Resveratrol is a polyphenol found in a small number of foods. Though most of the research on resveratrol has been done with animals, the results might be promising for humans as well. For example, resveratrol might help prevent damage to your blood vessels as well as lower your LDL, or bad, cholesterol level. Resveratrol might help inhibit the growth of cancerous cells and tumors, too, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Most of the foods that contain resveratrol are nutritious, and it wouldn't hurt to add them to your healthy eating plan.
Grapes and Grape Foods
Resveratrol is present in the skins of grapes as well as red wine, which is made from grape skins. Red grapes have more resveratrol than white grapes. A cup of red grapes contains between 0.24 and 1.25 milligrams of resveratrol. Red wine contains more resveratrol than white wine. A 5-ounce glass of red wine contains between 0.17 and 1.89 milligrams of resveratrol, while a 5-ounce serving of white wine has between 0.01 and 0.27 milligram. Drinking red wine can reduce your risk of heart disease, and resveratrol might contribute to these benefits, according to MayoClinic.com. The resveratrol in grapes and red wine can reduce inflammation as well, which might lower your risk of developing certain kinds of cancer.
Vibrantly colored berries contain resveratrol, but they contain less than grapes and red wine. Blueberries, bilberries and cranberries are among the berry varieties that contain the most resveratrol, but the exact amount depends on where the berries are grown. Raspberries contain trace amounts as well. To get the most resveratrol from berries, eat them raw. Though cooked berries retain a small amount of resveratrol, raw berries have higher concentrations of the compound, according to a 2003 article published in the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry."
Peanuts and Pistachios
Peanuts and pistachios are a nutritious source of resveratrol that also supply heart-healthy unsaturated fats, vitamin E, protein and fiber. One cup of raw peanuts contains between 0.01 and 0.26 milligram of resveratrol. One cup of boiled peanuts supplies between 0.32 and 1.28 milligrams of resveratrol. Pistachios contain less resveratrol than peanuts, but they are still a healthy way to boost your intake. The thin skins that encase the actual peanut or pistachio contain most of the resveratrol, so don't remove them before you eat the nuts.
Consuming More Resveratrol
If you already drink a glass of red wine with dinner, you're getting a good dose of resveratrol. If you don't drink wine, speak with your doctor before adding any amount of alcohol to your daily diet. While red wine is certainly a top source of resveratrol, the health risks of starting to drink might outweigh the benefits. A glass of 100 percent purple grape juice might offer similar benefits, according to MayoClinic.com. Add raw grapes, blueberries and raspberries to a fruit salad or just eat them plain as a tasty snack. A handful of peanuts or pistachios is another nutritious snack.
- Linus Pauling Institute: Resveratrol
- MayoClinic.com: Red Wine and Resveratrol: Good for Your Heart?
- MayoClinic.com: Grape Juice: Same Heart Benefits as Wine?
- National Cancer Institute: Red Wine and Cancer Prevention: Fact Sheet
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: Trans-Resveratrol Content in Commercial Peanuts and Peanut Products
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: Determination of the Phytoalexin Resveratrol (3,5,4'-Trihydroxystilbene) in Peanuts and Pistachios by High-Performance Liquid Chromatographic Diode Array (HPLC-DAD) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: Resveratrol in Raw and Baked Blueberries and Bilberries
Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.