As I often report, a lot of good research on preventing and reversing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia using natural approaches comes out of UCLA.
And this 2017 study on the brain benefits of a small, but powerful purple fruit is no exception.
Let’s dive right in…
Protecting memory with diet
For this investigation, UCLA researchers assessed the role of grapes in preventing the memory decline that leads to AD.
First, they divided 10 men and women, with an average age of 72 years and mild cognitive decline, into two groups.
The first group consumed a powdered, whole grape extract daily for six months. The second group consumed a placebo powder.
It turns out, brain scans showed that the men and women who consumed the grape powder extract maintained healthy levels of metabolic activity in the regions where AD would typically appear. Yet, the men and women who consumed a placebo showed declines in brain activity in these regions.
This finding doesn’t surprise me —as dozens of studies show the brain benefits of eating berries. Plus, grapes contain loads of polyphenols, such as anthocyanins. These potent plant nutrients reduce inflammation and free radicals (which research links to memory decline) and increase blood flow (which research links to a healthy brain and memory).
Of course, it’s also important to note that the participants in the UCLA study took a whole-fruit, powdered extract. Not just one, isolated, “magic bullet” ingredient—which is key. Because, as I reported earlier this year, the real benefit occurs when you consume the whole fruit (or the whole fruit’s extract). Whereas trying to isolate specific ingredients is typically a waste of time and your money.
More ways to get your grapes
You can maximize your brain benefits by looking for a specialized blend that combines whole grape and blueberry extracts. These berry extracts work together, synergistically, to help enhance mental functioning and maintain memory, even as you age.
You can also simply enjoy whole, fresh (or frozen) berries. They make a wonderful, refreshing treat at this time of year.
Plus, you can also gain the brain benefits of grapes by drinking wine. As I’ve written before, research links moderate consumption of wine (as well as any type of alcohol) with heart-health benefits, especially among older people.
More specifically, wine enhances blood flow to the brain—carrying more oxygen, energy, and nutrients to highly metabolically active brain cells. Of course, drinking wine also helps reduce stress—another common denominator behind brain and mental health.
Studies typically show that red wine offers the most health benefits. However, as I explained in the February 2021 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter, a special white wine made in Greece has plenty of healthy aspects as well (“The best-kept secret behind ultimate brain health”). If you’re not yet a newsletter subscriber, now is the perfect time to become one.
So, throughout the year, be sure to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet full of whole foods—including plenty of whole berries (or whole berry extracts) and moderate wine. Your memory (and mood) will thank you!
For additional natural approaches to safeguarding your brain health and long-term memory, please join me this Sunday, June 27th at 3 p.m. Eastern time, where I’ll be hosting my Brain Boosting Summit. This exclusive event is FREE, but demand is HIGH—so click here to reserve your spot today!
“Examining the impact of grape consumption on brain metabolism and cognitive function in patients with mild decline in cognition: A double-blinded placebo controlled pilot study.” Exp Gerontol. 2017 Jan;87(Pt A):121-128. doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2016.10.004