Talk about living off the fat of the land. Alaska’s wild berries — especially the blueberry species that emerge from countless tundra slopes and forest glades — may be one of nature’s miracle foods, chock full of powerful nutrients that feed the brain and protect the nervous system from old-age breakdown.
New research has continued to show that blueberries, along with walnuts and strawberries and certain other fruits and nuts, contain high concentrations of antioxidant chemicals that can actually protect the brain from neuron-damaging substances known as free radicals.
In some cases, exposure to blueberry extracts reversed age-triggered ailments in lab animals, according to a story posted online by Society for Neuroscience.
And so, scarfing down gobs of Alaska blueberries, walnuts and other foods appears to improve cognition, maintain brain function and possibly help treat brain disorders, the story says.
While much of the story concentrates on research into the power of walnuts, conducted by James Joseph, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University in Boston, one section focuses on neurological studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks into blueberry magic.
UAF researcher Thomas Kuhn has discovered that Alaska wild bog blueberries simply drip with elixirs that combat inflammation in the central nervous system.