Grapes: A Delicious Snack That’s Good for Brain Health
They’re round, juicy, easy to carry, and may be good for your memory. Grapes are fun to eat and jam-packed with powerful nutrients to support antioxidant processes, and nutrients that studies have shown can help support brain health.
Polyphenol compounds found in Concord grape juice, for example, have been associated with improvements in cognition and neuronal function among older adults, according to a 2012 study.
Researchers examined older adults with mild memory issues who consumed either Concord grape juice or placebo for 16 weeks. All subjects were administered assessments of memory function and brain activity before and after the study period.
Participants who consumed the grape juice performed better on memory tasks than those who took the placebo drink, the study found. The grape-juice cohort also showed relatively greater activation of brain regions in the right hemisphere, which is associated with emotions and creativity.
Such findings provide further evidence that Concord grape juice can enhance neurocognitive function in older adults, the researchers suggested.
Similar results were found in a 2017 study of 20 healthy young adults who consumed either purple grape juice or sugar water. Researchers examined the subjects’ episodic memory, working memory, attention and mood at baseline and following a 20-minute absorption period.
Those who drank the purple grape juice had significantly improved reaction times on a composite attention measure, as well as increased calm ratings when compared with the placebo group. The findings suggest that purple grape juice can acutely enhance aspects of cognition and mood, the study indicated.
Grapes also contain melatonin, which may help induce sleep, which may in turn support brain health and memory.
As a trusted health care provider, pharmacists are often asked for advice on ways to support brain health. Pharmacists should have no trouble recommending their clients pick up a big bag of grapes.
Customers should look for grapes that are firm and don’t have wrinkles, nutritionists note. Dark red and purple grapes are higher in polyphenols and resveratrol than green or white grapes, studies have shown. But all grapes contain vitamins, nutrients, and dietary fibers that offer a consumer a range of health benefits.