Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

About The Buzz: Drink Up! Concord Grape Juice is More Than a Tasty Beverage.

TheBUZZ : Drink up! Concord grape juice is more than a tasty beverage.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Aside from producing delicious juice and other products, two new papers link Concord grape juice to healthy circulation and maintaining a healthy brain.

WHAT WE KNOW

Maintaining a healthy heart is important for the whole family. That’s why healthcare professionals urge everyone to incorporate heart-healthy fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products into their day. But what is healthy for the heart is generally also good for the brain! Recent research reinforces the role Concord grapes and grape juice can play in heart health, and new research does indeed suggest that these products may also offer certain cognitive health benefits.

HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?

A new review of the literature published in Nutrition Today emphasizes the role grapes and grape products can play in supporting health. In particular, red/purple grapes and grape juice can support cardiovascular health by providing benefits to the inner lining of blood vessels to allow for healthy blood circulation.¹

In a separate study, researchers demonstrated for the first time that Concord grape juice can both improve certain aspects of memory function and increase blood flow to specific regions of the brain, particularly the regions involved in working memory, compared to those consuming a placebo.² While it is too early to draw any conclusions about the effect of Concord grape juice on overall memory, this study is an exciting addition to the growing body of research on Concord grape juice and health.

OUR ADVICE

Maintaining a healthy heart and an active mind are prevalent topics among many consumers today. Research has shown that nutrition and physical activity play key roles in meeting these goals. Concord grapes and grape juice are a delicious way to help support a healthy heart and possibly a healthy mind. Remember, increasing your total fruit and vegetable consumption leads to optimal health. Dark blue/purple fruit is particularly nutritious and yet so underconsumed!

Here are a few ways to increase your Concord grape and grape juice consumption …

  • Try our Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Grapes.
  • Replace drinks high in sugar, such as soft drinks, with 100% fruit juice, like 100% grape juice. (Remember that 100% juice does not contain added sugar.)
  • Add 100% grape juice to smoothies or shakes.
  • Read about the nutrition benefits of Concord grapes, as well as storage and selection tips.

These studies reinforce the important role purple fruits and veggies can play in the diet. Learn how to increase the purple food in your family’s diet with our P.A.C.K. (Pack Assorted Colors for Kids) program! Print out the Fruit & Veggie Color Groups Poster and try to incorporate more purple fruits and veggies into your meals today.

 

¹ Vislocky L.M. and Fernandez M.L. “Grapes and Grape Products: Their Role in Health.” Nutr Today. 2012, e-published May 31.

² Krikorian R., Boespflug E.L., Fleck D.E., et al. “Concord grape juice supplementation and neurocognitive function in human aging.” J Agric Food Chem. 2012. 60:5736-5742.

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