Brain Fruit #: Apples
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
This quote gives a clear indication of the health benefits of apples.
But heres a new reason to bite on an apple every day it keeps your mental juices flowing!
Apples are the major source of quercetin, an antioxidant that protects your brain cells.
Researchers from Cornell University reported that the quercetins help safeguard your brain cells from free radical damages which will result in cognitive degeneration.
A 2017 study from King Saud University in Saudi Arabia further reiterated the protective effect of quercetin against neurodegenerative conditions associated with stress.
To savor every quercetin that an apple has to offer, be sure to consume the apples along with their skins.
A series of recent studies published in several journals, including the Journal of Alzheimers Disease, Journal of Neurochemistry, and Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, provided novel findings on the apple juice concentrates potential in preventing oxidative damage and decline in cognitive function associated with the normal aging process.
Other potential health benefits of apples according to studies include:
- Have a cardioprotective effect
Dark Chocolate: Antioxidant Power To Boost Brain Health
Research shows that dark chocolate can also:
- Combat fatigue and the effects of aging
- Boost both mood, focus, and alertness one of the few foods that can do so naturally!
- Improve brain plasticity, crucial for learning
- Provide a very respectable dose of magnesium, zinc, fiber, and caffeine-like plant-based stimulant that the brain loves
Indulge your sweet tooth with dark chocolate. Its delicious and brain-friendly. I highly recommend eating high cacao dark chocolate , as its low in sugar and still very tasty, says NickiRD.
Best Foods To Boost Your Brain And Memory
Your brain is kind of a big deal.
As the control center of your body, its in charge of keeping your heart beating and lungs breathing and allowing you to move, feel, and think.
Thats why its a good idea to keep your brain in peak working condition.
The foods you eat play a role in keeping your brain healthy and can improve specific mental tasks, such as memory and concentration.
This article lists 11 foods that boost your brain.
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How Do Wild Blueberries Grow
Wild blueberries grow in a very different way, compared to regular cultivated blueberries. Wild blueberries grow best on acidic soils. To grow and spread, the plant will send out shallow underground stems, called rhizomes, which then grow vertical green shoots along their length.
This type of growth results in a carpet of wild blueberries which turns blue with a crop of berries in August, then brilliant red-purple in autumn when the plants leaves turn color. The beautiful blue pigments that we see on the berries at harvest time and in the leaves during autumn are due to the anthocyanin pigments.
In contrast, cultivated blueberries grow as a shrub, and need a milder, warmer climate. Each shrub is a particular variety with known attributes. Wild blueberries are hardy, scrappy plants that do best when theyre left to grow in the tough regions, where mother nature intended. And, unlike cultivated blueberry bushes, wild blueberry plants dont appreciate human efforts to cross-breed or plant themthey prefer to fend for themselves against the elements.
Long ago, people noticed that wild blueberry plants were far more productive when the berries were harvested only every second year. To do this, after the berries were harvested, the plant was trimmed to the ground. This process, still employed today by mowing, ensured abundant growth of the underground rhizomes and vertical shoots. Each vertical shoot is laden with flower buds, and each flower bud can produce a berry.
Berries Are One Of The Mind Diets Brain Healthy Food Groups
Whats so special about berries? Each type of berry packs a different array of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Take the humble blueberry, for example, probably the most studied berry of all. Blueberries are packed with polyphenols, a group of compounds which includes anthocyanins, the nutrient that gives blueberries their blue/black hue. Anthocyanins are powerful medicine for your brain: they reduce inflammation, help neurons communicate, and regulate how the brain utilizes glucose for energy.
Berries are the only fruit included in the MIND diet study, one of the 10 Brain Healthy Food Groups chosen to study the impact of food on reducing Alzheimers disease risk.
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Do Blueberries Help You Lose Weight
Recent study findings suggest that blueberries may influence genes which regulate fat-burning and storage, helping reduce abdominal fat and lower cholesterol. When combined with a low-fat diet, blueberries might also lower triglycerides and improve blood sugar levels, each benefits of a comprehensive weight loss plan.
Why Athletes Should Be Popping Blueberries
Athletes: Ever wonder why you are prone to getting sick after a big race? After strenuous exercise, the bodys population of natural killer cells plummets. Natural killer cells are a type of white blood cells, the immune systems first defense against viral illnesses and cancer. But when athletes ate blueberries on a regular basis, their natural killer cell population was found to double. All the polyphenols in berries help reduce and repair damage from oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which result from strenuous exercise.
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What Is Brain Health
When you hear the phrase brain health, what youre likely thinking is actually cognitive function. Cognitive function is the ability to think, learn and remember.
