If you knew there was a food you could add to your diet proven to fight the effects of aging and dementia, you’d probably eat it, wouldn’t you? Well, get to your local farmer’s market now because blueberries are the wonder food of the future. Blueberries fight off the harmful effects of free radicals, keep blood vessels clear of plaque, and give us a boost from plant-based chemicals.
The two most common types of dementia that affect older Americans, Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, may be helped by the same types of foods that help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and prevents and manages diabetes. Blueberries are good for our health because they contain antioxidants that help protect our bodies from disease and age-related health issues. These little blue power houses are also getting a reputation for being a brain food that can help improve cognitive function and memory.
As far back as 1999 researchers found that giving blueberries to older rats helped them navigate through mazes more efficiently. It was around 2010 that studies began to surface showing the efficacy of blueberries for the human brain. Michael Greger of Nutritionfacts.org says, “It didn’t stop the disease; it didn’t reverse the disease. But it slowed the progression.”
One of the longest running studies by the Nurses’ Health Study followed more than 16,000 women aged 70 and older and showed women who ate more berries slowed down their rates of mental decline. According to Dr. Greger, “The magnitude of the association was pretty impressive. Women with a higher intake of berries appeared to have delayed cognitive aging by 2.5 years. So, it’s like your brain is 2.5 years younger if you’re eating berries.”
MRI imaging shows the difference in brain function as people eat blueberries due to the polyphenol phytonutrients. The antioxidants in these berries can cross the blood brain barrier. Other foods of the same color can actually do the same thing. Red cabbage, pomegranates and grape juice are also beneficial for your brain.
When it comes to fighting aging and having a healthier body, the more whole plant foods in your diet, the better. Berries not only fight free radicals; they also combat cholesterol and have the fiber we need to keep our digestive systems running smoothly. But it will take more than eating the standard American diet and just adding some berries in. Blueberries are not a magic bullet but part of an arsenal of foods that we should be eating for better brain health.
Several foods can be added to your diet to have an effect on your cognitive abilities and keep your brain sharp for as long as possible. Polyphenols have been shown to protect your neurons against injury caused by neurotoxins and inflammation and aids in memory, learning and cognitive function. Flavanols, found in fruit, cocoa, wine, tea and beans are also associated with better cognitive functioning.
Blueberries have a high number of vitamins that boost brain health, specifically flavonoids. Consuming blueberries every day has been proven to slow memory decline and help motor coordination typically associated with aging. You can eat them fresh, frozen, canned or juiced to deliver the following brain benefits.
Your brain is your most important organ and keeping it healthy and strong for as long as possible is becoming a growing health concern among doctors and patients alike. Factors such as super stress and the standard American diet are not helping us along the way. That’s why it is essential to keep your brain working at optimum levels for as long as possible with a healthy diet.
While we all know that processed, sugary, and refined foods are not helping us, now we’re learning that other foods–such as blueberries–can help reduce cognitive decline and help us live our best lives longer. For an even bigger boost, you can pair a healthy diet with the stress reducing, brain-balancing BrainTap Pro App, which provides you with vital relaxation and guided visualizations to improve your life in numerous ways. If you find eating healthy is a struggle, checking out BrainTap’s audio series on healthy eating is a great way to get yourself on track to making the healthy choices that will protect your brain and body.
For a free trial of the BrainTap App click HERE.
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