FRESNO, Calif., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A side of grapes with that
burger? It is probably a good idea based on health research findings
presented at the Second International Symposium on Human Health Effects of
Fruits and Vegetables in Houston, Texas this week.
The symposium presented evidence that high antioxidant foods should be
consumed with each meal to prevent periods of post-meal oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is linked to aging and the onset of chronic diseases.
Antioxidants are known for their ability to neutralize free radicals that
are generated by an array of environmental stresses on the body -- from
natural processes to external assaults such as smoking and pollution.
Among the fruits specifically highlighted as beneficial were grapes,
which, after consumption resulted in almost double the amount of
recommended total antioxidant capacity needed to counteract the deficit
associated with consuming 1000 calories of food.
Dr. Ronald L. Prior of the USDA's Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center,
widely recognized as a pioneer of the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance
Capacity) technique for measuring antioxidant capacity in foods, shared his
findings regarding the natural state of oxidative stress in the body that
results from eating a meal and the ability to counteract it in humans
following consumption of certain fruits.
Prior showed that the metabolic process of digesting a meal with no
antioxidants -- just fat, carbohydrate and protein -- causes a decline in
antioxidant capacity of the blood which creates a temporary state of
oxidative stress. This deficit can be prevented by consuming high
antioxidant fruits such as grapes, which in this study provided almost
double the amount needed to bring the body back in balance following the
meal. His work also showed that some fruits that typically score high in
antioxidant content, may not significantly impact oxidative status in the
body. The key is "bioavailability," the body's ability to process and use
"This research reinforced the fact that grapes are a great source of
beneficial antioxidants that are bioavailable and able to improve
antioxidant status in humans," said Kathleen Nave, president of the
California Table Grape Commission. "Based on this research, one easy,
proactive step that people can take to help safeguard their health is to
eat high antioxidant fruit -- like grapes -- with their meals."
The International Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruit and
Vegetables is a scientific forum in which approximately 300 scientists,
nutrition and medical professionals, industry representatives, commodity
groups, and legislators from 38 countries gather to exchange information on
the latest advances in science relating to the health-maintaining
properties of fruits and vegetables. The goal of the conference is to
facilitate discussion between the agricultural, nutrition and health
sciences, and to advance the science related to foods for health. The
conference is hosted by the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center of the
Texas A&M Agriculture in Houston, Texas.
SOURCE California Table Grape Commission