Lifestyle choices make a big difference in your mental resilience. Poor food and unhealthy daily practices are an unnecessary burden on your body and especially your brain. Nourishment is essential to your brain’s functioning. It is important to realize that your body is an ecological system and naturally, your brain is part of that ecology.
So when you think about your lifestyle choices, you should keep in mind that foods you eat will affect all parts of you including your brain and mental functioning. Blood circulation to your brain and the amount of oxygen in the brain is critical for its operation. Medicinal herbs and good food can overcome excessive amounts of stress and lifestyle challenges to help you function at your mental and emotional best.
Consider the Humble Blueberry
Research shows that blueberries may help protect the brain from the damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies also show that diets rich in blueberries improved both the learning and muscle function.
What is surprising about the blueberry research is its whole body relevance. It is not only the cardiovascular system that has been shown to have strengthened antioxidant status following consumption of blueberries. It is virtually every body system studied to date!
One of the most exciting new areas of research on blueberries is the area of cognitive benefits. In one study involving older adults (with an average age of 76 years), 12 weeks of daily blueberry consumption was enough to improve scores on two different tests of cognitive function including memory. The authors of this study were encouraged by the results and suggested that blueberries might turn out to be beneficial not only for improvement of memory, but for slowing down or postponing the onset of other cognitive problems frequently associated with aging.
Lab and animal research studies on blueberry intake suggest that a large part of this cognitive protection is most likely due to nerve cell protection from oxygen damage by blueberries’ vast array of antioxidant nutrients. Nerve cells have a naturally high risk of oxygen damage and they require special antioxidant protection at all times in life. Their ability to send information throughout the body depends on the presence of balanced oxygen metabolism, and that balance cannot be achieved without ample intake of antioxidant nutrients. By lowering the risk of oxidative stress in our nerve cells, blueberries help us maintain smoothly working nerve cells and healthy cognitive function.