Posts Tagged ‘Blueberries’

Flavonoids for a Healthy Memory

January 15, 2011

A recent article, “Your Brain on Blueberries1, extolled that benefits of flavonoids on a healthy memory. Blueberries happen to be the most visible food containing these valuable flavonoids. The article recounts a number of empirical studies that show that consumption of these flavonoids does result in improved memory, learning, and general cognitive function. Moreover, it is believed that flavonoids could slow age-related decline in cognitive function.

Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants protecting us from the cellular damage caused by free radicals, which are formed by our bodies during metabolism as well as by pollution, cigarette smoke and radiation. However, researchers now believe that flavanoids primarily affect cognition by interacting with proteins that are key to brain-cell structure and function.

To this point, scientists have identified more than 6,000 different flavonoids. They can be found in fruits and vegetables, cereal grains, cocoa, soy foods, tea, and wine. The table below shows the food sources for different flavonoid groups.

Flavonoid Group Food Sources
Flavonois Spinach, peppers, and onions
Flavones Parsley and celery
Flavonones Citris fruits
Flavonois Tea, cocoa and wine
Anthocyandins Berries, grapes, and wine
Isoflavones Soy foods such as tofu

 Some spices and herbs are also filled with flavonoids. Included here are sage, oregano, and thyme. Recent research has indicated that these compounds might also be beneficial to mood as well as our mental facilities.

Clearly there are many opportunities here to boost our memory, learning, and general cognitive function. Moreover, there is the potential of slowing age-related decline in cognitive function and of bneficial effects on mind. It would be foolish for us to not take advantage of these opportunities.

Of course, the Healthymemory Blog believes that there is no one magic bullet.  Cognitive growth should be a goal.  To this end learning new information and cognitive exercise are key components. 

1Franz, M. (2011). Scientific American Mind. January/February, 55-59.