However, brain health is more than cognitive function.1 Brain health generally includes:
- Cognitive function
- Emotional function
- Tactile function
Brain health can be affected by lifestyle choices, including diet, physical activity, lack of sleep, alcohol use and smoking. Other influences include level of education, social engagement and depression. As we age, the brain is even more significantly affected by normal age-related stresses, the lasting effects of injuries and diseases like Alzheimers disease.
While some of these changes are out of our control, we can impact those related to our behavior and lifestyle. For example, research indicates that eating a healthy diet, including foods such as wild blueberries, may boost brain health.
Top 7 Health Benefits Of Blueberries
This vibrant fruit may be tiny, but each serving packs a serious punch when it comes to nutrition. Often overlooked and overshadowed by more exotic types of berries, blueberries remain one of the most nutritious, antioxidant-rich types of fruit in the world and have been shown to do everything from enhance brain health to keep your heart strong. Plus, in addition to the long list of health benefits of blueberries, these fruits are also super sweet, low-calorie and delicious.
Need any more convincing on why you should add this flavorful berry into your diet? Keep reading to learn about the health benefits of blueberries, and find some creative ways to squeeze few servings of this top superfood into your day.
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Risks And Side Effects
Blueberries are generally considered safe for most people and can be consumed with minimal risk of side effects.
However, some people may be allergic to blueberries. If you experience any food allergy symptoms such as itching, swelling or difficulty breathing after eating blueberries, discontinue use and talk to your doctor immediately.
Those who are on a blood thinning medication, such as Warfarin, may also want to keep intake in moderation as blueberries are high in vitamin K, which can interact with these medications.
Additionally, be sure to opt for organic blueberries when possible to prevent exposure to pesticides. You should also go for fresh blueberries rather than dried, as dried blueberries contain a concentrated amount of vitamins and minerals and are also higher in calories and sugar.
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The Protective Power Of Purple Berries And How They Can Improve Brain Health
By Julie Morris, chef and New York Times bestselling author of Smart Plants: Power Foods & Natural Nootropics for Optimized Thinking, Focus, and Memory
Say hello to one of the most common, globally accessible, and arguably longest used nootropics: purple berries. These potent, sweet fruits are part of a broader family of edible berries that are characterized by their purple-ish pigment . Although blueberries are the most widely studied berries in this purple group, blackberries, bilberries, acai berries, maqui berries, elderberries, and even berries with smaller amounts of purple, like raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries, are all valued for their impressive brain-boosting benefits.
Selecting And Storing Blueberries
Blueberries are in season between July and September, so thats your window for the freshest produce. When at the grocery store, steer clear of blueberries that look dull or too soft or squishy. Check the container for bluish stains or juices which could indicate bruised or damaged berries. Fresh blueberries will feel firm to the touch and have a plump appearance with a dark blue, velvety color. A silvery or waxy sheen on blueberries is normal.
You can store fresh blueberries in the container they are sold in. Fresh blueberries are perishable so stick them in the fridge as soon as you get home. Dont wash them before refrigerating. Blueberries will keep best in the vegetable crisper drawer where they will last 35 days. When youre ready to eat them, simply rinse them in cold water and drain. There is no need to soak berries in water to clean them. Thats it! You are ready to toss them into your favorite recipe or simply eat them as a healthy snack.
If you buy frozen blueberries, make sure to store them in the freezer either in their original packaging or in plastic freezer bags. Just in case youre wondering, frozen blueberries are just as nutritious as fresh ones. Researchers at South Dakota State University found that freezing blueberries actually helps maintain its antioxidant properties by better preserving the anthocyanin content.16
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How Eating Berries Can Add Years To Your Brains Longevity
I love spending hours in the mountains where I live collecting huckleberries.
The easiest and most delicious way I know to add years to my brains longevity is to eat a few handfuls of berries each week. One prospective study of 16,000 women age 70 and older, published in the Annals of Neurology, showed that eating at least one serving of blueberries or two servings of strawberries each week delayed cognitive aging by 2.5 years. Theres a lot of power in those little berries!
How To Add Blueberries To Your Diet
Blueberries are one of the most versatile fruits around. To boot, they can be part of a low-cholesterol, heart-hearty, or diabetes diet.
We cant blame you if you snack on them fresh. But there are many different ways you can use them whether theyre fresh, frozen, or dried. Lets explore the most delicious and convenient ones.
Important: The outer layer of the blueberry contains almost all the anthocyanins, so you dont want to throw it away!
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Whole Grains: May Help Improve Concentration & Focus
A diet packed with whole grain-rich foods promotes cardiovascular health, which promotes improved bloodflow to the brain.
