Health & Nutrition

 A Drink that Slows Aging?

Blueberries are loved by nutritionists and natural healers (and by me too- they’re delicious!) They are considered a super food by many. These berries not only are ideal for a snack or a condiment in cake recipes they’re also tremendously healthy for you. They are low in calories but rich in vitamins and minerals like potassium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin c and more.  In addition it contains glucokinin which lowers blood sugar levels and anthocyanin a flavonoid that is found in the blueberry peel that reduces inflammations in the body as it is anti-inflammatory.

In recent years researchers took interest in the antioxidant properties of the blueberry. The source of these anti-oxidants is in the flavonoids found in the peel of the blueberry. Can the consumption of blueberries slow the aging of the brain? The Exeter University in the U.K. set out to find out.

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In their study healthy people aged 65-77 drank blueberry concentrate daily. The experiment was for 12 weeks were participants were asked to keep the regular dietary habits besides drinking 30 ml. of blueberry juice daily (or a placebo to the unknowing control group).

The results show those who drank the blueberry juice concentrate scored higher on cognitive tests and their working memory was improved. MRI scans showed improved blood flow to areas of the brain responsible for cognitive function and greater activity in other areas of the brain.

Past studies found decreased risk of dementia corresponding to increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. But in this study participants were people whose vegetable consumption was normal in order to isolate the consumption of blueberry juice as the factor for improved cognitive function. As a first study these results are very positive.

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