The brain is the most important part of your existence. It forms the basis of who you are and how your personality is. It is a complex organ located in your head and is the center of your nervous system. It is made up of billions of elongated cells called neurons that control each and every function in your body. It is very delicate and special care is required to maintain its health. Luckily for us, we have berries to help us take care of our brain health. Berries like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, and currants can benefit the brain in many ways.
How Can Berries Help Your Brain?
1. They Protect Your Brain From Oxidative Damage
Your brain is very susceptible to oxidative damage. It requires a constant flow of oxygen and utilizes almost 20% of the total oxygen utilized by your entire body. This results in the accumulation of free radicals that damage the protein of your brain cells and cause them to age and die. Berries help protect your brain from such damage as they are loaded with antioxidants such as anthocyanins and vitamin C.
2. They Delay The Onset Neurodegenerative Diseases
When the neurons in your brain are damaged, you can suffer from diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ischemic diseases. Berries are rich in flavanoids that have been known to delay the onset of such neurodegenerative disorders. The phytochemicals in berries have anti-oxidative, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-proliferative properties that protect your brain from diseases and aging effects.
3. They Gives You An Intelligence Boost
Berries are loaded with polyphenols that have been proven to help activate molecules that aid in synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity is the ability of the synapses in your brain to strengthen or weaken according to the requirement. This mechanism of your brain is crucial for learning and memory. The flavanoids in berries stimulate the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor that stimulates the formation of new brain cells. Berries can help keep your memory sharp even as you age.
4. They Help You Fight Depression
Glial cells in your brain can get activated or immune cells can travel to your brain as a result of injury, causing your brain to get inflamed. If the inflammation continues for a sustained period of time, it is known as chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can lower the production of energy in the brain cells and can lead to symptoms like brain fog, mental fatigue, and even depression. Eating berries reduces chronic inflammation. People suffering from depression also have lower levels of vitamins A, C, and E compared to normal people. Consuming berries, which are rich in vitamins, helps improve your mood.
5. They Help Reduce Stress
When you are under stress, you tend to deplete your vitamin C reserves. Vitamin C has been known to reduce the psychological and physical symptoms of stress. If you consume berries, which are packed with vitamin C, you are less likely to get anxious under stressful conditions and can bounce back from stress quickly.
Berries, apart from being good for your brain, can protect you against cancer, manage diabetes, reduce weight, improve cell signaling, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, manage blood pressure, and control blood cholesterol. All the more reasons to include berries in your diet.