Eating grapes can reduce your chances of developing dementia and extend your life, a series of studies published in the journal Foods have found.
According to a report by Independent, one study discovered that the fruit is especially beneficial to those who live by high-fat western diets, since they are known to be rich in chemicals that boost healthy gut bacteria and lower cholesterol.
Grapes are also high in antioxidants which are known to improve health and prevent disease and cancer in humans. Now the team of researchers have found that the antioxidants in grapes can protect the brain against developing dementia by improving the function of neurons or nerve cells.
A second study by the Western New England University researchers revealed that eating grapes can lessen the risk of developing fatty liver disease – a condition caused by the storage of extra fat in the liver – and top-up your life expectancy by an extra five years.
Grapes also burn calories as they are digested which, in turn, helps boost your metabolism, the team’s third study found.
The studies were conducted on mice that were fed high-fat diets typically consumed in western countries, with only half the mice receiving grape supplements.
The team then compared the brain, liver and metabolic health of the mice who were given grape supplements against those who were not.
“It adds an entirely new dimension to the old saying ‘you are what you eat’,” said Dr. Pezzuto, the study’s co-author and Dean of the College of Pharmaceuticals and Health Sciences at Western New England University.
The professor, who has authored over 600 scientific studies, said that grapes actually change the expression of genes, which he described as “truly remarkable.”
It comes amid studies into how humans switch their genes “on and off” in order to have control over the body’s development throughout life
Exercise, stress, diet, sleep and meditation are all thought to impact the expression of our genes.
While many take antioxidant supplements, Dr Pezzuto said it’s not possible to consume “enough” of an antioxidant to make a “big difference” to your health.
“But if you change the level of antioxidant gene expression, as we observed with grapes added to the diet, the result is a catalytic response that can make a real difference.”
The research was partly funded by The California Table Grape Commission, who provided the grapes used in the experiments.
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