Healthy Digestion/3 Ways Resveratrol Can Rejuvenate Your Gut
3 Ways Resveratrol Can Rejuvenate Your GutTara Barrett ● 18/01/2022 ● 8 min read
Resveratrol became a hit in the 90s after numerous studies about The French Paradox.
If you haven’t heard of The French Paradox before, it refers to the French’s low incidence of heart disease despite their love for oily, fatty foods and smoking.
Today, you'll see most health food stores carrying their brand of resveratrol supplement -- not to mention hundreds of A-list celebrities swearing by its effectiveness in keeping them in shape and younger-looking.
It’s not surprising.
Resveratrol is a compound that plants release in response to invasion.
It may also give the plants a boost to fight the disease and accelerate healing.
Let’s take a look at grapes as an example.
Grapes thrive in some of the most hostile environments you can think of.
Dry, arid lands with little moisture.
Close to freezing temperatures at night.
Lots of exposure to sun, dirt, and wind.
And yet, despite it all, grapes have to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world.
That’s because of the protective qualities of resveratrol.
That same protection occurs when we consume foods rich in resveratrol.
It’s no wonder the scientific community is praising resveratrol for its life-saving effects:
Potent Antioxidant Activity - In test-tube studies, researchers discovered how resveratrol could induce the production of antioxidant enzymes while inhibiting the production of free radicals.
Anti-Inflammatory Effects - Resveratrol has been found to inhibit the activity of several inflammatory enzymes in vitro.
Inhibits Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation - Resveratrol appears to help prevent the narrowing of vessels in animal studies.
The narrowing of blood vessels is one of the critical factors for the progression of certain heart conditions.
Relaxes The Blood Vessels - Resveratrol helps produce the enzyme eNOS, which relaxes the blood vessels for better blood flow. An efficient circulatory system is crucial to preventing stress and incurring damage to your heart.
Improves Memory And Learning During Old Age - The decline of mental performance as you grow old stems from the decrease in the function of your hippocampus – a part of your brain which controls memory and learning.
Animal studies show that resveratrol can stimulate blood vessels and brain neuron formation for improved spatial learning and memory formation.
It Has Positive Effects On Cholesterol - Resveratrol appears to help control cholesterol levels by reducing the effects of an enzyme responsible for cholesterol production.
Another study suggests that resveratrol can potentially decrease “LDL” cholesterol oxidation.
Oxidation of LDL cholesterol contributes to the formation of plaque in artery walls which results in poor blood circulation and blockages.
It Has Anti-Aging Benefits - Resveratrol could aid in lowering free radicals, which accelerates cell aging while boosting antioxidant levels so your skin can better defend itself against damage and dryness.
But unknown to most people, resveratrol is more than just a heart and anti-aging nutrient.
It's also a powerful source of nourishment and protection for your gut.
How Does Resveratrol Rejuvenate Your Gut?
You already know the importance of digestive health to your metabolism, immunity, and mental performance.
But what’s even more surprising is the recent studies showing how taking resveratrol might be a wise move to improve your overall digestive health.
Here are three ways resveratrol can be beneficial to your digestive health:
May Increase The Diversity of Healthy Gut Bacteria
Think of your gut as a giant factory with trillions of workers performing multiple jobs.
One group is responsible for turning carbs into energy.
Another section is responsible for pulling out vitamins and minerals from foods you eat, while others control your immune system.
The more workers you employ, the more efficient your digestive system becomes.
What happens when you lack diversity, then?
It means your digestive system has to work double-time.
As a result, you end up with food allergies, weak digestion, low energy, unexplained food cravings, and so on.
The good news is that resveratrol could potentially improve your gut microbiota.
A study performed in test tubes showed that resveratrol could somehow slow down the growth of harmful bacteria such as E. Coli and E. Faecalis, responsible for gut inflammation.
At the same time, resveratrol has been shown to stimulate the growth of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
These bacteria help break down food, absorb nutrients, and fight pathogens that might cause health problems due to chronic inflammation.
Imagine for a moment how having a diverse gut microbiota can benefit you.
Perhaps it could prevent you from getting an upset stomach after eating a grilled cheese sandwich.
Or maybe, a diverse gut microbiota means you stay fuller for hours in between meals.
