Eat More Blueberries to Boost Your Memory
Promising research shows blueberries can promote a health perk we’re all after: They improve memory. And researchers say the nutrient-packed fruit may even help prevent certain forms of dementia, thanks to its unique antioxidant makeup.
Despite hundreds of drug trials, the search for pharmaceuticals that are effective against cognitive decline has been largely fruitless. However, researchers exploring nutritional alternatives have found blueberries to be “a potentially potent approach” for reducing the risk of late-life dementia. Most importantly, this potency comes with side advantages rather than side effects. Proof is mounting that blueberries are an extraordinary superfood.
Evidence Shows Blueberries Are Beneficial for Your Brain
In the University of Cincinnati study, scientists assessed the effect of blueberries on thinking skills. The participants were made up of 47 adults, aged 68 and older who had been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. They were each given either blueberry powder or placebo powder once a day for four months. To provide a comparison, they underwent a battery of mental tests at the onset and end of the experiment.
“There was improvement in cognitive performance and brain function in those who had the blueberry powder compared with those who took the placebo,” said lead researcher Robert Krikorian. “The blueberry group demonstrated improved memory and improved access to words and concepts.” These findings were backed up by evidence from magnetic resonance imaging brain scans that revealed heightened activity in the brain.
In the second phase of the study, researchers evaluated the effects of blueberries in people who believed their memory was declining but hadn’t been diagnosed with cognitive impairment. The results showed some cognition improvement but no appreciable boost in memory. Krikorian felt the lack of robust findings stemmed from the fact that the memory problems in the participants were self-diagnosed rather than diagnosed by a doctor. The study will be presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Since research suggests Alzheimer’s disease starts decades before symptoms manifest, Krikorian believes people should start protecting the brain at midlife. “The minimum dose is not clear but data suggest that taking blueberries several times a week should be beneficial,” he adds.
Why Are Blueberries So Healthful?
The study’s authors attributed the health-boosting power of blueberries to their high content of anthocyanins, the chemical that imparts their deep blue/purple color. These compounds improve brain function through reducing inflammation, improving blood flow and facilitating the passage of information between cells.
Aside from increasing brainpower, blueberries are of considerable value for other conditions, so get ready for blueberry season and aim to consume more of this health-boosting fruit whenever possible.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.