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Polyphenols in Grape Juice Could Improve Cognitive Function

Losing cognitive function can be a scary part of aging, but there are natural interventions you can take to improve your memory as you get older. The latest study on this front suggests that the polyphenols found in Concord grape juice could noticeably help memory and mental functioning in mature adults.

The researchers who conducted the study were based at the University of Cincinnati and Welch Foods. Their findings were published on April 2, 2012, in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Study participants included 21 individuals with an average age of 76, all of whom had been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. For 16 weeks, the participants consumed either a placebo or a glass of Concord grape juice with the amount adjusted for their body weight.

The researchers found that the intervention group performed better on memory tasks at the conclusion of the study, when compared with the placebo group and when compared with the results of their own tests at the beginning of the trial.

The researchers also noted more activity in the anterior and posterior of the brain in the intervention group when they conducted MRIs, suggesting increased blood flow.

Be aware that grape juice has a high sugar content – an 8 oz glass has 36 grams of sugar, while an 8 oz glass of Coca-Cola has 26 grams.

Previous studies have linked polyphenol intake with a variety of health benefits, including helping with weight management, fighting certain cancers, and reducing inflammation. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body that can lead to many common diseases.

Polyphenols can be found naturally in many foods, including honey, a variety of fruits and vegetables, red wine, chocolate, tea, certain oils and a many types of grain. A healthy and balanced diet can help ensure you consume an adequate amount of polyphenols.

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