Could Potentially Provide Protection Against A Leaky Gut
A “Leaky Gut” is a condition wherein toxic substances sneak into the gut wall and the bloodstream.
A leaky gut triggers a severe reaction to your immune system, which causes lots of health issues, including fatigue, skin problems, poor concentration, and chronic constipation.
Resveratrol strengthens the connectivity of intestinal tight junction proteins such as Tight Junction Protein 2 and Occludin.
These proteins connect intestinal walls, much like how mortars bind building blocks by filling and sealing irregular gaps between them.
Simply put, any harmful toxin or potential pathogen sitting inside your gut doesn't leak out, and so you stay healthy.
It Has Weight-Loss Benefits
You may have never heard about this, but it’s true:
Lab tests have shown that resveratrol can potentially change the physical makeup of your gut bacteria, so they resemble that of someone with healthy body weight.
In a study published for the American Diabetes Association, a group of researchers assigned test subjects into groups and fed each one with:
1) A chow diet consisting of cereals and grains plus 0.4% resveratrol
2) High-fat/high-sugar diet (HFHS)
All subjects were fed with their respective diets for eight weeks while being separated from each other.
Researchers collected gut microbiota from resveratrol-fed groups.
Then, they transplanted the strains to the group which followed an HFHS diet.
The researchers discovered that test subjects following an HFHS diet but received resveratrol from the healthy test subjects experienced a significant decrease in fat mass.
Remember earlier when we mentioned that our gut is like a massive factory with many workers?
Researchers concluded that resveratrol increased the number of “slimming” bacteria, turning stored fat into energy while decreasing the number of gut bacteria that influence weight gain.
A separate study by the University of Alberta scientists showed that resveratrol could increase the strains of these slimming bacteria by 250%!
That’s a big deal when you consider that the abundance of this slimming bacteria is often the only difference between a fit and lean person and someone who is overweight.
Another study reported by the journal Cell showed how test subjects that received resveratrol ran nearly twice as far on a treadmill compared to those who didn't.
According to the report, supplementing with resveratrol increased the test subjects’ resistance to muscle fatigue.
What do these studies mean to you?
Well, if your metabolism is working like a well-oiled machine, it means you’re in constant fat-burning mode whether you’re working out or when you’re just chilling on your couch.
It also means that you have more stamina and endurance to push yourself further when accomplishing challenging tasks.
Last but not least, taking resveratrol could mean you have more freedom to try sweet, fatty foods because your body is more efficient in burning calories.
Exciting Ways To Add Resveratrol To Your Diet Even If You Don’t Drink Red Wine.
Just because red wine is rich in resveratrol, that doesn’t mean you have to drink a lot of it!
There are several foods that are good sources of resveratrol, too!
- Cocoa and Dark Chocolate
As with any diet, diversity is vital.
Make your plate as colorful as possible by including leafy greens, nuts, and healthy grains.
So here are a few tips on how you can add more resveratrol to your favorite meals – without downing a bottle of red wine.
- Include peanut butter in your diet.
You can prepare a simple peanut butter dipping sauce that goes well with grilled chicken breast for an Asian-inspired feast.
Or, pair a few apple slices with a dollop of peanut butter for a healthy snack.
And if you’re in a hurry, blend peanut butter and banana with your favorite milk or milk alternative for a power-packed breakfast smoothie.
Pistachio is a classic cocktail nut full of flavor and nutrients.
On top of being a favorite trail mix, you can make a pistachio-based crust or a breading mix for that extra crunch.
Give your pasta dishes a unique twist by incorporating pistachio into your pesto sauce.
Simply combine it with fresh basil, olive oil, and garlic and process until a sauce forms.
Add blueberries and cranberries to your pancake batter or your frozen yogurt.
You can also incorporate blueberries and cranberries into your morning oatmeal for a delicious breakfast.
Sprinkle some cocoa powder into your cereal or breakfast smoothie.
For something savory, include cocoa powder in your dry rub for a delectable Baby Back Rib recipe.
Do you have some red wine left but don’t know what to do with it?
It’s a perfect addition to a beef stew for added depth of flavor.
Or mix red wine with your tomato sauce to add richness to your pasta dish.
Although resveratrol is famous for its heart-friendly benefits, it could also provide nourishment and protection to your digestive system.
And while red wine has one of the highest resveratrol content on the planet, you can still get your daily dose from other sources, too!