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Why Strawberries Should be Part of a Healthy Alzheimer’s Diet

Posted by on Friday, August 4th, 2017

strawberries for the Alzheimer's diet

Some foods, such as strawberries should be part of a healthy Alzheimer’s diet every day, why?  Because new studies reveal that a compound found in strawberries could help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  This natural compound that is present in strawberries and some vegetables may prevent AD, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases-says a new research study.

In fact, a recent mouse model study conducted by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA, examined aging results after administration of a compound called “fisetin” (a flavanol antioxidant present in many fruits and vegetables including strawberries).  The study concluded that a reduction of cognitive decline and inflammation of the brain resulted from fisetin supplementation.  

Fisetin is present in various fruits and vegetables including onions, grapes, cucumbers, apples, persimmons and strawberries. Studies show that this natural compound not only acts as a coloring agent for fruits and vegetables, it also has a high level of antioxidant (flavanol) properties.  Flavanols help to prevent the damage to cells caused by free radicals.  Inflammation may also be reduced from fisetin.

Pamela Maher, senior study author at the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at Salk, recently reported results of the study in The Journals of Gerontology. Included in the report was the results of fisetin, in clinical studies, on brain cells, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which could protect the brain against the negative effects aging. 

The Study

The mice study involved a group of prematurely aging mice given fisetin does with their food for 7 months.  The control group had the same food, without the fisetin supplement.  Each group of mice was then given a variety of memory tests.  Other responses were monitored in the mice, including protein levels (associated with inflammation, brain function and the stress response).

“At 10 months, the differences between these two groups were striking. Mice not treated with fisetin had difficulties with all the cognitive tests as well as elevated markers of stress and inflammation. Brain cells called astrocytes and microglia, which are normally anti-inflammatory, were now driving rampant inflammation. Mice treated with fisetin, on the other hand, were not noticeably different in behavior, cognitive ability or inflammatory markers at 10 months than a group of untreated 3-month-old mice with the same condition,” lead researcher Dr. Pamela Maher told Sci-News.com.

“Mice are not people, of course. But there are enough similarities that we think fisetin warrants a closer look, not only for potentially treating sporadic AD but also for reducing some of the cognitive effects associated with aging, generally…Based on our ongoing work, we think fisetin might be helpful as a preventative for many age-associated neurodegenerative diseases, not just AD, and we’d like to encourage more rigorous study of it,” Dr. Maher added.

Tips on Preserving Strawberries

Now that the strawberry season is upon us, learning how to successfully preserve the delicious red berries for as long as possible.  Here are three quick tips for preserving strawberries year round:

  • Keep the stems on until you are ready to eat them
  • Don’t wash the strawberries until you are ready to eat them (water makes them mushy)
  • Examine the berries for any moldy berries and toss them out right away, one bad berry can quickly spoil the rest.
  • Store berries in the refrigerator if you are going to wait a few days to eat them.

How to Freeze Strawberries

If you have more berries than you can eat, consider freezing them.  Although frozen produce do not retain 100% of their nutrients, some nutrients can be retained.  The berries will become soft and juice from freezing and thawing, so consider using the berries in smoothies or even shortcake. Steps for freezing the berries:

  • Rinse berries in cold water
  • Place the berries on a towel to dry
  • Hull berries and remove any damaged parts
  • Tops are edible, if you are using them in smoothies it’s okay to leave the tops on (they have vitamins and minerals as well as ellegic acid)
  • Place strawberries on a sheet pan and cover in parchment paper, freeze them and then vacuum seal the next day. 

Learn more about the Alzheimer’s diet by CLICKING HERE to view the groundbreaking book, The Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention Diet book, written by Harvard trained neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson.

 

 

 

For more easy to follow nutrition advice check out The Alzheimer’s Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach to Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment, or visit theadplan.com to learn more about Neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson's 9 week diet plan and his cutting edge approach in the fight against AD in Alzheimer's Treatment | Alzheimer's Prevention: A Patient and Family Guide 2012 Edition. Also, sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates in AD treatment and prevention news.

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