A natural compound found in strawberries can reduce the mental effects of ageing.
The antioxidant fisetin, when given to mice, was found to reduce their mental decline with age and inflammation in their body.
Fisetin is also found in many other plants, such as apples, onions, cucumbers and persimmons.
Dr Pamela Maher, who led the research said:
“Companies have put fisetin into various health products but there hasn’t been enough serious testing of the compound.
Based on our ongoing work, we think fisetin might be helpful as a preventative for many age-associated neurodegenerative diseases, not just Alzheimer’s, and we’d like to encourage more rigorous study of it.”
Previous studies in the same lab have found that fisetin can reduce age-related memory loss.
The study was carried out on mice that had been genetically modified to be susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr Maher said:
“Mice are not people, of course.
But there are enough similarities that we think fisetin warrants a closer look, not only for potentially treating sporadic AD but also for reducing some of the cognitive effects associated with aging, generally.”
The mice were given food with fisetin in it for 7 months and compared to a control group.
Dr Maher said:
“At 10 months, the differences between these two groups were striking.”
Those given the fisetin had hardly suffered any age-related deficits.
Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries all reduce cognitive decline related to age, research finds.
All three fruits contain high levels of flavonoids.
Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that can also help reduce inflammation in the brain and body.
The research was carried out on data from 121,700 women, who were followed up over decades.
Dr Elizabeth Devore, the study’s first author, said:
“As the U.S. population ages, understanding the health issues facing this group becomes increasingly important.
Our study examined whether greater intake of berries could slow rates of cognitive decline.”
The results showed that high berry intake was linked to a delay in cognitive ageing equivalent to 2.5 years.
In other words: berries made their brains work as though they were 2.5 years younger.
Dr Devore said:
“We provide the first epidemiologic evidence that berries may slow progression of cognitive decline in elderly women.
Our findings have significant public health implications as increasing berry intake is a fairly simple dietary modification to test cognition protection in older adults.”
Berries are also one of the central components in the ‘MIND’ diet, which is linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Blueberries in particular seem to have a powerful effect on the brain.
One recent study looked at the effects of concentrated blueberry juice:
“Concentrated blueberry juice improves cognitive function in older people, new research finds.
Those who drank the juice also had better blood flow and activation in their brains as well as improvements to working memory.
The boost to brain power is likely down to the flavonoids in blueberries.”
Strawberries also have other research backing up their protective effects, as do walnuts.
Who doesn’t want to become smarter? Who wants to look better or feel healthier? Many recent studies have shown how certain nutrients can positively affect the brain, specifically in areas of the brain related to cognitive processing or feelings and emotions. Generally speaking, you want to follow a healthy diet for your brain that will lead to strong blood flow, maintenance of mental sharpness and reduce the risk of heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
We know that foods play a great role in our brain, as concluded in several studies led by a phenomenal neuroscientist at UCLA, Gomez Pinilla.
According to one study, the super fats your brain needs most are omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain converts them into DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which enhances neuronal communication and promotes neuronal growth.
Food and nutrients represent fuel to our bodies the same way that when we use our car we need to fill the gas tank. Unfortunately, we generally take better care of our cars than our bodies. Why is that? We are hearing frequently that consuming the right nutrients can help our health, aging process, and more efficient brain-body functioning.
With that said, I want to share with you ten foods you must keep in your diet to maintain brain health:
1. Apples: Eating an apple a day protects the brain from oxidative damage that causes neurodegenerative diseases such Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This magical nutrient that acts as protection is quercetin, which is a phytonutrient.
2. Asparagus: Asparagus is rich in folic acid, which is essential for the metabolism of the long chain fatty acids in your brain.
3. Lean Beef: Lean beef is rich in vitamin B12, iron and zinc. These vitamins and minerals have been shown to maintain a healthy neural tissue.
4. Blueberries and strawberries: Studies show that people who eat berries improve their memory and their motor skills. In addition, their antioxidant properties can protect your brain from the oxidative process.
5. Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate offers incredible concentration powers. It is a very powerful antioxidant containing natural stimulants that increase the production of feel-good endorphins. Trick: you need to find dark chocolate with less than 10 grams of sugar per serving for optimal benefits.
6. Salmon: Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have shown to be essential for brain function.
7. Dried oregano: Certain spices have powerful antioxidant properties. In several studies, this powerful spice has shown to have 40 times more antioxidant properties than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges, and 4 times more than that of blueberries or strawberries.
8. Walnuts: Walnuts are rich in protein and contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins E and B6 which all promote healthy neural tissue.
9. Whole grains: Whole grains deliver fiber and vitamin E that help promote cardiovascular health, which helps improve the circulation to the brain.
10. Yogurt: Yogurt and other dairy foods are filled with protein and vitamin B that are essential to improve the communication between nerve cells.
Make sure that from now on you select and plan a great menu that include these brain foods. Life is about choices and selecting the right nutrients can play a key role in your health.
Written by Michael Gonzalez-Wallace, who is the author of Super Body, Super Brain.
You can read more from him at http://www.superbodysuperbrain.com or pick up his book Super Body, Super Brain.