The brain-boosting effects of pomegranates, even after a stroke
(Natural News) Cognitive and mental decline is one of the most worrisome effects of aging. A recent study shows that by supplementing your diet with pomegranate, you can support – and restore – brain function, even following a stroke.
As you age, your risk of developing bodily conditions increases. For example, going above the age of 60 puts you at a higher risk of developing cataracts and other vision problems. But it’s not just the body that declines with age – the brain does, too. Apart from dementia and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, you may have to worry about stroke which, although a vascular disease, can damage your brain cells and impair your mental function as a result.
That consuming pomegranates has many benefits for your health is not news, but a new study touts its ability to protect the brain from decline and even promote recovery from stroke. The secret likely has to do with polyphenols, biomolecules that protect plants from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. When consumed, they offer a host of health benefits, one of which is maintaining brain health.
Many types of fruits and vegetables contain polyphenols. To find this natural, health-boosting chemical, look for items with rich flavors and colors, such as grapes, blueberries, celery, peppermint, cloves, and oregano, among others. Processed products like tea, dark chocolate, and coffee also contain polyphenols, but the presence of additives and other foreign chemicals could do your body more harm than good in the long run.
Pomegranates are well-known for their benefits to older individuals, especially in terms of blood flow and brain function. A recent study performed by researchers from Brown University and Loma Linda University tested the effects of polyphenols derived from pomegranates on brain health. Of particular interest were cognition and functional recovery.
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They recruited participants who had suffered a stroke just within the two-week period before the experiment. They divided the patients into two groups – one received a placebo, while the other received a commercially available supplement containing one gram of polyphenols. This amount is equivalent to how much is found in about eight ounces of juice. The supplement came in the form of a pill, which the participants had to take twice daily for one week.
All participants were closely monitored and given standard tests throughout the rehabilitation period. The test was meant to determine any changes in both cognitive and functional ability.
When the scores were assessed, researchers discovered that the pomegranate group demonstrated more significant improvements in both brain function and functional recovery compared to the placebo group. Moreover, those who received supplementation also spent less time in the hospital and were able to leave earlier than their peers in the placebo group.
These findings speak much about the benefits that adding pomegranate – or a supplement derived from the fruit – can do for your mental and physical health. Here are other benefits you can gain from pomegranates:
- Protect your cells from damage – Polyphenols are some of the most potent antioxidants. They protect you from oxidative stress that can damage your cells and consequently, the tissues that make up your organs.
- Improve your digestion – Pomegranate’s antioxidants also have anti-inflammatory properties, which help keep your gut healthy and your digestive system’s proper function.
- Ease arthritis – The fruit’s anti-inflammatory properties also make it great for people who have arthritis where inflammation contributes to both the pain and the continuous degeneration of the bones and the cartilage in the joints.
- Prevent heart disease – Studies suggest that pomegranate juice helps keep the blood vessels from becoming stiff, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure and in the process, reducing your risk of heart disease.
Learn more of pomegranate’s health benefits by following Fruits.news.