More Evidence that (Organic) Berries May Help Healthy Aging

A new study shows the health benefits of polyphenolics, a compound contained in berries.

By Rachel Cernansky

berries photo

Thinkstock Images

We know berries have plenty of health benefits, but a new study may have added another:

Blueberries, strawberries, and acai berries (and possibly walnuts) may, finds a recent study discussed on Eureka, "activate the brain’s natural ‘housekeeper’ mechanism, which cleans up and recycles toxic proteins linked to age-related memory loss and other mental decline."

Berries contain polyphenolics, which likely protect against signs of aging that are associated with the body’s diminished ability to protect against inflammation and oxidative damage.

The doctor who presented the report said that microglia, which remove and recycle biochemical debris that would otherwise interfere with brain function, stop doing their job as a person gets older—and debris builds up. He continued:

"In addition, the microglia become over-activated and actually begin to damage healthy cells in the brain. Our research suggests that the polyphenolics in berries have a rescuing effect. They seem to restore the normal housekeeping function. These findings are the first to show these effects of berries."

Choose carefully
More reason to eat more berries—local and in season as much as possible. But it’s also important to eat organic, and not to increase certain
health risks while reducing others.

Strawberries are well-known to be one of the most heavily-sprayed foods, but berries in general are important to eat organic—as are other thin-skinned fruits and veggies.

Yahoo Shine explains:

Because of their extremely thin and delicate skins, berries are especially prone to having large amounts of pesticides, including fungicides. Further, because of their delicacy, they require more pesticides than other types of fruit. Lastly, we eat the skins of berries, without exception.

So eat up and get your daily dose of polyphenolics—just be sure not to get an extra dose of pesticides along with them.

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