I grew up with the narrative that brain cells cannot be regrown under any circumstances. Well, I always say science is continually learning within itself, so don’t accept anything as a static reality. So who would think blueberries, preferably organic or wild harvested, has a magically powerful dark blue flavonoid called anthocyanin.
Anthocyanins are found in red, blue and purple berries and can incredibly cross the blood-brain barrier to protect the brain cells from aging and also diseases such as cancer.
Scientists have found that healthy older adults who consumed concentrated blueberry juice every day showed a significant increase in brain activity, blood flow and even memory compared to the placebo group after just a few weeks. The antioxidants, particularly the flavonoids, in blueberries have also been shown to promote these effects, as well as offer other brain health benefits including:
- Lowering dementia risk
- Reducing effects of Alzheimer’s
- Preventing age-related memory loss
- Boosting brain cells
- Increasing concentration and focus
- Improving mental health
In one very interesting clinical trial that attracted lots of media attention involved 26 healthy adults aged between 65 and 77. Half of the people drank concentrated blueberry juice each day for 12 weeks. The blueberry concentrate was equal to eating 230 grams of whole blueberries each day. The other half of the volunteers drank a placebo drink that had a blackcurrant taste, but no anthocyanidins in it.
The blueberry concentrate was equal to eating 230 grams of whole blueberries each day
After 12 weeks, people drinking the blueberry juice showed improvements in cognitive function, blood flow to the brain and activation of brain areas linked with cognitive function. There was also evidence suggesting an improvement in working memory too.
In this other Pubmed article, it states-
Since anthocyanins display impressive pleiotropic effects, combating multiple facets of the neurodegenerative process, it has been recently hypothesized that they may be effective therapeutic agents for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Indeed, several reports have indicated that anthocyanins and anthocyanin-enriched extracts are capable of relieving the motor and cognitive deficits associated with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and ALS.
Blueberries may also have benefits for the brain by keeping it active during a mid-afternoon slump. In one study, volunteers who drank a blueberry smoothie in the morning did much better at mental tasks in the mid-afternoon than people who had a placebo drink. Again, it is likely the antioxidants in blueberries that stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain to help keep the mind fresh.
But its not just about eating blueberries. Eating cacao will also help you grow new neurons, because dark chocolate also contains flavonoids. Keep your brain engaged by learning new skills, eat foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Exercise fosters new brain cell growth through regular endurance exercise, such as jogging or walking briskly. Eating Turmeric will also help with neurogenesis, but a study conducted found that turmeric may contribute to the regeneration of a ‘damaged brain’ and help with neurological disorders. Get Sunlight, when your body is exposed to sunlight, it produces Vitamin D.Vitamin D increases levels of BDNF in the brain, BDNF promotes neurogenesis.