We all know that we must eat lots of fruit to stay healthy and strong. However, some effects of such diet are still being discovered. A new research from an international team of scientists found that a diet rich in pomegranates helps preserving healthy brain.
Well, as for now, these positive effects on the brain health have only been observed in experiments with mice with Alzheimer’s disease, but it is more than likely that similar results one day will be seen in people as well. In short, this research proved that including 4% pomegranate extract to a standard diet over a 15-month period significantly helped brain health of mice with Alzheimer’s. These mice were specially bred to become Alzheimer’s models – they have increased amount of amyloid-beta (Aβ) protein, which is the main component of the brain plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease patients.
These results are very promising, because adding pomegranates to your diet is a very simple action, yet very effective. Dr Nady Braidy, lead author of the study, said: “We observed decreased oxidative stress and neuroinflammation, a reduction in the production of Aβ, and improved synaptic plasticity in the brains of the transgenic mice fed with pomegranate extract compared with the control group”. The reason why these fruit are so powerful is their high concentrations of polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants have been proven to be very beneficial in preventing neurodegenerative disease.
Interestingly, Unani, Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine have recognized positive effects of pomegranate-rich diet on treating degenerative diseases. Meanwhile, our modern Western medicine focused on high doses of polyphenols, which often caused side effects. Scientists say that current techniques of treating Alzheimer’s disease are rather limited, so including such simple change in diet could be the long-awaited improvement.
Now scientists will continue the research, attempting to see if these results are the same in human treatment as they are in mice. They think that pomegranate diet could be helpful in protecting brain from other kinds of dementia as well. Hopefully, the answer to that will be positive and people will see the clear evidence, why they should consume more pomegranates.