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Antioxidants Can Keep Your Mind Sharp

Free radicals are everywhere and besides ageing our bodies, they also can effect our memory.  Learn what  fruits are rich in antioxidants to keep your body and mind in top condition.

Why is it that some people do not seem to age and have such clarity in thinking? Just as an apple turns brown or metal gets rusty from being exposed to air, our bodies are also vulnerable to various atmospheric oxidants, known as free radicals.  These free radicals are unavoidable because they’re everywhere, including our food, water, and air.  They also come from within us, as the by-products of our own metabolism.  Some experts believe free radicals are the true culprits of aging.

Our body’s cells are constantly under attack by these electrically-charged free radicals.  These attacks, collectively called oxidative stress, can cause cells to lose their structure and function, eventually wearing down their genetic material or DNA.  Brain cells, too, can suffer from this oxidative stress.  Through the DNA damage, this oxidative stress accelerates brain aging and promotes other age-related diseases like cancer and cataracts.

We can fight this oxidative process by supplementing our diet with antioxidant vitamins C and E.  People with low blood levels of these antioxidant vitamins have poor memory abilities and studies show that people who take these vitamin supplements have better memory abilities, less memory loss and cognitive decline. 

Some studies suggest that natural antioxidants in the foods we eat serve a more potent brain protection function and improve our memory.  Laboratory animals fed these natural antioxidant foods show better memory ability in finding their way through mazes and other tasks.  Other studies have shown that people who get their antioxidants from the food they eat have a lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The standard measure of a particular food’s ability to counteract oxidative stress is known as the “oxygen radical absorbency capacity” or ORAC score.  This score can tell us how well a particular food will protect our brain cells from the damage of oxygen radicals or the free radicals.  It is recommended that we ingest at least 3,500 ORAC units each day.  Certain fruits with high ORAC scores include prunes (5,770), raisins (2,830), Blueberries (2,400), Blackberries (2,040), Cranberries (1,750), Strawberries (1,540), Spinach (1,260), Raspberries (1,230), Brussel Sprouts (980), Plums (950), Avocado (780), Oranges (750), Red Grapes (740), Cherries (670) and Kiwi (600).  The units indicated are per 3 ½ ounces.

People who want to ensure that they get adequate antioxidant foods to improve their memory and brain function may follow the tips below.

  • If you double your fruit and vegetable consumption, you can increase your diet’s antioxidant power by 25%
  • Drink green tea for its outstanding antioxidant properties.  It does not have the calories that is in high potency fruits.
  • Eat more tomatoes for its high levels of a particularly potent antioxidant called lycopene.  Eating foods rich in lycopene can increase the blood’s antioxidant activity and is particularly useful for those with prostate problems.
  • Frozen strawberries and blue-berries have higher antioxidant properties than the fresh versions, so keep these great antioxidant snacks in the refreigerator to boost your brain fitness.

Also remember to drink plenty of water to flush out toxins from your body, and exercise more to boost your oxygen intake to your body and brain.  With eating the right foods, exercising and having a healthy attitudeFree Articles, you can have a healthy mind and body and a great memory too.

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