Purple Gems of Life: Red Grapes and Blueberries

Scientists tell us that red grapes and blueberries might hold the key to prolonged life and a better memory

For those of us who still doubted it, scientific research brings further proof of the fact that fruit really are the quintessential fountain of life, a never-ending source of potent beneficial substances that can help fight off Alzheimer's and prolong our lives, as well as improve the functioning of our higher reasoning skills, such as thinking, learning and judging. Recent studies have proved that two types of fruit in particular could hold the key to a longer, better life, safe from the ravaging effects of time: red grapes and blueberries.

Believe it or not, red grapes don't have to be turned into wine in order to be tasty and extremely valuable for our health. The skin of red grapes contains a powerful anti-aging chemical called resveratrol, which is said to be something similar to a modern elixir of life. Although there has been little research on the direct impact of this substance on humans, research conducted on mice yielded spectacular results. Mice exposed to resveratrol "live longer, are almost immune to the effects of obesity and don't get diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's as frequently", explains Harvard Medical School professor Dr David Sinclair, who pioneered the research.

And apparently, he's taken very seriously, as the company he founded to try and develop a synthetic form of the substance has just been taken over by GlaxoSmithKline, UK's leading pharmaceutical giant. Resveratrol is believed to stimulate the activation of the so-called "survival" gene known as sirtuin, which helps protect our hearts from the effects of aging. A daily healthy helping of red grapes could therefore prove to be one of the wisest steps we could take to prolong our lives and ensure that we have a healthy heart.

Blueberries are the other welcomed, must-have addition to our daily diets. These little purple gems have a demonstrated impact on our memories, as they were proven to reverse some of the effects of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. This is all down to blueberries being rich in flavonoids, compounds that interact with nerve cells and help improve communication between them while also helping the regeneration of brain cells. The direct effect of this is an improved memory, both short and long term, and also improved cognitive functions. So, my advice is, work as many of these fruits as possible into your diets and enjoy their taste and wonderful, life-giving properties.

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