Losing your memory is one of the biggest fears for people over the age of 50. So I spend a lot of time telling you about ways to protect your brain and boost your memory. Well, I've just read one of the most amazing reports about a way to boost your brain power. In fact, this study suggests you could turn the clock back on your brain power by 20 to 30 years. A study in lab rats shows how.
The study lasted for 12 weeks. Researchers divided rodents into three groups. The first were young, six-month old rats (equal to 18 human years). Another group of 18-month old rats (equal to 45 human years) served as the controls. The researchers gave both of these groups normal feed. They gave a third group - 18-month old rats - food supplemented with 2% blueberry extract.
The researchers then made the rats navigate a maze in order to receive reward pellets. They had a week's training to gain consistency. Then the researcher's set up an alternative navigation reward system. Here, the rats had to make a deliberate choice as to which path to take for their reward. They measured the rats for accuracy and time.
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The young animals did great, scoring a consistent 90% accuracy. They wanted their reward! But the older animals that didn't eat the supplemented food suffered greatly. They scored only 57% correct. However, with three weeks of the blueberry supplement, the third group's performance was 83%. That's almost as accurate as the six-month old rats! In human years, that's over turning the clock back by over 20 years! And they maintained this level of accuracy for the remaining nine weeks of the study!
Blueberries are rich in exceptional bioflavonoids. We've known for years that they protect your retina. Since the retina is literally a part of your brain, it makes sense that blueberries will protect the rest of your brain as well.
We have seen similar results with Seanol, another potent bioflavonoid. These wonderful plant chemicals can reduce inflammation in your brain, preserve and improve neuronal communication and function.
Please consider eating lots of blueberries. Even if they don't make you remember things like you did 20 years ago, you know they're helping your brain.
Blueberries are in season right now in most parts of the country (or will be shortly). And they're absolutely delicious. I like to store lots of summer blueberries away in the freezer for later use in morning smoothies. You can also buy a blueberry extract at most health food stores. It's great for those winter months when the blueberries are gone.