As we age, there are changes to our body, no doubt. Some of us suffer from physical ailments such as heart disease or diabetes, while others have cognitive decline. These cognitive declines include Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s chorea and Parkinson’s disease. According to a review study done by the American Institutes of Nutrition, there are compounds found in food that may help improve cognitive changes.
Such foods include grape juice (Concord), berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries), and walnuts. These foods contain compounds called polyphenols. Polyphenols are compounds produced by a plant to help with its survival. As we age we lose motor and cognitive function. These declines have been linked to a decrease in antioxidant and inflammatory protection, and polyphenols have properties that work to reduce oxidative stress (antioxidants) and inflammation in the brain. Both human and animal studies have shown that supplementation with berries and Concord grape juice help to improve motor and cognitive functioning in older humans and mice.
Most of us know a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is healthy. From what the authors in this study describe, it’s never too late to start eating these to preserve your brain’s normal functions. You can start by incorporating some berries into your salad, make a pesto sauce with walnuts and drink a glass of Concord grape juice –it just might preserve your mind.