Grapes and berries make delicious snacks, but they are as rich in phytochemicals as they are in taste. Phytochemicals are natural chemicals which have beneficial medical effects. While extracts of blueberries and grape seeds differ in their phytochemical make-up, both are effective neutralizers of tissue-damaging free radicals. Consult your physician before using either blueberry or grape seed extract for health purposes.
Blueberry Extract Uses
Blueberries contain many chemicals which may improve your health — in particular, a group of compounds known as anthocyanins. In addition to contributing to the color of blueberries, anthocyanins have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering properties. Anthocyanins block the action of free radicals, which can damage cells and DNA. Through this antioxidant effect, blueberry extract can reduce the general deterioration of the body associated with aging. Anthocyanins play a role in your body’s metabolism as well by increasing the effectiveness of insulin.
Blueberry Extract Research
Blueberry extract may help you retain your memory as you get older. A 2010 study published in “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” tested the effect of blueberry juice on memory decline in older adult subjects. The results should apply to blueberry extracts as well. The study subjects averaged 76.2-years-old. Blueberry juice improved the subjects’ learning and recall ability. In addition, the researchers found that the juice reduced symptoms of depression and lowered blood glucose levels. The researchers believed that both reductions may have contributed to the subjects’ improved mental function.