Concord grapes offer many health benefits. Whether you consume them as a handful of fresh fruit or as fruit juice, you will be improving your overall health. If you choose concord grapes in the form of juice, select a brand that does not contain a lot of added sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, which will detract from concord grapes' advantages.
Concord grapes improve your brain function, according to a researchers at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. Adult patients who were showing symptoms of mild decline in brain function were given concord grape juice for 16 weeks. The results of the study, published in the April 9, 2012 issue of the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry," stated that subjects showed improvement in memory, as well as heightened function of the right hemisphere of the brain. The right hemisphere is involved with functions such as organization, attention, problem solving and reasoning.
Immune System Benefits
Concord grapes have the ability to boost your immune system and help you fight infection, according to a study in the January-February 2011 issue of the "Journal of Medicinal Food." In this study, researchers found that subjects who consumed concord grape juice had an increase in T-cells, which are the immune system's killer cells, as well as an increase in vitamin C levels. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin C for adults is between 70 and 90 milligrams, and a 1-cup serving of grapes provides 3.7 milligrams, or 6 percent of the RDI. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and immune system booster. These benefits were evident within nine weeks of supplementation.
Consuming concord grapes whole or in juice form protects your heart in a number of ways. Concord grapes are high in beneficial compounds called polyphenols. There is no set RDI for polyphenols, but a diet rich in polyphenol foods aids in fighting heart disease. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin explained in a study that polyphenols help reduce total blood cholesterol levels, blood pressure and the risk of developing atheromas, or thickened masses of plaque in the arteries. Published in the January 2007 issue of "Atherosclerosis," their study concluded that consuming concord grape juice can help alleviate the problems associated with a high-fat diet.
Concord grapes contain anthocyanins, which are polyphenols that deliver anticancer benefits, according to the June 2007 issue of the "Journal of Medicinal Food." When tested on breast cells, the anthocyanins helped prevent the formation of DNA-adducts. ReferenceMD.com, a website maintained by the National Library of Medicine, explains that DNA-adducts are extra chemical groups that bond to your DNA as a result of chemical reactions. These reactions and additional chemical groups can lead to cancer development. Concord grapes' ability to prevent these adducts from forming, along with their ability to prevent the metabolism of cancer-causing agents, make them beneficial in fighting cancer.
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: Concord Grape Juice Supplementation and Neurocognitive Function in Human Aging
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: Right Hemisphere Brain Damage
- Journal of Medicinal Food: Regular Consumption of Concord Grape Juice Benefits Human Immunity
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin C
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Grapes, American Type, Raw
- Atherosclerosis: Concord Grape Juice Attenuates Platelet Aggregation, Serum Cholesterol and Development of Atheroma in Hypercholesterolemic Rats
- Journal of Medicinal Food: Anthocyanin-Rich Grape Extract Blocks Breast Cell DNA Damage
- ReferenceMD: DNA Adducts
A certified nutritionist who majored in health, fitness and nutrition, Traci Vandermark has been writing articles in her specialty fields since 1998. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine," "Birds and Blooms," "Cappers" and "Country Discoveries."