What all Neuroscientists Eat to Protect their Brains

WHAT ALL NEUROSCIENTISTS EAT TO PROTECT THEIR BRAINS

by Susan Saunders this from the Age Well Project

Why do neuroscientists all eat berries? Whenever we listen to talks about lifestyle by brain experts, or interview them ourselves for our books, they reveal that they eat berries – with blueberries often top of the list.

We know that the dark purple colour of blueberries (and blackcurrants, blackberries etc) comes from flavonoids, the deep pigmentation which comes with serious health benefits. Research published last summer found that, over a 20-year period, older adults who had the highest intake of flavonoids (from berries, tea, apples, pears, red wine) had the lowest risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias. Anthocyanins, the flavonoids which gives berries their dark colour was particularly linked to reduced dementia risk: consuming no berries at all was linked to a four-fold increase in risk. You can read more about this study here

Anthocyanins aren’t the only benefits of berries, however. Blueberries are also a rich source of pterostilbene, a polyphenol (the antioxidant compounds found in plants) which activates sirtuins in our bodies. These enzymes are vital to our epigenome – the instruction manual which controls how our genes operate. When this process goes wrong, sirtuins act like paramedics, rushing to the scene to repair damaged genetic material. They decline with age, so repair mechanisms falter, which is why we’re more prone to illnesses and viruses as we get older.

We know that the dark purple colour of blueberries (and blackcurrants, blackberries etc) comes from flavonoids, the deep pigmentation which comes with serious health benefits. Research published last summer found that, over a 20-year period, older adults who had the highest intake of flavonoids (from berries, tea, apples, pears, red wine) had the lowest risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias. Anthocyanins, the flavonoids which gives berries their dark colour was particularly linked to reduced dementia risk: consuming no berries at all was linked to a four-fold increase in risk. You can read more about this study here

Anthocyanins aren’t the only benefits of berries, however. Blueberries are also a rich source of pterostilbene, a polyphenol (the antioxidant compounds found in plants) which activates sirtuins in our bodies. These enzymes are vital to our epigenome – the instruction manual which controls how our genes operate. When this process goes wrong, sirtuins act like paramedics, rushing to the scene to repair damaged genetic material. They decline with age, so repair mechanisms falter, which is why we’re more prone to illnesses and viruses as we get older.

Share this Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.