Blueberries, strawberries and walnuts could help protect the brain from the consequences of ageing, new research finds.
The antioxidants in both can help fight age-related changes in the brain like the loss of synapses.
Dr James Joseph, who led the research on walnuts, said:
“The good news, is that it appears that compounds found in fruits and vegetables — and, as we have shown in our research, walnuts — may provide the necessary protection to prevent the demise of cognitive and motor function in aging.”
Dr Joseph’s study involved feeding older rats with varying amounts of walnuts.
The research found that the walnuts helped to reduce both cognitive and motor problems that the mice had naturally developed with age.
Dr Joseph said:
“Importantly, this information, coupled with our previous studies, shows that the addition of walnuts, berries, and grape juice to the diet may increase ‘health span’ in aging and provide a ‘longevity dividend’ or economic benefit for slowing the aging process by reducing the incidence and delaying the onset of debilitating degenerative disease.”
The study was published in the journal The Journal of Nutrition (Joseph et al., 2009).
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
Image credit: Liz Jones