Brain Health

By: Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP
Salesian Cooperator

We have ample time on hand to watch TV during the COVID lockdown. Something good came out of this opportunity; I heard of the new book from Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon and CNN reporter. What captivated me of one of the key points from his book is the nutritional value of blueberries. So I went again and did some research for you. Below is what I found. Now it is not just the berry that you have to understand. (If that is the case, you should stop reading, LOL!)  In addition, it is the understanding of the terms oxidative stress, antioxidants and free radicals that might enhance the knowledge of what is going on inside our body. Here you go.


Blueberries Can Help Maintain Brain Function and Improve Memory. Oxidative stress can accelerate your brain’s aging process, negatively affecting brain function. According to animal studies, the antioxidants in blueberries may affect areas of your brain that are essential for intelligence.

Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body. Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules with an uneven number of electrons. The uneven number allows them to easily react with other molecules. Free radicals can cause large chain chemical reactions in your body because they react so easily with other molecules. These reactions are called oxidation. They can be beneficial or harmful.

Antioxidants are molecules that can donate an electron to a free radical without making themselves unstable. This causes the free radical to stabilize and become less reactive.

Read on to learn how oxidative stress affects the body and how to manage and prevent this imbalance.

Oxidation is a normal and necessary process that takes place in your body. Oxidative stress, on the other hand, occurs when there’s an imbalance between free radical activity and antioxidant activity. When functioning properly, free radicals can help fight off pathogens. Pathogens lead to infections.

When there are more free radicals present than can be kept in balance by antioxidants, the free radicals can start doing damage to fatty tissue, DNA, and proteins in your body. Proteins, lipids, and DNA make up a large part of your body, so that damage can lead to a vast number of diseases over time.

Next week, I will report all the essential key points from Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s book.

Your homework from the Care Ministry this week: Put blueberries as part of your breakfast. (I did).

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