Eat your fruits and veggies: WSU chemist says they protect your brain

One Washington State University Chemist said his life’s work has convinced him antioxidants are the heroes when it comes to protecting your brain from things like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS.

KREM 2's Jane McCarthy explores how antioxidants affect your body

PULLMAN, Wash. – We have all heard antioxidant rich foods are good for us.

One Washington State University Chemist said his life’s work has convinced him antioxidants are the heroes when it comes to protecting your brain from things like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS.

Foods like blackberries, blueberries, broccoli and brussel sprouts represent part of a healthy meal. But, they also represent the makings of a healthy human with a razor sharp brain.

Dr. Travis Denton lives and breathes antioxidants on a molecular level in his WSU chemistry lab. This is where he is working on a drug, basically an antioxidant to its core, that he hopes will someday treat neurological disorders.

"I just can't get over it. If you can take anything that is an antioxidant that can get into your brain, I would be willing to bet the ranch that it will help in neurological disorders," Denton explained. "Take your antioxidants. If you can take your fish oil, if you can take your krill oil, if you can take any one of those brain penetrant antioxidants. It's going to keep your brain healthy."

Here's why antioxidants are so smart: Those nasty things called free radicals are always on the prowl. They want to capture your healthy cells and bring them to the dark side and that is where you become susceptible to disease. Antioxidant rich foods help provide a defense system that can prevent that takeover.

"It's just like a car, you're going to have exhaust, you're always going to have exhaust and that molecule is there to take care of the exhaust and make sure that it's safe,” Denton said.

So how do we get those good molecules?

"Blackberries, blueberries anything that's dark in color. Wonderful fruits and vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, those have really high antioxidant potentials and the more you can eat, the more is going to get into your brain, the better off you're going to be," he explained.

Denton is also a big fan of pure essential oils like frankincense, myrrh and oregano oil to keep the mind strong.

"These essential oils are mind blowing. They are something not a lot of people should know about and everybody should know about," Denton said.

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