Resveratrol: A Powerful Plant Nutrient

Resveratrol: A Powerful Plant Nutrient

There are hundreds of thousands of phytonutrients. Have you eaten whole food with resveratrol? Find out what foods contain resveratrol and its benefits.

You’ve probably heard of phytonutrients like beta-carotene, but have you heard of resveratrol? Pronounced res-vare-eh-trahl.

Resveratrol is a stilbene1 belonging to the phytonutrient family polyphenols.2 Phytonutrients are nutrients produced by plants to defend themselves against disease and pathogens. To read more about how they may benefit us, check out our article all about phytochemicals

First things first, we need to talk about just how you should get resveratrol. Supplements can often contain isolated or synthetic vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. These don’t even come close to natural nutrients in their whole food state; they are not the same. We believe in the synergistic effect of all phytonutrients. Read our helpful resource about how they are different and why natural nutrients, as opposed to synthetics or isolates, are much safer and more beneficial.

Resveratrol in particular is a biologically active compound synthesized by plants undergoing infectious or ionizing radiation, mechanical injury, ultraviolet irradiation, and fungal attacks. It has antioxidant properties and other health benefits that we can receive by eating plant foods that contain it. It has been detected in more than 70 plant species. 

There are 2 forms of resveratrol: cis- and trans-resveratrol—both are best consumed in whole food form. Resveratrol can be found in red grapes, eucalyptus, spruce, blueberries, mulberries, giant knotweed, cocoa, and peanuts.3 4  Resveratrol has antioxidant properties like most phytonutrients, though not as potent as those of epicatechin and quercetin. 

Benefits

Resveratrol’s antioxidant properties come from the fact that it may suppress oxidative damage caused by heavy metal cadmium, may reduce damage from nitrite radicals to endothelial cells, and can help protect skin cells from ultraviolet radiation.5  

Antioxidant activity also affects transcription of some genes, specifically those responsible for redox metabolism—a metabolic pathway that shows the series of oxidation/reduction activities involved in removal of oxidative radicals.6 In addition, resveratrol has been shown to protect cells from hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress. So, resveratrol may play a part in cellular defense due to its antioxidant activities. 

Resveratrol may also help protect the heart and blood vessels by scavenging harmful oxidants and preventing endothelial cell death.7 8  

“Epidemiological studies have suggested that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with health benefits,” according to Nutrients.9

Resveratrol might also benefit eye health. Handbook of Nutrition, Diet, and the Eye explains that resveratrol can target intracellular molecules and pathways involved in the onset and progression of poor eye health.10 

The Last Bite

Many studies have observed the beneficial effects of the phytonutrient resveratrol on health. Consuming resveratrol by eating the whole plant foods that contain it ensures that you’re receiving it in a stable, balanced, safe, and all-natural form. This is possible due to the combination of all the phytonutrients in the food working together. Try adding more foods with resveratrol, like grapes, to your diet!