Grape Seed Extract (Vitis vinifera)

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Where it's from: Native to Mediterranean region, central Europe and Southwestern Asia
Form: Extract
Food source: Grapes

Benefits of Grape Seed 

  • Healthy skin
  • Cardiovascular health

    What is Grape Seed? 

    Vitis vinifera, as the name suggests, is the grape plant from which most wines are made. Wine production uses the skin (for red wine) or the juice (for white wine), however the seeds of the grape, which are then pressed and concentrated, can be used to make a seriously healthy extract. The main reason Grape Seed Extract is good for you is that it is loaded with antioxidants like Vitamin E, magnesium, copper and potassium. Antioxidants neutralise ‘free radicals’, compounds that damage molecules and can cause a variety of health conditions if their levels become too high in the body.

    Oxidative stress, the condition of having too many ‘free radicals’, is particularly damaging for our skin, so antioxidants like Grape Seed Extract can help provide relief to a range of dermatological conditions, including alleviating skin inflammation. Studies also suggest that Grape Seed can contribute to skin protection from environmental harms. This is because antioxidants are needed to protect the collagen in our skin, which gives our skin structure. Environmental damage, including sunlight or pollution, further decreases the function of collagen and contributes towards ageing. You may also enjoy reading ‘Is a nutrient deficiency causing your skin condition?’ and ‘Best Foods and Vitamins for Healthy, Glowing Skin’. Give these '5 easy smoothie recipes for glowing skin' a try too.

    Grape Seed can also contribute to the health of our cardiovascular system. Studies indicate that it may help lower blood pressure. This is thought to be because its antioxidative qualities contribute to the lowering of cholesterol and the reduction of fatty plaque in the arteries, relieving pressure on the blood vessels and the heart. Discover ‘5 top tips to lower cholesterol’.

    So, the humble grape, used for thousands of years in wine-making turns out to be a hero for our health! Please note, this does not necessarily mean that drinking wine is good for you - learn more in ‘Is wine good for you?’.