Not only a delicious, antioxidant-rich superfood, blueberries are also being hailed as a weapon in fighting off Parkinson’s Disease.
Affecting nearly 10,000 Kiwis and around 80,0000 Australians, according to Medtronic.com.au, Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder if the central nervous system.
Shaking and slow movements are common early symptoms of Parkinson’s, which is an incurable disease.
But one new study claims that eating blueberries each day may actually reduce the risk of contracting the debilitating disease.
According to Dr Mary Ann Lila, Director of the Plants for Human Health institute and a lead author in the study, eating certain fruits, like blueberries, can have a positive, long-lasting impact on our health.
“Historical anecdotal evidence has suggested that consumption of berries may help to reduce the risk of brain-related degenerative diseases,” explains Dr Lila. “This study showed that, in the mid-brain, berries rich in two specific classes of phytochemicals – anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins – were very effective against the neurodegeneraion experienced in Parkinson’s.”
While most fruits contain one of these phytochemicals, blueberries contain both, meaning they are an extra potent ‘brain food’ in the fight against the death of these brain cells.
The study was conducted by a team of scientists from leading US universities, headed by neurobiologist Dr Chris Rochet.