What’s So Great About Good Health
The Brain-Nutrition Connection & the Real Payoff of Being Healthy
We log time on the treadmill. We scrutinize our plates for nutrition. We watch our portions and increase our fruit and vegetable servings.
Why do we do it?
We want to be healthy. But what is good health? And why can “healthy” sometimes seem like it has a PR problem?
Here’s the “problem” with healthy:
- You can’t show it off like a purse or a haircut.
- Unlike a weight loss effort or 5K race, it’s constant, dynamic, and never-ending.
- You can’t plan a party to celebrate the results – health benefits often occur 10, 20, even 50 years down the line.
So what’s to like about health? Where’s the flash? Where’s the sizzle?
Why Healthy Sizzles
First, health does have some immediate benefits to relish. While it may take decades to see some of the effects of disease prevention, health has advantages in the present as well. It may not be as noticeable as a Gucci purse, but good nutrition is something you can wear – you can see it on your face, in the brightness of your skin and the glow in your eyes, and in the clothes that fit you better. If you are healthy, you can achieve more because you feel better and stronger inside and out, and that’s pretty flashy.
But here’s the real sizzle: health contributes to living a better life. Superfood orginator Dr. Steve Pratt explains health and longevity this way:
“Brain heart, eyes—they all go together. Rarely do you see a brain that’s top notch and poor eyesight. It’s good for the eyes, it’s good for the brain and if it’s good for the brain it’s good for the heart.”
Being healthy means being healthy all over. We don’t want to age without it—getting older is not what it’s cracked up to be if we can’t see, we can’t move, and we can’t remember.
Your Brain IS Your Health
For today’s growing population of baby boomers, cognitive health and health is one and the same. Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline is a grave concern as our longevity potential grows. Without affordable genetic testing, most of us simply don’t know to what degree we are predisposed to diseases of the brain.
All we know is that having our health tomorrow means making efforts to prevent brain disease, among other diseases of aging, today. And if you think about it, the idea that prevention could be possible is as exciting as a purse, a 5K, or the biggest celebration. When you believe that, you’ve got your own definition of good health, and that’s the most important step toward achieving it.
Healthy Today & Tomorrow
According to Susan Davis, MS, RD, nutrition advisor to the Wild Blueberry Association of North America, “New research is really bearing out the idea that a diet rich in wild blueberries may help prevent cognitive decline.” AARP The Magazine named wild blueberries to its list of the most powerful disease-fighting foods. The research into wild blueberries and their positive effect on the brain in mounting. Areas of recent study include their potential for improving memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive impairment.
Notably, recent research shows wild blueberry supplemented diets could improve memory function and mood in older adults with early memory decline. The effect of a short-term blueberry-enriched diet on aged lab animals suggests that they may prevent and reverse a considerable degree of age-related object memory decline. And, in another study, researchers have found that the deeply colored berries enable “housekeeper” cells in the brain to remove biochemical debris, which is believed to contribute to the decline of mental functioning with age. It’s the natural pigments called anthocyanins that give the berries their deep-blue color as well as their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power. They score twice as high in antioxidant capacity per serving as cultivated blueberries, making them the go-to berry for brain protection.
The bottom line is that something in a large blue bag in your freezer can be your definition of health. The intense benefit of wild blueberries is the best way we can think of to illustrate the potential of nutritional prevention. A small act of eating daily servings have the attention of nutritionists, scientists and consumers alike, especially those of retirement age and beyond. So put a little sizzle in your life (you’ll know it’s there). But do it today. And every day of your long, healthy life.
Read More: See the press release Wild Blueberries – Brain Food for Boomers? in MaineToday.
Can something delicious and readily available help protect you from cognitive decline? Babble attempts to answer with their post Blueberry Brain Boosters and enters their recipe for Fresh Blueberry Morning Bread, which is anything but medicinal, as evidence.