The research that really put blueberries on the map brought exciting news that this fruit seemed to slow and even reverse many of the degenerative diseases that are associated with the aging of the brain, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This is important information, considering that by the year 2050 over 30% of the American population will be over the age of 65.
Research done on aging rats has produced intriguing results, as these rats, when fed the human equivalent of 1 cup of blueberries per day, showed improvements in both balance and coordination. These improvements are due to better cell communication in the brain cells of these rats. Because blueberries are rich in phytonutrients, especially polyphenols and flavonoids, these findings should come as no surprise. Recall that phytonutrients have been shown to improve the efficiency that our body’s cells communicate with each other.
By helping our brain cells communicate more efficiently, blueberries are actually helping to halt the progression of the degenerative diseases that are associated with the aging of the brain. This is because the primary reason that humans develop age related degenerative brain diseases, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, is because as we age our brain cells become less and less effective at communicating with each other, as the signals that these cells send out to the neighboring cells weakens over time. When these signals become too weak to allow effective communication between cells, neurological pathways are lost and brain function is thus diminished.
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