Researchers from UCLA found that the berry decreases bad cholesterol and promote good bacteria in the gut.
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Like vegetables, fruits should be an essential part of your diet. After all, the seed-bearing foods contain important vitamins, nutrients, and fiber that contribute to your overall health. But some fruits are better for you than others, as StudyFinds.org reveals that findings from University of California, Los Angeles, suggest that grapes are especially helpful when it comes to lowering cholesterol and consuming them may reduce your risk of having a heart attack.

To obtain their findings, researchers tracked 19 people between the ages of 21 and 55-years-old who consumed the equivalent of about 40 grapes—two servings—each day. The rest of the participants' diet was relatively low in fiber and plant chemicals before and during the trial. Researchers they found that within just four weeks of eating grapes resulted in notable health boosts among people who don't regularly eat fruits and vegetables. Additionally, the diversity of their microbiome was higher, which is the community of bacteria living in the gut essential for promoting strong health.

purple grapes in colindar
Credit: Michelle Arnold / EyeEm / Getty Images

Among the good bacteria that increased during the study was Akkermania, which burns up sugar and cholesterol and strengthens the lining of the intestines. Grapes also contain important antioxidants that can reduce inflammation in the body. "We found that grapes have a beneficial effect on gut bacteria, which is great news, since a healthy gut is critical to good health," says lead study author Professor Zhaoping Li in a statement. "This study deepens our knowledge and expands the range of health benefits for grapes, even as the study reinforces the heart health benefits of grapes with lowered cholesterol."

The results reveal that this simple lifestyle change may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease—the world's leading cause of death. According to the study, participants had almost eight percent less bad cholesterol and bile acids, which fuel bad cholesterol, fell by more than 40 percent. These harmful fats can lead to clots that block blood vessels and cut off blood flow to the heart or brain and can result in heart attack or stroke.

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