Chances are you’ve heard the rumor that the occasional glass of red wine is good for your health.
But why is that?
The health benefits that have been linked to wine are thanks to a compound known as resveratrol. Today we’re going to dive into exactly what resveratrol is, whether it can really deliver on its reported health benefits, and how to get more of it in your life. Let’s dive in.
What Is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound known as a polyphenol. Polyphenols are primarily found in plants and play an important role in defending plants against harmful stressors. You see, when a plant encounters challenges like UV radiation from the sun, fungal infections, or insects, it responds by producing polyphenols.1
These polyphenols have a protective effect – defending the plant against any harm and promoting its ability to recover.2 But plants aren’t the only ones who benefit from polyphenols. Those protective and health-boosting effects are passed onto you when you consume plants that contain resveratrol and other polyphenols.
What Are the Health Benefits of Resveratrol?
Studies examining resveratrol’s health-boosting effects have yielded some promising results. There’s mounting evidence that this powerful compound may just have enormous potential when it comes to preventing, fighting, and even reversing a wide range of health issues. Let’s dive into some of resveratrol’s most notable health benefits.
Resveratrol Is a Potent Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory
Resveratrol has been found to combat inflammation and the oxidative damage that comes with inflammation in a number of ways. Resveratrol has been found to:3,4,5
- Act as a direct antioxidant by neutralizing harmful free radicals
- Increase antioxidant activity by enhancing other antioxidants pathways, enzymes, and genes
- Reduce inflammatory substances produced by the body
- Block inflammatory pathways and compounds
Chronic inflammation has been linked to nearly every disease known to man – making resveratrol’s anti-inflammatory effects particularly impressive.
Resveratrol Increases Longevity
While aging is inevitable, resveratrol may just have the ability to slow down the process and enhance longevity. It accomplishes this not only with its impressive anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties – but also with its ability to mimic the effects of calorie restriction.6
You see, calorie restriction helps ward off disease and promotes healthy aging by changing the way certain genes are expressed and by enhancing autophagy – the body’s natural “clean up” crew. And resveratrol has been found to have anti-aging effects similar to calorie restriction.7,8
Resveratrol Boosts Heart Health
Resveratrol has been found to be particularly beneficial for your heart in a few ways:
- Resveratrol helps lower blood pressure9
- Resveratrol decreases cholesterol and has a positive effect on fat metabolism10
- Resveratrol promotes weight loss and combats obesity11
This powerful combination delivers an impressive boost for your heart health.
Resveratrol Protects Your Brain
Resveratrol’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects also extend to your brain. This boosts your brain health and protects against neurodegeneration. But this isn’t the only way resveratrol protects your brain. Resveratrol has also been found to inhibit the accumulation of protein fragments around brain cells that can cause neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.12,13
Resveratrol May Help Fight Cancer
Some studies have suggested that resveratrol may be able to fight off cancer by:14,15,16
- Suppressing cancer cell growth by interfering with the cells’ ability to replicate and spread
- Altering the way the genes of cancer cells are expressed and inhibiting their ability to reproduce
- Blocking certain hormones that promote hormone-dependent cancers – thereby slowing and inhibiting cancerous cells’ ability to spread
More research is needed to truly identify what role resveratrol might play in potential treatment for cancer. But so far, studies have shown it may have exciting cancer-blocking properties.
What Are the Best Sources of Resveratrol?
Resveratrol has been detected in over 70 different plant species.17 It’s been found to be most plentiful in a handful of these plants though, including:18
- Itadori tea
While you can certainly get a hefty dose of resveratrol by incorporating these foods into your diet, this is not the only way to reap the benefits of this powerful polyphenol.
How Can I Get More Resveratrol?
If you’re looking to up your intake of resveratrol, increasing your intake of resveratrol-rich foods may not always be the most viable option. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the benefits of resveratrol. An easy solution may be a simple resveratrol supplement.
Thanks to modern agricultural practices, an ever-increasing toxic burden, and modern dietary practices, it’s unrealistic for most of us to get all of our nutrients from diet alone. This is why I’m a huge advocate for supplements – they’re a powerful and effective way to fuel your body with all the compounds it needs to function optimally.
You Are Your Own Best Advocate
Resveratrol clearly has some impressive health-boosting benefits and may hold significant potential when it comes to optimizing our health. I’m a huge believer in the power of supplements and boosting your intake of health-promoting compounds like resveratrol.
But the truth is, there is no single compound or supplement that’s going to improve your health.
Prioritizing your health and feeling your best requires a big picture approach. The choices you make on a daily basis have a cumulative effect and are the foundation of good health. And when it comes to your own well-being, I always say you are your own best advocate.
Which is why I’m dedicated to bringing you the most up-to-date research when it comes to putting your health first. If you enjoyed this article and want to learn even more about how you can optimize your health, head over to my blog – it’s chock-full of articles and resources for you. And if you want to go even deeper, I encourage you to sign up for my email list. I deliver my exclusive and very best advice and resources straight to your inbox. All you have to do is enter your name and email address in the form below.
Now it’s time to hear from you. Were you surprised to learn about the health benefits of resveratrol? What steps are you taking to prioritize your health and well-being today? Leave your questions and thoughts in the comments below!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.