Blueberries Help Enhance Memory in Elderly, Study Finds

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Whether in a smoothie, muffin or Grandma’s famous cobbler, blueberries not only add the perfect burst of fruity goodness to any dish – but they’re also quite the little superfood. Credited for everything from supporting digestion to keeping your heart healthy, these vibrant fruits may also help improve memory in seniors struggling with memory loss, suggests new research.

Experts have regularly found blueberries to pack a serious punch when it comes to nutrition. Not only are the berries high on the list of antioxidant-rich types of fruit in the world; these fruits are also fiber-rich, low-calorie and, loaded with vitamin C. Scientists have even tied blueberry consumption to younger looking skin.

But can adding these healthy berries to your diet stave off memory issues the often accompanies the aging process?

Blueberries Help Enhance Memory in Elderly

A recent paper published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, has discovered that elderly patients suffering from memory impairment have significantly benefited from consuming blueberries.

Over the six-month period of the study, researchers examined the effects of eating blueberries on cognitive decline, as well as fish oil – which has long been considered beneficial in improving memory.

After participants received daily doses of either fish oil or blueberries or both, the results showed that those who received either the blueberries or fish oil showed impressive improvement in cognition ability. What may be surprising is that the researchers concluded that the group to whom the researchers administered a combo of fish oil and berries showed little signs of improved memory.

Blueberries and Brain Health

These new findings add to the large body of research have suggesting that eating blueberries are key in brain health, especially when it comes to memory and cognition.

One study, published in 2010 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found that after three months of daily supplements of wild blueberry juice, seniors who had started to experience slight memory problems showed better learning and recall abilities than a similar group of adults who didn’t take the supplements.

Older adults aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the memory-boosting powers of blueberries says a 2016 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition that found that children who consumed a blueberry drink showed significantly improved cognitive performance compared to those taking a placebo.

How Blueberries Keep Your Brain Healthy

So, how exactly do these little super fruits aid in maintaining improving brain health?

Firstly, blueberries are chock full of antioxidants, which can protect the brain from free radical damage and promote healthy brain aging. One 2013 study found that the antioxidant power of blueberries is particularly useful in stabilizing brain function and protecting the neural tissue from oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is thought to accelerate the brain’s aging process, having adverse effects on brain function. According to a 2009 study, the high level of antioxidants in blueberries tend to accumulate in areas of the brain that are essential for intelligence and are thought to directly interact with aging neurons, leading to improvements in cell signaling.

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