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Reverse the Aging Process with Berries

Getting old is never fun for anyone. The typical symptoms abound . . . your hair turns gray or white (assuming it doesn’t all fall out), your skin becomes wrinkled and loses its elasticity, your eyesight goes bad, you might lose your teeth, your bones become frail, your mind gets foggy and so on.  Research has shown that the antioxidants in berries are beneficial in fighting such signs of aging, but a new study goes even further. This recent research suggests that the berry compound pterostilbene not only fights, but may even reverse age-related cognitive decline!

The negatives to getting old are abundant, but one of the major downsides of the aging process is the decline in your cognitive abilities. Everyone has that 80-something year old grandparent who seems to forget things with regularity and tells the same stories over and over again as if it’s something that just popped into their head and they’ve never told anyone.  Well, a new study shows that you might be able to combat – even reverse -- the effects the aging process has on your brain. How? By eating berries.

Berries possess a high amount of a compound known as pterostilbene.  A recent experiment took aging rats and altered their diets.  Some were given their normal diet, while others were given diets which had either more or less pterostilbene.  Those rats which were given higher amounts of pterostilbene showed a reversal of cognitive decline.  It’s believed that perhaps the same result could be found in humans.

Pterostilbene is a chemical compound found in abundance in blueberries and grapes.  It’s known to have properties which can fight off colon cancer, lower high cholesterol and speed up metabolism.  With the more recent findings of its effect to fight off and even reverse cognitive decline, it requires further study.

The supposed reason for the chemical helping brain function is that pterostilbene is a powerful antioxidant.  It’s believed that oxygen damage is what causes cognitive decline to begin with.

Another chemical prevalent in berries and grapes is the polyphenol known as resveratrol.  Resveratrol is known to have anti-aging properties in the brain as well as other parts of the human body.  Although you can get higher concentrations of resveratrol in supplements, the highest concentration of it in nature can be found in muscadine grapes.  These grapes have extra thick skin and more seeds, which is where the resveratrol is concentrated, and is used by the grapes as an anti-fungus.

Like pterostilbene, resveratrol also has cancer combating properties.  Combined, these two chemicals make berries and grapes helpful in elongating your life and increasing your health.  And with their ability to reverse the effects aging has on the brain, they can help you remain of good cognitive health longer.

Having these two anti-aging chemicals doesn’t mean you should go out and eat nothing but berries and grapes from now on, though.  While they might have very healthful (and helpful) chemicals, they’re also very high in sugar.   Because of this, if you are overweight, have diabetes, or suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure, you’d be advised to consume a minimal amount of berries.  “All things in moderation” is a good credo to have.  Even if you’re perfectly healthy, a mountain of berries may very well be more of a hindrance than a help.  Of course, a handful here and there would be beneficial.

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