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Nutritionist says 'superfood' in every supermarket busts cholesterol and lowers inflammation

A nutritional scientist has highlighted a ‘superfood’ which is available in every supermarket and which can have a big impact on inflammation, lowering cholesterol and boosting immunity. Speaking to The Times, Alex Ruani, a researcher in nutrition science at University College London was talking about the humble grape - specifically red ones.

The red grape, and also the more expensive blueberry is said to be rich in polyphenols which are antioxidant plant compounds such as anthocyanins, the blue pigment shown to benefit brain health, and resveratrol, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing effects.

The peel and pips of red grapes are also rich in other antioxidants, including catechins and epicatechins, which are also found in tea and are known to reduce oxidative stress in the body. Ms Ruani said: “A very detailed 2023 Nature study involving healthy men and women found that eating three 80g daily servings of grapes [that’s about 14 grapes per serving] for two weeks increased levels of beneficial bacteria such as Streptococcus thermophilus and decreased potentially harmful Holdemania spp., promoting a healthier gut microbiome.

“These changes are often associated with improved digestion, immune support and reduced inflammation.” The same study also showed a substantial increase of molecules related to DNA repair, suggesting bioactive compounds in grapes might enhance mechanisms linked to a healthier, longer life.

Grapes are known to reduce low-density lipoprotein due to the amount of fibre they contain. This is because soluble fibres can delay or even reduce certain nutrients from being absorbed into your blood, such as cholesterol.

In fact a study published in the Food and Function journal