Kids’ favorite juice can help save adult brains
March 28th, 2014 by NHI
There’s one juice—a childhood juice box favorite—that you should definitely keep in your fridge. In fact, this particular juice can do you a lot of good as an adult, especially if you’re concerned about your memory or cognitive decline.
Read on to find out more…
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Fight inflammation and
neurological disease naturally
Excess inflammation is one of the main contributors to chronic disease, cancer, and brain tissue degradation. For decades, alternative medicine and nutrition researchers have been searching for the most powerful natural anti-inflammatories.
Concord grape juice might be one of them. Grape juice is especially high in polyphenols—natural compounds that affect the color, taste, and “mouthfeel” of the juice. Just a few of these include anthocyanins, tannins, and resveratrol.
Studies have shown polyphenols are excellent antioxidants and anti-inflammatories … making grape juice an excellent “real food supplement” for protecting brain health.
Brings fast relief
You don’t have to drink grape juice for very long to see the benefits.
One study from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine asked adults with early memory decline to drink between 15 and 21 ounces of Concord grape juice daily, divided equally between meals.
In just 12 weeks, participants drinking the juice showed significant improvement in their list-learning, short-term and spatial memory, compared to those on placebo. (1)
That’s not all. Grape polyphenols may even fight the amyloid-beta plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Lap Ho from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine discovered that grape’s polyphenols inhibit creation and accumulation of amyloid proteins. (2)
This is good news for those interested in protecting cognitive function and memory in the long term!
You’ve probably heard that drinking red wine in moderation can be a healthy lifestyle choice.
Personally, I don’t advocate more than few alcoholic drinks per week; I believe alcohol has more risks than benefits. What’s more, the benefits of red wine are NOT associated with a couple of drinks a week. They’ve been confirmed only in individuals who consume very large amounts, too high to be either healthy or practical.
That’s why it’s exciting to see scientific proof that simple, non-alcoholic grape juice has the same benefits.
A glass of grape juice isn’t just good for your brain …
Other benefits of Concord grape juice include:
- It’s heart healthy. French researchers found grape juice relaxes arteries in much the same way as red wine … but the effects last up to six hours, much longer than red wine. (3)
- It may fight breast cancer. A study from the Journal of Medicinal Foods experimented on healthy breast cells in a test tube. The researchers found grape polyphenols not only prevented a cancer-causing agent from mutating the healthy cells’ DNA, it also increased enzyme activity in the cell that detoxifies it from oxidative stress. (4)
- It could defend against food-borne disease. Grapes have anti-microbial properties. A University of Missouri study showed they were effective against E. coli, salmonella, listeria, and h. pylori, the bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers in many individuals. (5)
How to have a carefree grape juice experience
Some people avoid fruit juice because of the high sugar content. They have a point. But I’ve learned that concerns about high sugar in grape juice are somewhat overblown. Whole grapes are fairly low on the glycemic index, between 43 and 53. The glycemic index indicates how fast your digestive system converts a food to blood sugar (glucose). But be aware that juice will have a higher glycemic index than the whole fruit because the fiber has been eliminated and it’s digested fast.
I was also fascinated to find out that some studies have discovered blood sugar benefits from eating grapes, including blood sugar balance and insulin regulation. (6) Grapes are a treasure house of nutrients that make them very attractive even if sugar is part of the package.
In spite of these hopeful findings, I still think it’s wise to consume sweet juices in moderation. They are – for sure – healthier than sodas and the other sugary stuff that people drink by the gallon. So if you have a soda habit, as millions of people do, you’ll absolutely benefit from switching to fruit juice because it’s so rich in nutrients.
But fruit juice is still loaded with sugar, and my research confirms that as far as your body is concerned, sugar is pretty much sugar – whether it’s cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup or the fructose found in organic fruit — and large amounts of it can be harmful.
I wish there was something magical about the sugar in organic fruit, but there isn’t. So enjoy the benefits of juice but don’t get carried away.
And at least you can avoid extra sugar. Purchase 100% organic Concord grape juice without added sugar, corn syrup, or artificial colors to ensure you enjoy the fruit’s benefits without taking in junk you don’t want or need. Juicing your own purple grapes is also a good alternative.
Lee Euler, Publisher