Alzheimer’s disease knows no boundaries.
It is a disease that affects people in every country and from every social and economic background. While there is no known cure, it is widely believed that a healthy diet and staying physically, mentally and socially active can help reduce an individual’s risk.
Over the years, a great deal of research has been undertaken to uncover the properties that make fruits and vegetables nature’s best weapon against disease. Two decades ago all eyes turned towards antioxidants that help neutralize harmful-by products in the body called ‘free-radicals’ that may lead to age-related and degenerative illnesses.
Blueberries soon became one of the “superfoods” as they contain polyphenolic compounds, most prominently anthocyanins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Anthocyanins have been associated with increased neuronal signaling in brain centers mediating memory function as well as improved glucose disposal, benefits that would be expected to mitigate neurodegeneration.
Ongoing studies continue to reveal that the actions of polyphenols have been linked to a wide range of health benefits and improved treatment outcomes in a large number of age-related illnesses, including brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s(1).
Anju Gill, executive director of the BC Blueberry Council, says that awareness months such as World Alzheimer’s Month is a good reminder for people that it is never too late or too early in life to make changes that can improve your health. “With World Alzheimer’s Day set for September 21, we believe that it is time to remind people about the benefits of blueberries – fresh or frozen,” says Gill.
With over 80 years of blueberry-growing experience, the BC Blueberry Council represents over 600 highbush growers. The Council has a strong commitment to on-farm food safety and works diligently with blueberry growers to ensure that BC blueberries meet the highest standards for food safety and quality. For more information and some healthy recipes: www.bcblueberry.com.
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1 Joseph, J. A. et al. Nutr Neurosci. 2003, 6:153-62.
Diana Barkley, PR for BC Blueberry Council