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Berries and the Brain

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There are similar levels of anthocyanins in both blueberries and strawberries. Studies and research have shown that persons consuming either of the berries show evidence of comparable improvement in their health. This improvement has been proved by studies on the elderly who regularly consumed either of the berries which significantly boosted their reaction time and memories. Better memory and reaction time was attained within three months after the older adults commenced regular consumption of the berries (Miguel, 2011).

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Free radicals comprise of molecules that have no electrons which makes them unstable. As they strive to regain stability, free radicals attack other stable molecules near them; as a result, they become harmful agents in a human body. Free radicals attack enzymes and proteins interrupting the normal functioning of a cell leading to a chain of destructive activities. Modern production technologies lead to the production of pollutants. Free radicals are formed when these pollutants come into contact with the body. Food bought from groceries contains certain level of chemicals applied in the field such as pesticides and fertilizers; once ingested there is production of free radicals. Air and water pollution (heavy metals such as mercury and lead) has increased with the advent of industrialization. Once a person inhales heavily polluted air or drinks polluted water continuously for a specific period, there is a high likelihood of free radicals occurring in the body (Sisein, 2014). Sunlight contains ultraviolet rays that are harmful to the skin; indeed, continuous exposure to harmful UV lights may lead to skin cancer.

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There are several other types of nutrients are crucial in reducing the level of free radicals in the body. Phenols and Ellagitannin found in raspberries, as well as vitamin A and C, play a critical role in managing free radicals. Lycopene, silymarin, and beta-carotene are other nutrients crucial in the fight against free radicals (Gould, Davies & Winefield, 2009). Watermelon, apricots, artichokes, spinach, and broccoli are foods which also have significant amounts of anti-oxidants.

1. Gould, K., Davies, K. M. & Winefield, C. (2009). Anthocyanin: biosynthesis, functions, and applications. New York: Springer science+Business Media

2. Miguel, M. G. (2011). “Anthocyanins: Antioxidant and/or anti-inflammatory activities.” Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, vol 1, issue 6, pp 7-15. Retrieved on 30th June 2018 from http://japsonline.com/admin/php/uploads/117_pdf.pdf

3. Sisein, E. A. (2014). “Biochemistry of free radicals and antioxidants.” Scholars Academic Journal of Biosciences, vol 2, issue 2, pp. 110-118. Retrieved on 30th June 2018 from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ed14/34b605e60221299bd8f099a7ddd8ce5462df.pdf

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