Berries can protect your brain from aging, according to a study published in the Annals of Neurology. Rich in bioflavonoids, which give plants their colours, they are powerful antioxidants that can decrease inflammation in the body.
More than 16,000 women, aged 70 and over, participants in the Nurses’ Health Study, took two tests that were two years apart. The research that looked at berry consumption, cognitive function and memory found:
- Blueberries and strawberries account for most of the anthocyanidins in participants’ diets.
- Those who ate the most blueberries (one or more half-cup servings per week) had significantly slower rates of cognitive decline compared to those who had less than one serving per month.
- Those who ate the most strawberries (two or more servings per week) had significantly slower rates of cognitive decline compared to those who had less than one serving per week.
- Cognitive ageing appeared to be delayed up to two and a half years in those who ate the most berries, meaning that they had the brain function of someone two and a half years younger.
The author of the findings commented that they have “substantial public health implications, as increasing berry intake represents a fairly simple dietary modification to test in older adults for maintaining cognition.”
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