The One Fruit That May Prevent Dementia

Studies have shown that eating dark-colored grapes can help ward off dementia and fatty liver disease.

By Kari Apted | Updated


It’s common knowledge that eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to obtain or maintain good health. But did you know that one specific fruit can help ward off dementia, a serious brain condition that affects many adults as they journey past middle age? Grapes not only reduce your chances of developing dementia; they also lessen your risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

These discoveries were published earlier this year in the journal Foods from the MDPI Open Access Journals. A team of scientists found that consuming grapes “modulates gene expression, reduces non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and extends longevity in female…mice provided with a high-fat Western-pattern diet.” Fatty liver disease is a condition often linked to poor eating habits or a diet that includes excessive fat, calories, sugar, and processed foods.

Dementia is not one specific disease, but a general term used to describe an impaired ability to remember things, make decisions, and think. Although everyone experiences momentary lapses in memory, people with dementia find the condition interferes with their everyday life. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that one in seven Americans age 71 and older has some type of dementia.

According to Wellness52, eating grapes lessens the chance of developing this debilitating disorder because they are rich in specific antioxidants that protect the brain from harm by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that originate from things like cigarette smoke, fried foods, and alcohol. Once inside the body, they damage cells, creating a cumulative effect called oxidative stress.

Glutathione, resveratrol, quercetin, anthocyanin, and catechins are some of the powerful antioxidants packed inside each little grape. While all grape varieties contain antioxidants, the darker the color, the higher the amount. Therefore, it’s best to eat red grapes, deep purple Concords, or the equally dark but oblong Moon Drop grapes.

The antioxidants in grapes and other fresh produce also lower inflammation, another factor in the development of dementia. The highly processed, high-sugar typical American diet keeps inflammation levels high throughout the body. Substituting grapes and other colorful produce for processed food is a natural way to lower cell-damaging levels of chronic inflammation.

As if lowering your chance of developing dementia or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease wasn’t enough, eating grapes on a regular basis can also add up to five years to your life. And another study by Western New England University found that grape consumption protects your skin from ultraviolet damage. In some test participants, this protection against sunburn and skin cancer lasted four weeks after they last ate the powerful fruit.

The effective amount of the magical little globes appears to be around two to two-and-a-half cups per day. Diabetics and people who eat a low-carb diet may find that amount of sugar to be problematic—even though it is from fructose, a naturally occurring sugar. Two cups of grapes contain 32 grams of carbohydrates, with 30 of them coming from sugar.

However, most people can balance the sugar impact of eating grapes on a regular basis. Simply break the daily amount into two servings and eat them along with a source of protein, such as cheese or nuts. This simple yet delicious habit could make a real difference in the brain and overall health of millions.