(NaturalHealth365) Protect your brain from the negative effects of aging, like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by adding organic blueberries to your next smoothie or breakfast meal. This may surprise you – but the greatest (health) concern aging people have is loss of brain function and becoming a burden to family and friends. Keep reading to discover a natural way to prevent mental decline.
Can chronic stress damage your short term memory?
Did you ever forget where you put your keys, glasses, or cell phone? How many of us are challenged to remember someone’s name and how many times has this occurred only seconds after being introduced to the person? Did you ever go to the store and forget what you went there to buy? I’m certain most of us can say we’ve experienced these lapses of memory.
A lot of short-term memory loss is associated with the simple fact that we didn’t pay attention; even that is a reflection of the way our brains function. However, much of it can be related to the many stressors we face each day. Stress is an especially important factor that can lead to both clinical depression and memory loss because too much cortisol is being secreted.
Dr. Sonia Lupien, at the National Institutes of Health, reported that cognitive function and memory loss were directly related to increases in cortisol levels. Memory loss can also reflect damage to the brain’s neurotransmitters, and stress is related to the death of neurons. Additionally, with excess calcium being produced, more free radicals are also being produced, killing brain cells.
The brain can’t lay down new memories without sufficient supplies of glucose, so if the glucose supply is disrupted by stress, memory suffers.
Organic nutrition is a delicious way to boost brain function
While we’ve found many nutrients that appear to help the brain, they’ve got to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier, which few do. One nutrient that does is blueberry. There was an exciting study published in 2005, in Nutritional Neuroscience, in which the researchers fed rats blueberries for 8-10 weeks. What they discovered was that the phytochemicals actually crossed the blood-brain barrier and lodged themselves in the areas of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
Additionally, the greater the concentration of blueberry phytochemicals in those areas, the better the rat’s cognition and memory was found to be.
Another related study in the Journal of Experimental Neurology showed that whenever there’s interrupted blood flow to the brain, permanent damage results. However, rats receiving blueberries, along with spinach and spirulina, were significantly less affected. The brain is protected to an amazing degree with blueberries.
Discover the “fountain of youth” by eating blueberries
A similar study was conducted by Dr. James Fisher at Tufts University in Boston. This was done on rats with a human equivalent age of 70 to 75 years old. The dose of blueberries in human terms was a half-cup. The blueberry extract enabled the old rats to perform like young rats.
They could walk a rotating rod without falling off and run faster than the control group of rats not fed the blueberries. There was a dramatic difference in coordination and balance between the two groups, with the blueberry group coming out on top.
The right diet can even prevent brain cancer
You may have heard of the nutrient or flavonoid called quercetin. Quercetin is a very powerful anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory agent with cardio-protective qualities. But, blueberries have an even more powerful related agent called ellagic acid. In fact, ellagic acid is one of the most powerful (recently discovered) anti-carcinogens.
Ellagic acid has been found to inhibit metastasis of cancer cells and assist with normal cell destruction, hence protecting both the body and the brain from tumors.
A moment ago, we mentioned how stress chemicals affect memory by disrupting glucose production in the brain. At the Brookhaven National Laboratory, using an imaging technology called PET, they were able to understand the connection between the neurohormone dopamine and its relationship to brain glucose.
Are your brain hormones bringing you down?
When the activity of dopamine becomes diminished, there’s a decrease in glucose metabolism, which causes a diminished energy supply for the brain. When dopamine is low, there’s also a lower level of cognition and concentration and a greater tendency for depression to occur. This means we’re not as motivated to achieve our goals. Dopamine production and glucose supply are related to our zest for living.
Dopamine is also responsible for how the pituitary gland releases human growth hormone, which is believed to be one of our keys to anti-aging. As long as we have a healthy supply of HgH, we tend to stall the aging process, but this all depends on dopamine production and dopamine receptor sites remaining functional.
Here’s the good news: the Brookhaven study found that the antioxidants called polyphenols found in blueberries increased the ability of the brain cells to release dopamine.
Two of the most feared age-related diseases are Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, which are characterized by low levels of glutathione in brain tissue. Once again, blueberries can help: they raise glutathione levels. (An interesting side note is that glutathione is especially plentiful in the lens of the eye; the connection between berries and sight is profound.)
Please keep in mind that the brain is 60 percent fat, and, exposed to oxidation, fat can become rancid. The antioxidants found in blueberries are an excellent way to protect it. Why not make a commitment to eat half a cup of fresh organic berries every day? Naturally, make certain they’re organic; non-organic berries have been sprayed with toxic chemicals that you’re not going to be able to wash off.
Blueberries impart a zest for living that dead and processed foods can never deliver. So, protect your brain, memory, and emotions with blueberries. If you LOVE blueberries – share your passion by posting a comment below.
About the author: Pre-baby boomer Peter Ragnar has written over twenty-eights books and published courses on every aspect of personal development. He feeds the thirst for those special individuals who are on the quest for human excellence around the world. His fascinating and unique line of products, including “Magnetic Qi Gong,” can be found at: RoaringLionPublishing.com.
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