SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 6 (UPI) -- The grape seeds many disdainfully discard are humble little packages of powerful ingredients that possess multiple health benefits, a U.S. food expert says.
"The beneficial components of the grape seed are the proanthocyanidins. Studies conducted since the 1950s, have shown grape seeds to have a wide range of health benefits, most markedly for their role as a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger and for reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol," Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of supermarketguru.com, said in a statement. "As an antioxidant, proanthocyanidins have been shown to be 20 times more potent than vitamin C, and 50 times more potent than vitamin E."
In addition, vitamin C and E are two of the most common antioxidants and proanthocyanidins provide a boost to the two vitamins in scavenging free radicals in the body, Lempert said.
Proanthocyanidins are also beneficial to the vascular system because they strengthen the walls of the blood vessels.
"This reduces capillary fragility that can make one prone to excessive bruising. Improving the integrity of our veins also helps to keep the vessels pumping sufficiently and reduce back flow, varicose veins and swelling," Lempert said.
"Because of their anti-inflammatory action, proanthocyanidins might be used in treating asthma and emphysema, arthritis, joint damage and swelling, and may even reduce the severity of allergies."
Try eating seeded grapes, or buy 100 percent grape juice or grape seed oil, Lempert advised.
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