Eating red grapes and peanuts benefits the ageing brain, says a new study.
Scientists discovered that resveratrol, a compound found in these food items, prevented memory loss associated with ageing.
Resveratrol, which belongs to the stilbenes class of polyphenolic compounds, can be acquired through the consumption of grapes, red wine, peanuts, purple grape juice, berries (mulberries, bilberries, cranberries and blueberries), dark chocolate and pistachios.
In the new study, Dr Ashok K Shetty and colleagues from the Texas A&M Health Science Centre College of Medicine in the US found that, the chemical highly benefited hippocampus, the brain region related to memory.
Aged rats receiving resveratrol showed improvement in spatial learning, memory and mood function. The chemical intake improved growth and development of brain cells; blood flow and reduced chronic inflammation in brain.
"The results of the study were striking," Dr Shetty,a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine and Director of Neurosciences at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, said in a news release. "They indicated that for the control rats who did not receive resveratrol, spatial learning ability was largely maintained but ability to make new spatial memories significantly declined between 22 and 25 months. By contrast, both spatial learning and memory improved in the resveratrol-treated rats."
"The study provides novel evidence that resveratrol treatment in late middle age can help improve memory and mood function in old age," Dr Shetty added later.
The study appears in the online edition of Scientific Reports.
In June 2014, a study reported in the Journal of Neuroscience showed that regular intake of resveratrol supplements improved short-term memory.
Previous research has shown that resveratrol helped boost immunity, protected against Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Following are some other health benefits of resveratrol, as observed from animal studies by the Mayo Clinic in US:
- Helps fight obesity
- Protects against diabetes
- Prevents damages to blood vessels
- Reduces bad cholesterol and lowers risk of blood clots