Yet again, our top sexy foods deliver major brain-health benefits. Both celery and chili peppers, along with olive oil, rosemary and chamomille, according to Science Daily, and the very sensual beet, confirmed by other sources, are rich in luteolin.
The powerful luteolin appears to act to reduce age-related inflammation in the brain and related memory deficits by directly inhibiting the release of inflammatory molecules.
University of Illinois animal sciences professor Rodney Johnson, who led the new study said that during normal aging microglial cells become dysregulated and begin producing excessive levels of inflammatory cytokines.
In the study, microglial cells that were exposed to a bacterial toxin produced inflammatory cytokines that could kill neurons. When the same microglia cells were exposed to luteolin before they encountered the toxin, the neurons lived.
Next the researchers turned their attention to groups of mice, young and old. The mice were fed a control diet or a luteolin-supplemented diet for four weeks.
Normally, aged mice have higher levels of inflammatory molecules in the hippocampus and are more impaired on memory tests than younger adult mice. Aged mice on the luteolin-supplemented diet, however, did better on the learning and memory task than their peers, and the levels of inflammatory cytokines in their brains were more like those of the younger adult mice. via Science Daily
Previous studies have shown that plant compounds such as luteolin can get into the brain. The Uniersity of Illinois Division of Nutritional Science team, which has been studying nutrition and health, for many years, believes that a luteolin-rich diet can help to restore brain function in humans, as it did in older mice.