According to a report presented by Shibu Poulose, Ph.D. at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), eating blueberries, strawberries and acai berries helps the brain clean and recycle toxic proteins which are linked to age-related memory loss and diseases.
Polyphenolics, natural compounds found in fruits, vegetables and some nuts, have an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect, protecting the brain from aging issues such as inflammation and oxidative damage, which lead to degenerative brain diseases, heart disease and cancer.
Poulose’s study consisted of feeding old laboratory rats high amounts of high-antioxidant strawberry, blueberry and blackberry extract for two months. The rats showed a reversal of age-related deficiency in nerve function, and an improvement in learning and remembering.
Poulose’s team of researchers concluded that the polyphenolics in berries helped restore the brain’s natural “housekeeping” function, which removes biomedical debris that would otherwise interfere with normal brain function.
This study provides evidence that eating foods rich in polyphenolics, such as berries, walnuts, and vegetables with deep red, orange and blue colors contain hundreds of healthy chemicals, as do frozen berries, which are available all-year-round.
Many people believe that adults are able to recall negative events better than children. Perhaps this is because adults are more likely to react rationally. However, a Cornell study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology presents a second opinion.
The study focused on children 7-11 years old and young adults ages 18-23. The subjects were shown lists of closely related emotional words, with one word missing. For example, “cut, injury, pain, ouch” with the word “hurt” missing. When asked to remember the missing word, the subjects falsely remembered the word as being present in the list.
The study proved that events connected to negative emotions have a tendency of skewing children’s memories, and that recalling characteristics were even worse in adults. This is due to negative emotional experiences triggering low true memory levels and high false memory levels.
According to the scientists involved with this study, when people are involved in a very negative experience, such as a crime, they are not extremely focused, nor do they pay close attention to details. They found that materials which had the highest level of negative emotional content produced the highest levels of false memory.
These findings may be crucial to the legal system, in which many accusations are not based on forensic expertise but on peoples’ memories of what happened. And according to the study, when emotions come into play, it is extremely likely for memories to be distorted.