Grapes: They're Good for Your Heart (and Head)
New research shows that having more purple on your plate can lead to healthy benefits
If you remember that adorable little girl in the Welch’s grape juice ad telling you that "purple is the color of things that are very special," then you’ll be happy to learn that now there’s scientific proof behind her statement.
Among the growing amount of research that promotes the presence of Concord grapes and grape juice in healthy lifestyles, two recently published scientific papers report that Concord grapes, the purple and red grapes used to make Welch’s grape juice, can have positive effects on cardiovascular and cognitive health.
A member of the Vitis labrusca family, Concord grapes are characterized by their deep-purple skins and their role in producing household staples such as grape jelly, wine and, of course, grape juice. In a recent article published by the scientific paper Nutrition Today, it was highlighted that the red and purple berries greatly benefit cardiovascular health by improving endothelial function, or vascular function, which helps to promote healthy circulation.
Further research, published by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, also outlines the positive benefits that grape juice can have on cognitive health. The paper reports on a study conducted by Robert Krikorian, Ph.D., and his colleagues at the University of Cincinnati that found Concord grape juice helps to stop mild memory loss. The paper concludes that a daily intake of grape juice will greatly benefit older adults who suffer from early cognitive decline.
While the studies bring some positive diet trends to light, they also highlight the lack of presence that dark produce, such as Concord grapes, have in every day diets. Welch’s grape expert and Health and Nutrition lead Casey Lewis comments:
"These two new scientific papers emphasize the role colorful produce, including dark purple Concord grapes, can play in a healthy diet. However, despite the evidence linking colorful produce to health, many people aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables in their day. In particular, most of us fall short on blue and purple fruits and vegetables, which only account for 3 percent of total produce intake."
With the results of these new studies, it’s now more important than ever to introduce grapes and grape juice into your diet. "To help boost heart-healthy purple in your diet, you can make smoothies with 100 percent grape juice made with Concord grapes, freeze 100 percent grape juice in paper cups or ice-cube trays for a tasty treat, or try a colorful recipe using grapes and grape juice," says Lewis.
Ready to start introducing Concord grapes into your diet? Here are some more creative and delicious ideas on how you can:
"This recipe is a great way to spruce up an otherwise boring side dish of carrots. Sweet and savory collide..."
"Courtesy of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and the National Grape Cooperative, this recipe sweetens..."
"Little meatballs are everyone's favorite! Serve these as a party appetizer or for a buffet..."