Getting older is inevitable and while you can’t control your age, you can slow the decline of ageing with smart choices along the way. From the foods you eat and how you exercise to the friendships you maintain and retirement goals, it all has an effect on how fast or slow the body ages. Gov.UK said on their website: “Our experiences throughout life can have a negative or positive influence on health, affecting the risk of chronic disease and other health outcomes in later life. Timely interventions during midlife and beyond offer great potential to increase wellbeing, maintain health in both body and mind and reduce the risk of losing independence. Research evidence sets out key actions for professionals to promote a healthy lifestyle and these include stopping smoking, being more active, reducing alcohol consumption, and improving diet to maintain a healthy weight.”
As we get older, the risk of certain age-related diseases rises. These include Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
In addition to this, we are an ageing population. In 2015 there were 901 million people aged 60 years and over globally, and by 2050 this is predicted to surge to 2.1 billion or one-fifth of the global population.
A new collection of articles published in The Journal of Gerontology have revealed how blueberries can help a person to age well as they rank as one of the best fruits for their antioxidant activity.
The studies show that consuming blueberries has been linked to reducing oxidative stress, a process strongly linked to ageing related diseases.
The new articles are based on findings from the earlier San Francisco Symposium focusing on blueberries for successful ageing.
The British blueberry season is now in full swing, with shoppers spending just over £400m on blueberries in the UK.
More than 41,000 tonnes of blueberries were sold in the 52 weeks up to 17th June 2019.
Doctor Emma Derbyshire, public health nutritionist and adviser to British summer fruits said: “This is a very interesting collection of work.
“We know that blueberries are mini nutritional powerhouses providing vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, folate and manganese, as well as anthocyanins and a diverse range of polyphenolic compounds such as quercetin, so it makes good sense to eat them regularly as we age.
“Since the 1990s, research relating to blueberries and their health benefits have grown exponentially.”
Blueberries have a big impact on a person’s health.
In one review of the eating habits of 187,000 male and female health workers, eating three or more servings of blueberries a week was associated with a 26 per cent lower risk for diabetes.
Another study found that eating the equivalent of a cup of blueberries a day lowered blood pressure.
Blueberries have been found to have ‘anti-inflammatory’ mechanisms with can help promote healthy ageing.
Emerging clinical trials suggest that blueberry-supplemented diets could improve flow-mediated dilation, arterial blood flow, which appears to be attributed to blueberry anthocyanins which give them their distinct colour.
Other research suggests that blueberries could benefits memory in older populations, possibly due to their polyphenol profile.
Choosing darkly coloured fruits and vegetables, especially blueberries, will help with the ageing process as they are loaded with nutrients, fibre, and caretnoids to help stave off age related diseases