Glorious blueberries, sweet acai berries, luscious strawberries – new research shows they may boost your aging brain.
As we get older, damaged cells accumulate in the brain, which can lead to age-related diseases such as dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. That is where berries come in. Polyphenols, which give berries their deep-red or blue hue, activate proteins that “clean up” damaged cells, breaking down and recycling the toxic chemicals linked to age-related mental decline, says study author Shibu Poulose, Ph.D., a molecular biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston.
These berried treasures do more than help your mind: blueberries rank first among fruits for their antioxidant powers, strawberries are tops on vitamin C, and acai berries contain high levels of Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids, thought to playa role in cardiovascular health, says nutritionist Robyn Webb, food editor of Diabetes Forecast magazine.
So – ready to increase your berry intake? Add them to cereal, puree them into sauces, or just eat them fresh.
Below is an easy Berry Parfait recipe:
Berry Parfait Ingredients:2 cups low fat yogurt 3 tbsp maple syrup (or to taste) 1 1/2 cups berries (any combination) Optional: 1 tbsp sugar, whipped topping, edible flowers
1) In a bowl, combine the yogurt, maple syrup, and lemon zest. Mix well, refrigerate for 1 hour. 2) Place the berries in a mixing bowl, with sugar(optional), and let stand. 3) When ready to serve, place some berries in the bottom of parfait glass or bowl, top with some yogurt, then add more berries, a dollop of yogurt, and the whipped topping. Garnish with edible flowers, if you like.