Like everything else in your body, the brain cannot concentrate and function without energy. Our brains are fueled by an adequate, steady supply of energy, in the form of glucose in our blood, to the brain. Its best to achieve this regulated supply by choosing whole grains, with a low-GI, which release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping our brains alert throughout the day.
Eating whole grains also provides vitamin E, known for supporting overall brain health.
Whole-grain foods include:
- Reducing stress through yoga, mindfulness, or meditation
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Taking brain power supplements
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Nuts & Seeds: Boost Your Brain Function
Eating more nuts and seeds may be good for the brain, as these foods contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Studies have found that higher overall nut intake was linked to better brain function in older age nuts and seeds are also rich sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which protects cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Research has found that vitamin E may also contribute to improved cognition and reduced risk of Alzheimers disease.
According to NickiRD, You can find amazing omega-3 fats in hemp, flax, chia and pumpkin seeds. Create your own trail mix with these seeds as the front runner alongside coconut chips, cacao nibs, walnuts and almonds.
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Blueberries May Reduce Muscle Damage After Strenuous Exercise
Strenuous exercise can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue.
This is driven partly by local inflammation and oxidative stress in your muscle tissue .
Blueberry supplements may lessen the damage that occurs at a molecular level, minimizing soreness and reduced muscle performance.
In a small study in 10 female athletes, blueberries accelerated muscle recovery after strenuous leg exercises .
Summary One study suggests that blueberries may aid muscle recovery after strenuous exercise, though more research is needed.
Blueberries : Nutrition Facts And Health Benefits
Blueberries are a very popular, tasty fruit native to North America but grown commercially across the Americas and Europe .
Theyre low in calories and incredibly healthy, potentially regulating blood sugar levels and aiding heart and brain health.
Often marketed as a superfood, blueberries are an excellent source of several vitamins, beneficial plant compounds, and antioxidants (
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Oxidative Stress And Inflammation Can Hurt The Brain
Oxidative stress and inflammation are closely associated in the body. You may be familiar with the concept of chronic, whole body inflammation , contributing to diseases such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Oxidative stress is known to be detrimental to normal brain function.1 Its been linked to depression, memory loss and several neurological diseases including Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease.3 Inflammation is also associated with degenerative processes in the brain, and theres also a growing body of evidence that connects inflammation with cognitive decline and risk of dementia later in life.4
Precautions With Blueberry Supplement Use
Dietary consumption of blueberries or bilberries is safe. Avoid in case of allergies.
Ensure that you buy good quality supplements that are made from organic blueberries. Avoid blueberry leaf extract supplements that claim they are made from blueberry fruit.
Supplements cannot replace the nutritional benefits of whole fruits. Make sure you include blueberries in your diet regularly. Clean and wash fresh berries before eating. Opt for organic blueberries/ bilberries to minimize the risk of pesticide exposure.
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Blueberries Reduce The Risk Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
The same study also showed that regular blueberry consumptionagain just half a cup to a cup a dayis linked to a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. So not only can the fruit’s sweet taste help satisfy your sweet tooth, it benefits your body a heck of a lot more than something in the vending machine down the hall will.
This Is Your Brain On Blueberries
September 12, 2017 by Tim Crowe
Whats blue, round, sweet, grows on a bush and can boost your brainpower? If you answered blueberries you would be correct. Or that should be: mostly correct. The brain-boosting power part needs a bit more science to catch up to the headlines, but it is looking promising that blueberries may be one food worthy of a superfood title.
There is so much to be gained by having plenty of plant-based foods in your diet. While it may be tempting to stake your claim that health is all about the superfood du jour, it the variety of foods you eat that are key to good health.
Blueberries are one food that pop up regularly on superfood lists. Long promoted for their brain-boosting power, is there much merit to the claims and should blueberries be a regular part of your diet?
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Blueberries Are Low In Calories But High In Nutrients
The blueberry bush is a flowering shrub that produces berries with a bluish, purple hue also known as blueberries.
It is closely related to similar shrubs, such as those that produce cranberries and huckleberries.
Blueberries are small around 0.20.6 inches in diameter and feature a flared crown at the end.
They are green in color when they first appear, then deepen to purple and blue as they ripen.
The two most common types are:
- Highbush blueberries: The most common cultivated variety in the US.
- Lowbush or wild blueberries: Typically smaller and richer in some antioxidants.
Blueberries are among the most nutrient-dense berries. A 1-cup serving of blueberries contains :
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Vitamin C: 24% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 36% of the RDI
- Manganese: 25% of the RDI
- Small amounts of various other nutrients
They are also about 85% water, and an entire cup contains only 84 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates.
Calorie for calorie, this makes them an excellent source of several important nutrients.
Summary The blueberry is a very popular berry. It is low in calories but high in fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K.