Insights & Actions for Healthy Living

Are berries really brain food?

We are hearing a lot about superfoods that have miracle components that can help stop aging or boost our brain power. What we know is that antioxidant containing foods such as berries have been shown to prevent cell damage linked to free radicals caused by oxidation in our cells. Our bodies require oxidation reactions but their consequence can be damaging.

Foods containing antioxidants such as flavonoids, flavanols, flavones, and anthocyanins can help reduce the damage caused by free radicals. Some people have been using nutritional supplements to provide even greater amounts of antioxidants such as Vitamin E in hopes to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but some studies have shown that supplementation may have no significant benefit and may actually be dangerous if taken in excess.

We can be sure our diets are rich in naturally occurring flavonoids to help offset the damage done by oxidation.

Foods Rich in Flavonoids:

(over 4,000 items)

  • Fruits – oranges, apples, cherries, plums, pomegranate, prunes, red grapes, citrus, apricots
  • Berries – raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, acai berries
  • Onions
  • Vegetables – leeks, broccoli, kale, celery chili peppers
  • Tea – green and white
  • Wine
  • Dark Chocolate

There have been many medical benefits associated with eating more foods rich in antioxidants including having a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain cancers as well as improved cognitive performance. We may be able to delay or prevent the progression of dementias including Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation that can have long term health benefits.

The great thing about ramping up the antioxidants in our diets is that they are delicious, nutritious, and fresh as well as putting the rainbow on your plate which is what we all seek!

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