Berries for Brain Anti-Aging
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Research scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture1 continue to blaze a scientific path explaining how berries can protect your brain from aging. In their new study they show that berries activate the natural house-cleaning process within your brain so damage does not accumulate and lead to cognitive decline.
Berries are a rich source of polyphenol antioxidants called anthocyanins. The glial cells of your brain must function optimally for all nerve transmission to work correctly. One of the functions of glial cells is a “trash man.” They are responsible for a process called autophagy, which removes and recycles debris which would otherwise clog brain function. During aging the autophagy process slows down. The researches showed this process is rejuvenated by extracts of berries.
The favorite berry of the researchers at USDA is the blueberry, followed by blackberries and strawberries. They point out that any berry with a deep red, orange, or blue color is a rich source of anthocyanins. Dietary concentrates of berry extracts allow for the anthocyanin potency of a cup of berries in a single capsule—as was used by the researchers at USDA. Frozen organic berries are available year round and can be added to a protein smoothie. Fresh organic berries are in season right now—so enjoy!
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