapes to reduce inflammatory allows the body to heal itself naturally.
Study Shows the Power of Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Hospital documentation suggests that obese people have higher chances of developing viral or bacterial infection after surgery. In fact, 35% of Americans who sought hospitalization developed some infection after their hospital stay.
The study proved that the power of grapes in treating obese patients is simply remarkable. Researchers divided the participants into two groups and gave the participants a mixture of grape powder and water while the other group received nothing but a placebo for three weeks.
Based on the blood samples obtained from the participants, those who drank the grape mixture have better blood lipid profile, inflammation markers, and immune system compared to those who have taken the placebo mixture. Consumption of grapes lowers the concentration of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which is also dubbed as the bad cholesterol and is associated with heart disease. Another remarkable thing about eating grapes is that it can stimulate the production of cytokines which are proteins that help fight off the infection in the body.
While consuming fruits like grapes can lower inflammation in the body, further studies need to be conducted to understand the mechanisms behind why the consumption of grapes can have beneficial effects on patients suffering from obesity.
Inspired by ars.usda.gov