Making berries a part of your daily diet may help keep your brain in good working order, a new review shows.
Researchers reviewed recent studies on the effects of berries on brain signaling or internal communication and behavior; how they block the damaging effects of free radicals; and how berries, rich in antioxidants, help to reduce inflammation.
Berries are great to prevent brain aging and steer clear of dementia.
The review shows there’s strong evidence that eating berries like blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and strawberries brain function and may prevent age-related memory loss.
“In addition to their now well-known antioxidant effects, dietary supplementation with berry fruits has direct effects on the brain,” writes researcher Marshall Miller, of the USDA-ARS Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, and colleagues in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
I’m not sure why he considers berries a dietary “supplement”; they should be standard fare for humans who are, after all, hunter-gatherers.
The big take-away is that berries change the way the neurons in the brain communicate with each other. These changes can prevent inflammation that can lead to brain cell damage and thereby improve movement control and function.
If you have read my new book “Fire In The Belly” you’ll understand just how crucial it is that we dampen down that inner fire (inflammation). Otherwise it slowly kills us and leads to Alzheimer’s, diabetes, arthritis and other signs of aging; even cancer.
Researchers say further study is needed to determine if these beneficial effects on brain function are the result of individual compounds shared by berries or unique combinations of chemicals in each berry fruit.
Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they? I say just go eat ‘em!
SOURCES: Miller, M. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, published online Jan. 23, 2012. News release, American Chemical Society.