I can’t believe it, sighed Leni Hayes as she retrieved her car keys from the freezer, staring at them in disbelief. How the hell did they get here?
For the 86-year-old Bellingham, Washington resident, moments of confusion like this one grew in frequency and worried her more and more. Lately, she’s found herself scrambling for words, misplacing essential items, like keys and money, and was embarrassed to admit that she’s even left her purse at the grocery store multiple times.
A retired nurse, Leni couldn’t help but ask the question: What is wrong with me? At first glance, there wasn’t much that physically bothered her. Except for a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, a type of cardiac arrhythmia that causes an irregular, often rapid heartbeat and poor blood flow, Leni has always been in excellent health. She had learned that her condition could lead to cognitive decline over time, but her doctor assured her that the blood thinners she had prescribed would help combat this risk.
What’s more, Leni was also doing everything she knew how to protect her brain health: daily walks, including walks around the house in bad weather, gardening, and socializing with friends at the senior center. She and she was grateful that she could still drive herself to appointments and to church and grocery shopping.
The symptoms of memory loss that worried Leni
When Leni started being unable to balance her checkbook or follow beloved family recipes from her home country of Germany, panic, frustration and even depression set in. I can’t lose my independence! she grieved for her children, who had also noticed the changes and had begun to worry, even suggesting that she see a doctor.
But the last time Leni mentioned to her doctor that she was feeling sad, the only thing he had going for her were prescription antidepressants. At the time she had declined due to potential side effects and this time she was not going to make the same mistake again. I need to find a solution to my memory problems and fast.
The simple fix that changed everything for Leni
During their weekly lunch outing one week, Leni’s daughter pulled a blue bottle out of her purse and gave her a comforting hug. I think I have something that might help you, Mom, she said, as she handed Leni a bottle of Life Extension’s Brain Fog Relief ($19 for a 30-day supply on Amazon).
At first Leni wasn’t convinced it would help her. Her daughter explained that the capsules contained a brain-enhancing nutrient called mango leaf extract. Mango leaveshow can a mango help my brain? Leni wondered sceptically. Read on to find out what a huge difference the mango leaf has made in Lenis’ life.
What are the benefits of mango leaf extract?
In many indigenous cultures, mango leaves are praised for their nutritional value, eaten and made into tea. While most of us know the mango as the sweet tropical fruit native to India, Asia, Africa and South America, it turns out that the leaves of Mangifera indica, a particular species, have been used since antiquities to treat everything from diabetes to memory loss.
Mango leaves are a potent source of several beneficial plant compounds including polyphenols and terpenoids, the latter of which are beneficial for immunity and vision. But, as Lenis’ experience shows, where the mango leaf really shines is in brain health.
The leaves of the mango plant are particularly rich in one polyphenol in particular: mangiferin. Also known as mango leaf extract, mangiferin is an antioxidant that helps protect the brain by reducing oxidative stress and brain inflammation.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology revealed that those subjects taking mangiferin had increased activity in brain regions associated with cognitive processing, attention and memory.
A study in the magazine Nutrients found that people who supplemented with 300 mg of mangiferin experienced significant improvements in mental alertness, concentration and reaction time for up to six hours.
Put simply, mango leaf extract has been shown to calm inflammation in the brain so people can think more clearly and better remember what they learn. And, as Leni soon discovered, the benefits of mango leaves were more varied than she could have imagined.
What is the best way to consume mango leaves?
For Leni, the capsules’ particularly potent blend of mango leaf extract and peppermint oil was intriguing. But capsules aren’t the only option: Because mangiferin dissolves well in water, mango leaves can easily be extracted into infusions or sipped as a tea. One to try: Palm Beach Herbals Mango Leaf Tea ($15, Amazon).
The amazing benefits Leni received from mango leaves
For several days Leni stared at the blue bottle on the kitchen table, unsure whether to try it or not. What have I got to lose? she told herself. I am determined to be independent for as long as possible, she swore. It can’t hurt to try.
After clarifying the issue with her doctor, Leni took her first capsule with breakfast and went out for her daily walk. She was skeptical and unsure if it was helping her, but she continued to take the mango leaf supplement, enjoying the fact that it didn’t contain caffeine or make her jittery at all.
And after the first week, Leni was pleasantly surprised to notice that she easily remembered the names and faces of the people she met on her walks and felt more confident and focused. Suddenly, everyday tasks like cooking and paying bills were no longer a challenge.
Energized, Leni continued to take her mango extract every morning for breakfast and today she feels more awake than ever. If I happen to miss a dose, I can tell the difference, she shares. I never want to do without it mango is a miracle!
Other benefits supported by the study of mango leaves
Regulate Insulin: Mangiferin (mango leaf extract) prompts the pancreas to release a constant supply of insulin, improving blood sugar control. Researchers found that taking magniferin daily reduced blood sugar spikes that can trigger cravings and fatigue by 57%.
Start Your Metabolism: Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine say mangiferin helps pre-digest fatty foods, freeing up the liver to focus on crucial tasks like boosting fat burning and eliminating toxins that slow down metabolism.
Repair the skin: A powerful antioxidant, mangiferin promotes the healing of damaged skin cells and accelerates the growth of healthy new tissue, say researchers in the scientific journal Plos One. The result? A youthful glow and fewer wrinkles.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your doctor before pursuing any treatment plan.
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