Get Your Grape On!
By Kim Erickson
Boost sagging skin and fight varicose veins with this natural supplement.

Over the past few years, grapes have taken center stage in the world of superfoods, thanks to an antiaging compound in grape skins known as resveratrol. But it turns out that the lowly grape has even more to recommend it—health benefits found in the seeds. In fact, the tiny seeds of this juicy fruit harbor compounds that can make us look and feel younger and more vibrant both inside and out thanks to their potent antioxidant power. These miniature marvels are so powerful that they outperform vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, making grape seed extract a highly effective warrior against the
free radical damage that can injure our DNA and age us prematurely.

What It Is
Grape seed extract’s antioxidant power is 50 times greater than that of vitamin E and 20 times more potent than vitamin C. It also boasts anti-inflammatory and antimutagenic properties, as well as the ability to protect against the harmful effects of radiation in animal studies.

Yet these abilities aren’t grape seeds’ main claim to fame. Grape seeds contain substances called proanthocyanidins, commonly referred to as oligomeric proanthocyanidins. These water-soluble flavonoids help to strengthen and protect our cell membranes from the oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Without this protection, our skin begins to prematurely show the signs of aging from overexposure to the sun’s harmful rays. According to researchers at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., grape seed extract applied topically boosted the skin’s natural SPF (sun protection factor) in a group of human volunteers.

What It Does
Studies show that grape seed extract, especially when combined with other antioxidant-rich compounds (such as white tea and tomato extract), promotes youthful skin by enhancing the health of skin cells as it protects elasticity and flexibility. Specifically, these skin-friendly seeds increase the synthesis of collagen and elastin—the two pillars underlying structures of youthful skin. Grape seed is so effective that when postmenopausal women took a supplement containing the extract for six months, they experienced significant improvement in the crow’s feet, wrinkles around the mouth, age spots, sagging, and even the dark circles under their eyes compared to women taking a placebo.

Bonus Benefits
Grape seeds’ benefits go far beyond skin health. In Europe, extracts of the seeds are used for a variety of circulatory problems, including varicose and spider veins. Grape seed extract also improves the flexibility of the arteries that take blood from the heart, as well as boosting overall circulation.

One promising role of grape seed extract is its ability to prevent and postpone the development of cataracts. Another is its potential to protect the nervous system from the free radical assault linked to dementia and Parkinson’s disease. While both of these possibilities are on scientists’ radars, human trials need to be conducted to prove grape seeds’ ability to protect our eyes and nervous systems.

Where to Find It
Grape seed extract is one of those nutrients that can be taken orally and used topically. The average daily dose for general antioxidant and skin protection is 50 to 100 milligrams one to two times per day. Creams containing the nutrient should be applied morning and night for the best antiaging results.

Product Examples:

SKIN SAVER
Collagen makes your skin plump, soft, and wrinkle free. Unfortunately, this protein diminishes as we age. ReserveAge Organics Collagen Booster contains a patented complex, including resveratrol, from French red grapes to boost collagen production and help restore elasticity and a youthful appearance.
TREAT FOR TRESSES
Resveratrol from red grapes is good for your body—and your hair. Desert Essence Organics Hair Care Italian Red Grape Shampoo and Conditioner contain a powerful antioxidant blend of organic grape extract, resveratrol, and red wine extract that corrects damage to hair and protects against UV rays. Organic kelp and nettle work to strengthen strands. s
VERSATILE OIL
Derived from the seeds of Italian grapes, NOW Foods Grapeseed Oil banishes dryness and irritation without clogging pores. Use it on hair as a conditioner for silky, lustrous locks. This oil beautifies inside and out—it’s safe and healthful for cooking or salad dressings too!
MEGA MOISTURE
With blue-green algae, grape seed extract, shea butter, and jojoba and rose hip oils, plus vitamins A, C, and E, Aubrey Organics Blue Green Algae Moisturizer with Grape Seed Extract is loaded with good stuff to keep your skin supple and glowing.
ALCOHOL-FREE RESVERATROL
Red wine contains antiaging resveratrol, however, alcohol dries skin. Paradise Herbs Med-Vita ResveraGrape, derived from French red wine grapes, is a full-spectrum resveratrol supplement that provides 40 to 60 times the resveratrol of wine—without the alcohol. Works to scavenge free radicals and prevent cellular damage and premature aging.



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