Want a ''Younger'' Brain? Eat THIS!Eat beets and exercise, and your brain health will likely improve.
It's long been known that regular exercise is beneficial to brain health. So Wake Forest University scientists wondered if there were a way to goose the effects of exercise with something else. And that something else they chose was a beet root juice supplement. (Sounds yummy, doesn't it?)
Why beets? Beets are high in dietary nitrate, which the body converts to nitrite and then nitric oxide. Nitric oxide increases blood flow and targets areas that are especially in need. The WFU researchers found that the combination of exercise and the beet root juice supplement supercharged brain connectivity to such an extent that it closely resembled what one normally sees in younger adults.
Translation: While plain exercise increases blood flow to the brain, the shot of nitric oxide from the beet juice amplified the effect.
Numerous studies have linked the nitrate in beets to better exercise performance across age groups, greater blood flow to the brain and improvement in conditions ranging from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to type 2 diabetes to hypertension. But this is the first to suggest that beet juice might actually enhance the effect that exercise training has on the aging brain.
And it's just one more reason to add beets to your diet and more evidence that a diet consisting of a lot of fruits and vegetables can contribute to overall good health.
Don't like beets? You're not alone.
"No one loves beet juice," said study co-author Daniel Kim-Shapiro, physics professor and director of the Translational Science Center at Wake Forest. "Well, I do. I down the stuff."
The study findings were published in the Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.
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