Can Drinking Grape Juice Reduce Stress?
Can anything relieve stress in today's high stress world? This is an important question to answer as studies show high stress can reduce your ability to think straight and increase your blood pressure; conditions which could be dangerous in certain complex, every-day tasks, such as driving. A University of Leeds study of one of the most harried population groups - working moms - found just 12 ounces of concord grape juice daily improved their ability to think by increasing their spatial memory in a driving performance test. And the effect lasted over time.
Concord grapes are high in a class of phytochemicals (beneficial plant chemicals) called polyphenols, antioxidants which are concentrated in many fruits, some vegetables and in wine, tea and cocoa. They protect against heart disease by reducing blood clot formation. They also prevent cellular and organ damage caused by oxygen radicals, molecules which are believed to be a primary cause of many diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Certain polyphenols, such as anthocyanins, which give grapes and blueberries their purple pigment, have been found to reverse both physical and mental deficits in aging rats. Preliminary studies in humans, including this study, are showing similar promising results.