Berries and Grapes Improve Memory and Brain Health
Cognitive decline is unnatural. Millions of aging adults consider an impaired capacity to think, reason and form new memories as the inevitable course of declining health. By accepting brain aging as normal, we condemn our senior years and live in constant fear of whether we will remember our family and friends or retain our personal identity.
Loss of cognition as we age is not normal. There is no programmed switch that diminishes our ability to reason and remember events, names and faces. The brain is susceptible to many of the damaging effects of inflammation, free radicals and insulin resistance that lead to chronic illness. Blueberries and grape seed extract show great potential in the fight against brain aging and cognitive decline.
Blueberries are a Powerful Brain Antioxidant
The human brain performs millions of electrical and chemically mediated actions every second and generates a large number of free radicals in the process that can damage normal neuronal function. Any natural agent that can neutralize the effect of free radicals will provide necessary protection and prevent brain aging.
Anthocyanins and flavanols are natural protective compounds found in high concentration in blueberries and are known to be able to cross the critical blood-brain barrier and influence brain function. The result of research published in the journal Nutrition shows that dietary supplementation with blueberries for as little as 30 days can slow and even reverse the decline in mental function associated with age. The study authors concluded “this illustrates a surprisingly prompt and powerful effect of an antioxidant dietary intervention.”
Blueberries Enhance Critical Neuronal Communications
Researchers know that blueberries and other members of the purple berry family are linked with lowered incidence of age-related dementia and Alzheimer`s disease. While the exact mechanism of action is not fully understood, prior studies have shown that the active compounds in berries exert their effects on learning and memory by enhancing existing neuronal connections, improving cellular communications and stimulating neuronal regeneration.
Grape Seed Extract Can Rebuild Brain Cell Networks
Grape seed extract is a significant source of naturally occurring phenolic compounds that are known to bolster the structural integrity of brain cells and brain cell networks. Research provided by a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research documents the ability of grape seed extract to stimulate the production of new brain cells. Researchers were able to show that compounds in grape seed extract activated genes that controlled cellular rejuvenation. Additionally, grape seed extract strengthened existing brain cell connections in the memory control center of the brain (hippocampus).
Loss of memory and the ability to learn and form thoughts are functions that should not be lost as we age. Cognitive decline can be prevented by eating a diet void of processed foods, sugars and damaging hydrogenated fats. Eat a cup of wild blueberries each day and supplement with grape seed extract to provide critical antioxidant support and prevent the assault from free radical damage.
“Short-term blueberry-enriched diet prevents and reverses object recognition memory loss in aging rats,” Nutrition, 2011 Mar;27(3):338-42. Epub 2010 Dec 18.
“Blueberries may reverse age-related mental decline: Rat study,” Stephen Daniells, 21-Dec-2010, nutraincredients-usa.com
“Grape seed extract enhances neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus in C57BL/6 mice,” Phytother Res., 2010 Oct 29. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3319. [Epub ahead of print]