Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Surprising Link Between Berries and Alzheimer’s

Free radicals and inflammation could increase the risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. But, research has shown that berries can help reduce the risk or delay the onset of such conditions. And since the summer season is in full swing, now is a great time to head out to the farmers’ market or produce section of your local grocery store to stock up. 
Providing care for elderly family members begins with setting them up for success. Start by making sure they eat lots of whole, natural foods like berries, because research shows that this can make a big difference. 
The Best Berries to Fight Free Radicals
When providing dementia care, Cedar Falls families should consider the devastating effects of free radicals on mental health. Experts correlate these elements with declined cognitive function. Help your older loved one fight off free radicals with these powerful berries. 
Acai Berry. This is a dark purple berry that is rich in antioxidants. Experts suggest the berry could help reduce the destructive nature of free radicals, too. Acai berries are packed with minerals and vitamins, and they can even help promote heart health and prevent blood clots, too. They can also support blood circulation and even stunt the aging process.
Blueberry. This common berry is a great source of antioxidants. In fact, recent research has shown that eating enough blueberries and strawberries can reduce the onset of dementia by a full two and a half years. The berry also provides a variety of vitamins and minerals such as K and C, as well as manganese. The vitamin B found in blueberries helps support energy and can work to fight off free radicals, too. 
Cranberry. The cranberry is known to help prevent bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract and stomach lining. It can also help promote eye and heart health, too. Because it is so rich in antioxidants, the cranberry is also a powerful tool in warding off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well. 
Goji Berry. Thanks to its immune boosting properties, the goji berry can do wonders for promoting overall health. It can also help protect the retina for overall eye health, and improve liver and kidney function. And since this berry is also rich in amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it is a must-have berry when eating to prevent dementia. 
Why Berries Can Help Prevent Alzheimer’s
Strawberries and blueberries are two of many berries that are incredibly rich in flavanoids and antioxidants. They also possess a multitude of anti-inflammatory and free radical fighting properties. Because science has suggested that inflammation and stress can lead to the development of dementia, these attributes make berries an important part of senior care and dementia prevention. 
One study followed approximately 16,000 women over the age of 70 to monitor their mental health. The results showed that those who consumed the most strawberries and blueberries delayed mental decline by up to two and a half years. 
When supporting your older loved one and helping them be the healthiest version of themselves, consider looking to berries this summer. They are a readily available resource, just waiting to be enjoyed. 

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