Nuts and Berries for Your Brain

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Nuts and Berries for Your Brain

As time goes on, and unhealthy foods are consumed, the brain’s ability to protect itself from inflammation and oxidative stress declines greatly. Research shows that fruits, such as acai berries, blueberries, strawberries, and nuts, such as walnuts, contain certain natural compounds that help the brain stay healthy.

This recent study found that berries and walnuts trigger one of the brain’s mechanisms that clears out and recycles toxic proteins that are connected to memory loss and other symptoms of mental decline.

How Nuts and Berries Help the Brain

These renegade proteins that accumulate in the brain add to cognitive dysfunction and memory loss. Antioxidants, which are present in berries and in fresh raw nuts, help clean up the proteins, which improves nerve function and help protect the body against heart disease, degenerative brain conditions, cancer, and other diseases.

What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that help to protect the body from free radicals. Free radicals are atoms, or groups of atoms, which can damage cells and lower the immune system, leading to infections and degenerative diseases. Free radicals may be formed by exposure to radiation, toxic chemicals (food additives, rancid oils, cigarette smoke, pollution), and the sun, as well as by metabolic processes. Antioxidants include (but are not limited to) vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, melatonin, alpha-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, cysteine, glutathione, zinc, superoxide dismutase, methionine reductase, catalase, pycnogenol, resveratrol, grape seed extract, and components present in ginko biloba and green tea.

Science and Antioxidants

Shibu Poulose, with the U. S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston, reported “The good news is that natural compounds called polyphenols found in fruits, vegetables and nuts have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that may protect against age-associated decline. ”

Studies showed that laboratory rats that consumed a diet consisting of 2% high-antioxidant blueberry, strawberry or blackberry extracts for two months showed an increase in learning capacity, memory, and nerve function.

Poulose stated in his report, “In aging, microglia (the cells responsible for brain maintenance) fail to do their work, and debris builds up. ” He went on to state that, “In addition, the microglia become over-activated and actually being to damage healthy cells in the brain. Our research suggests that the polyphenols in berries have a rescuing effect. They seem to restore the normal housekeeping function. ”

Add These Foods to Your Diet

Fruits and vegetables that exhibit deep, strong colors and pigments such as blue, red and orange contain the most antioxidants. Experts recommend eating a broad range of various colored vegetables and fruits and fresh raw nuts such as walnuts to get a wide assortment of antioxidants. In off seasons turn to foods such as frozen berries, which are available year round and an excellent sources of brain boosting antioxidants.

Which Foods are Best for You?

You can determine which foods are best for you by asking your Divine Mind! Learn how to communicate with your Divine mind: