Would you believe – Berries for the Brain:
Free radicals break down the much needed neurons in your brain, so the many colorful fruits and vegetables that are packed with antioxidants are good for you in more ways than one
In my last book, Breaking the Age Barrier, Great Looks & Health at Every Age, I wrote:
”To function properly the brain needs glucose, sodium, potassium, unsaturated fatty acids, amino acids (protein), vitamins, minerals and at least 400 calories a day.”
We’ve all heard about antioxidants as cancer fighters. Eating foods that contain these substances, which neutralize harmful free radicals, is especially good for your brain, too.
Subsequent to the publication of my book, new research came out suggesting that blueberries, strawberries, grapes and other berry fruits could help protect your brain from decline with aging.
[adrotate group=”4″]In a review of the scientific evidence published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Marshall G. Miller and Barbara Shukitt-Hale, PhD, of Tufts’ Neuroscience and Aging Laboratory note, “A growing body of research has identified neurological benefits associated with the consumption of berry fruits. In addition to their now well-known antioxidant effects, dietary supplementation with berry fruits also has direct effects on the brain. Intake of these fruits may help to prevent age-related neurodegeneration and resulting changes in cognitive and motor function.”
The case for berries’ brain benefits was also bolstered by a study the authors call the largest and longest of its kind. Elizabeth Devore, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and colleagues analyzed data on berry consumption among 16,010 women age 70 and older participating in the Nurses’ Health Study. The women completed dietary questionnaires every four years beginning in 1980, prior to cognitive test; they were tested for memory and other cognitive function every two years between 1998 and 2001,Publishing their findings in Annals of Neurology, Devore and colleagues found that women who consumed two or more half-cup servings of strawberries or one or more half-cups of blueberries per week saw slower mental decline—equivalent to up to two and a half years of delayed cognitive aging.
Devore said, “Our findings have significant public health implications, as increasing berry intake is a fairly simple dietary modification to reduce memory decline in older adults.”
Tufts’ researcher, Shukitt-Hale said, “It was exciting to see that what we have been finding over the years in terms of beneficial effects of berry fruit in animal models translated to beneficial effects in humans, and that adding these fruits to your diet can help preserve memory function as we age.”
Until next time,