I get a real kick out of it when I’m asked questions like, “What are the most important nutrients that I should be getting in order to stay healthy?”
I usually just chuckle and say, “All of them,” and wait for the person’s wide-eyed expression.
Every single one of the 2,000+ nutrients that have been identified so far benefits your health in some way. Mother Nature knows what she’s doing and never makes mistakes in that department!
However, sometimes there are nutrients that deserve a little pat on the back now and then because they truly are superstars and may not be appreciated as much as they should, just because many people might not realize all that they do.
Now, one little guy that is truly an anti-aging superstar in the nutrient world that many people might not even be aware of is resveratrol-the antioxidant compound found in the skin of red grapes (and hence in red wine).
Let’s take a closer look at the impressive, ever-growing resume of this awesome little compound that truly is a giant in terms of what it does for your body.
Resveratrol—an amazing antioxidant
Resveratrol belongs to a group of nutrient compounds called polyphenols, which are known for their antioxidant capabilities in combating dangerous, health-wrecking, age-accelerating free radicals.
So it’s no surprise that that resveratrol is known for helping to encourage a longer life span!
But that’s just the beginning. Resveratrol can also help make a healthier you in these exciting ways:
– It helps reduce blood pressure by fighting the arterial inflammation caused by free radicals.
– It works to inhibit platelet aggregation and protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation – which are factors in the development of atherosclerosis and the resulting heart disease.
– It can cross the blood-brain barrier, which allows it to tame inflammation in your central nervous system. This is truly significant because CNS inflammation plays an important role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
– It acts as a natural broad spectrum antimicrobial–without all the dangers of antibiotics!
– It helps protect against inflammatory diseases such as appendicitis, peritonitis and systemic sepsis.
– It helps to stabilize your insulin levels—particularly important for those with blood glucose and insulin resistance concerns.
-It is thought to be the primary factor behind the “French paradox”–the fact that when compared to Americans (and people from other countries as well), French people eat more fatty, rich foods and smoke more cigarettes yet have a lower risk of heart attacks.
And here’s one more…
Research has shown that resveratrol has the ability to selectively target and destroy cancer cells.
It also helps fight cancer during all three phases of the disease–initiation, promotion and especially progression—because it can deeply penetrate the center of a cell’s nucleus, allowing the DNA to repair free radical damage that might otherwise contribute to cancerous growth.
In addition, it helps prevent certain enzymes from forming that trigger tumor development, and decreases cell reproduction, which helps reduce the number of cell divisions that could contribute to the progression of cancer cell growth.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Because studies have also found that resveratrol can serve important functions during cancer therapy and treatment.
It can act as a chemo-sensitizer—helping people overcome resistance to chemotherapy drugs. You see, sometimes tumor cells can become “smart” and develop resistance to chemotherapy drugs, but resveratrol helps counteract that process and make the cancer cells more susceptible to the action of the drugs.
It also helps in a similar way with radiation therapy–making cancer cells more susceptible to radiation treatment.
The cancers that have been especially responsive to resveratrol’s influence include:
– Lung carcinoma
– Acute myeloid and promyelocytic leukemia
– Multiple myeloma
– Prostate cancer
– Oral epidermoid carcinoma
– Pancreatic cancer—which is arguably one of the most deadly forms!
– Plus resveratrol has also been shown to help ease and counteract health challenges associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy such as anorexia, fatigue, depression, nerve pain, cognitive impairment and anxiety.
Gimme some now!
Hopefully you’ve gotten the idea that resveratrol is something you probably want to have as part of your own nutrient arsenal.
Now the big question pops up: How do I get it—food or supplements?
Well, first and foremost, food sources of ANY nutrient are always the preferred form. Your body best assimilates and works with nutrients as they occur in real foods.
Resveratrol is found in red grapes, red wine (in moderation, my friend!), blueberries, cranberries, pomegranate, cocoa, dark chocolate, peanuts and peanut butter (preferably organic).
If you wish to supplement, be sure to let your doctor know and choose a high-quality product. Life Extension and Garden of Life are both very good brand names.
Make sure you’re getting ALL your nutrients!
Getting adequate resveratrol is important, but it’s only a small part of the picture.
The big picture is this: The #1 most important measure you can take toward lasting good health and prevention of disease is to eat meals of real foods that provide an abundance and variety of nutrients, and encourage sound digestion to make sure you’re actually absorbing those nutrients.
The great news is that it’s not hard to do.
As a matter of fact, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1- Eat a wide variety of REAL (not processed or fast) foods, preferably organic when you can, to get the best cross-representation of all the nutrients your body so desperately needs.
This includes fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, meats and fish plus healthy fats (since some nutrients–including vitamins A, D, E and K–require fats to be properly absorbed).
2- Keep digestion efficient to help maximize nutrient absorption
3- Have properly balanced intestinal flora
Here’s how you can accomplish each of those: [ Continue Reading ]