“Impaired or failing memory as we get older is one of life’s major inconveniences. Scientists have known of the potential benefits of diets rich in fresh fruits for a long time.”
—Jeremy Spencer, PhD Professor of Molecular Nutrition University of Reading
The medical research community has known for a long time that flavanoids have some kind of effect on memory, but until recently, researchers didn’t know the potential mechanisms to account for the phenomenon. Matt Whiteman, PhD, a principal investigator at the Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, Peninsula Medical School, worked with Dr. Jeremy Spencer on recent research and states, “This study not only adds science to the claim that blueberries are good for you, it also provides support to a diet-based approach that could potentially be used to increase memory capacity and performance in the future.” Their work was published this year in the scientific journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine.
If whole foods—specifically fruits and vegetables with antioxidants—are the answer to combating damaging free radicals that cause brain cell death, what about supplements and food replacement products? The American Dietetic Association has reaffirmed the principle of getting appropriate nutrients and vitamins from whole-food sources whenever possible. It might be easier to buy a bottle of supplements or a “vitamin-rich” drink product, but it is best to avoid those options and go shopping on the perimeter of the local grocery store whenever possible.
For people with limitations that prevent biting, chewing, swallowing, and digesting whole foods, supplements are certainly a viable option. But the average adult should buy and eat whole foods whenever possible. Nutritionists concur that this applies to people over the whole lifespan—not just during the developmental years.
At Touchmark, there are numerous opportunities to enjoy food and participate in social activities. It’s never too late to make good dietary choices that support active aging.