For years, moderate consumption of red wine has been recommended for improving cholesterol levels, blood pressure and overall heart health. However, the studies supporting these recommendations are not really clear on this. Despite the lack of consensus, this myth, hoax or urban legend, whatever we want to call it, that alcohol is good for health is widespread. Although, With the data we have so far, we should neither base the consumption of red wine, nor that of other alcoholic beverages, on its purported healthy properties. These beverages can be used responsibly, always by adults, for other reasons. For example, that we like the taste of it.
One of the main reasons why it is believed that red wine can be good for health is Its high content in a group of compounds called polyphenols, Polyphenols are a highly diverse group of molecules produced by plants. Its functions in the plant are very diverse: from being responsible for its color to protecting it from attacks by some herbivores. Polyphenols are not only beneficial to the plant, as they feel wonderful to humans. This is mainly due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, which is one reason why diets rich in fresh plant-based foods are so healthy. Although red wine does indeed contain high levels of these polyphenols, the best known being resveratrol, it seems likely that the presence of alcohol would counteract its beneficial effects.
Although, If we want to improve our health by using polyphenols, we’re in luck, because it’s as simple as eating grapes. The high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories in wine are due to its raw materials, which also have the added benefit of not containing alcohol. Therefore, we can take advantage of its benefits without any fear, which may include greater protection of the skin from sun damage.
UV radiation and its effects on the skin
In a country like ours, filled with wonderful beaches and ski slopes for summer days as well as winter days, we are well aware of the damage that exposure to the sun can do without adequate protection. From aging the skin, causing wrinkles and spots, to severe burns or skin cancer. Therefore, it is important to always use adequate sunscreen, as well as a hat and sunglasses. Also, a good diet can help our body recover from the damage done from within. Some polyphenols can, to some extent, reverse the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.
According to several investigations in animal models, The polyphenols contained in grapes may produce this protective effect. For this reason, it was recently decided to go a step further and study whether humans can derive the same benefits from consuming grapes. To do this, 29 healthy volunteers, both men and women, took 126 grams of grape powder produced from fresh grapes daily. This amount is roughly equivalent to eating three servings of fresh grapes a day. The powder was used because it was easier than providing fresh grapes daily to all participants. After 15 days of consuming grapefruit powder, volunteers were exposed to a small, controlled dose of ultraviolet radiation to measure their skin’s response. Researchers observed that daily intake of grapefruit powder improved the response to radiation-induced damage in some volunteer participants.
Although this study is very interesting, there are several points that need to be discussed. The first of these, and perhaps the most important, is to shed light on We cannot substitute protective measures (sunscreen, hats, avoiding exposure at certain times, etc.) for a bunch of grapes. If anything, grapefruit consumption should be an addition to all of the above, never a replacement.
That explained, what happens when grapes are not in season? Or worse, what if I don’t like grapes? Is my skin destined to suffer more from sun damage? of course. The protective effects of grapes are attributed to their polyphenol content. Although grapes contain specific polyphenols, they have not signed an exclusive contract with them and we can find them in other fruits and vegetables. Of course, we might have to mix up a few different pieces to be able to take in the same amount of those polyphenols as with a handful of grapes, but it’s not impossible. So, the real conclusion we should draw from this work is that A diet rich in foods of plant origin, if varied, can help our skin repair some degree of sun damage. One more reason to take care of our diet.
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