- A recent study found an added benefit of consuming grapes
- It was found that consuming grapes provides protection against the harmful UV rays of the sun
- Researchers say this is because grapes contain polyphenols, micronutrients naturally occurring in fruit and vegetables
Consuming grapes is greatly beneficial to one’s overall health as they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants, but this is not the only reason we should indulge in these smooth-skinned globes.
The reason behind this protective effect is the fact that grapes contain polyphenols, a large family of naturally occurring micronutrients with many health benefits.
What are polyphenols?
Polyphenols are found in a range of fruit and vegetables such as berries, apples, grapes, carrots and broccoli. A large body of research suggests that these compounds are greatly beneficial to human health as they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can assist in preventing a range of diseases.
Polyphenols in grapes prevent skin damage
Researchers at the University of Alabama conducted a study that analysed to what extent consuming whole grape powder for two consecutive weeks would affect people exposed to UV light (ultimately causing photodamage).
The amount of grape powder consumed was the same as eating two and a half cups of grapes daily. Participants had their skin’s response to UV light tested before and after the two-week period in order to test the amount of UV light it would take to visibly redden their skin. This is known as the Minimal Erythema Dose, which is a measurement of the skin’s photosensitivity.
'An edible sunscreen'
After 14 days of consuming the grape powder, it was found that more exposure to UV light was needed to cause sunburn, which led to the conclusion that grapes play a protective role when it comes to photodamage.
“We saw a significant photoprotective effect with grape consumption and we were able to identify molecular pathways by which that benefit occurs – through repair of DNA damage and downregulation of proinflammatory pathways,” said lead investigator of the study, Dr Craig Elmets.
“Grapes may act as an edible sunscreen, offering an additional layer of protection in addition to topical sunscreen products.”
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