Grapes…a sleep aid and more!

grapesLately I have been purchasing lots of organic red grapes, washing them, removing them from their stems and freezing them in snack size storage bags. When I feel the need for something sweet I grab a bag of frozen grapes and snack on them slowly, enjoying the frozen sweetness. It is like eating a popsicle…. but without all of that nasty refined sugar and oh so delicious and nutritious.

What I did not know….but found out from researching, is that grape skin contains melatonin. I was always a little sleepy after consuming a handful of these frozen grapes. If I ate the grapes at night before bed, I would have no problem falling immediately to sleep and staying in a good slumber most, if not all of the night. This is such an exciting find.

I have used melatonin spray in the past to help with jet lag and help with an occasional sleepless night.  MELATONIN is a hormone.  So learning that it is in grape skin is great news.

There are many  benefits from consuming grapes and grape juice such as:

Heart Disease:  there are Flavanoids in grapes which are powerful antioxidants (resveratrol and quercetin).  Eating grapes increases nitric oxide in the blood preventing clots.  The antioxidants stop oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

Constipation:  Grapes are a laxative food containing insoluable fibre which is like a bulk broom sweeping the intestinal walls.

Kidney Disorders:  Because of the high water content grapes help to flush acid from the system, inducing urination.  Grapes are very cleansing in nature.

Bone health:  Grapes contain Vitamin A, C, B6, K, folate, minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium….all good elements of healthy bones.

Now grapes are showing hope in two ailments affecting seniors….hearing loss and Alzheimer`s Disease.  Below I share an article from my  favorite website on this topic.

Article starts here:

(NaturalNews) There’s new hope for a natural way to prevent two of the most  dreaded conditions that most often hit elders – hearing loss and Alzheimer’s  disease. According to a new study just published online ahead of print in the  journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, resveratrol, a substance  found in red grapes and red wine; known for its antioxidant and  anti-inflammatory properties, may offer protection against hearing and cognitive  decline.

“Our latest study focuses on resveratrol and its effect on  bioinflammation, the body’s response to injury and something that is believed to  be the cause of many health problems including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer,  aging and hearing loss,” the study’s lead author Michael D. Seidman, director of  the Division of Otologic/Neurotologic Surgery in the Department of  Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital, said in a media  statement. “Resveratrol is a very powerful chemical that seems to protect  against the body’s inflammatory process as it relates to aging, cognition and  hearing.”

The researchers pointed out that hearing loss affects  approximately one in five Americans. And while hearing typically declines as  people age, there’s a new and growing younger population facing deafness, too.  It turns out that over 12 percent of U.S. troops are returning home from Iraq  and Afghanistan with sustained, significant hearing loss. What’s more, this form  of noise-induced hearing loss has been found to interfere with sleep and  communication. It also raises the risk for heart disease by increasing a  person’s blood pressure and raising the “bad” forms of cholesterol in the blood  as well as blood sugar.

For their new study, the Henry Ford Hospital  researchers zeroed in on how the inflammatory process impacts aging, cognition  and hearing loss. Conducting experiments with healthy rats, they identified the  potential protective mechanism of resveratrol  following noise exposure by measuring its effect on cyclooxygenase-2 (or COX-2,  an enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain) protein expression and  formation of reactive oxygen species – which, under excess stress, can cause  significant damage to cell structures.

The experiments showed that the  rats who were given resveratrol before being exposed to loud noise for a long  period of time were far less likely to suffer long-term effects of noise-induced  hearing loss. Resveratrol was found to significantly reduce reactive oxygen  species formation, inhibit COX-2 expression and reduced hearing loss as well as  mental decline in the animals.

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