People who eat a handful of grapes twice a day might cut their Alzheimer’s disease risk virtually in half, a new study suggests.

Investigators discovered that grape seed extract may help prevent amyloid beta accumulation in cells, suggesting that it may block the formation of plaques. In fact, they demonstrated that a higher intake of flavonols is associated with a 48% reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

“The potential of natural compounds to provide real health benefits to brain function is only now beginning to be realized by brain researchers. The lesson they may eventually learn is that sometimes you just can’t improve upon Mother Nature,” said Gary Arendash, Ph.D., of The Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute.

The study was performed on mice at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Full findings appear in the latest issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.