Power of the Concord Grape
For years leading researchers have been investigating the nutrition power of Concord grapes. Growing evidence now suggests that eating and drinking Concord grapes and Concord grape products, as part of a produce-rich diet and active lifestyle, may positively impact health. Concord grape research has focused mainly on the fruit’s role in cardiovascular or heart health, but other emerging areas are also being studied. Discover more on the state of this research below:
Cardiovascular (Heart) Health
As part of a nutritious diet and active lifestyle, Concord grapes may be one important ingredient for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. More than a decade’s worth of science indicates that Concord grape juice may help support flexible arteries to promote healthy blood flow. And while additional research is necessary to draw any conclusions, early findings suggest that Concord grapes have the potential to play a role in helping certain groups of people maintain healthy blood pressure.
Cognitive (Mind) Health
Researchers have begun investigating the role of Concord grapes in cognitive health. The research in this area is very preliminary, yet emerging science suggests that Concord grapes may offer certain cognitive health benefits. Recent studies indicate that Concord grape juice may help slow the progression of age-related cognitive decline.
Immune System Health
Concord Grapes and Nutritious Diets
Most people fall short on getting enough fruit in their diet every day, and Concord grapes and Concord grape juice can help people easily squeeze more vibrantly colored fruit into a healthy daily diet.
- Most people don’t meet the daily recommendations for fruit, and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that everyone – adults and children – get more fruit each day. About 16 grapes (one handful) equals 1/2 cup or one serving of fruit.2 And remember, all forms of fruit count towards daily requirements. As a complement to whole fruit, 100% juice can be a convenient and widely accessible way to boost fruit intake.
Research has found that drinking 100% juice made with Concord grapes in moderation can be part of a balanced diet while maintaining a healthy weight.
Specifically, while more research is necessary, early studies have shown that daily, moderate consumption of grape juice does not significantly impact weight.
- One study of healthy, overweight men and women ages 18-50 years found that, after 12 weeks, Concord grape juice drinkers consuming about 2 cups per day had no significant changes in appetite or weight, and showed a significant decrease in waist circumference (one of the five determinants of metabolic syndrome). Other markers of metabolic syndrome, including cholesterol, triglyceride, and fasting glucose levels, were maintained within normal limits throughout the study. The group that drank a sugar-sweetened beverage in place of the Concord grape juice felt less full, experienced moderate weight gain, and did not experience a significant decrease in waist circumference. A recent pilot study also found that daily Concord grape juice consumption had no negative impact on body weight or waist circumference.
- According to a recent analysis using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), children and adults who consumed 100% grape juice showed no significant differences in weight or BMI compared to non-drinkers. These findings support other observational studies, which discovered that children and teens who drank 100% juice tended to consume more nutritious diets and were no more likely to be overweight than non-juice drinkers.
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