As you get older, you go through physiological alterations that will trigger snags in brain functions. You’ll take more time to learn new things and to remember stored info. You won’t be as fast as you once were. Actually, it is frequently confused this delaying of the mental capability for true memory loss. But in nearly all situations, if you allow yourself some extra time, the info will come back to mind.
Is there anything you can do to avoid this natural memory loss?
Eating berries at least once a week may protect the brain from age-related memory loss, a large new study shows.
The study included more than 16,000 women who are taking part in the Nurses’ Health Study.
What did they find?
When researchers compared women who ate the most blueberries and strawberries to those who ate the fewest, they found that those who ate the most had a slower rate of developing memory problems. The difference was equal to about two-and-a-half years of aging.
“This is pretty compelling evidence to suggest that berries do appear to have memory benefits,” says researcher Elizabeth E. Devore, ScD, instructor in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
What may be even better news is that the biggest berry eaters in the study weren’t eating mounds of them every day. On average, they were eating a single half-cup serving of blueberries or two half-cup servings of strawberries each week.
But how are berries good for the brain?
Berries, particularly blueberries, are rich in a particular kind of antioxidant compound called anthocyanidins. Anthocyanidins have the ability to move from the blood into the brain. And studies in animals have shown that these compounds concentrate in brain centers responsible for memory and learning.
Further studies in mice that are bred to develop brain changes similar to those seen in Alzheimer’s patients show that blueberries protect these mice from memory declines. And small studies in humans with early memory loss have shown that adding 1/2 to 1 cup of blueberry juice to the diet each day for three months improved some measures of memory.
“I think it’s very exciting,” says Brent Small, PhD, professor of aging studies at the University of South Florida in Tampa. “Because there’s not a lot that’s been reported in the human literature that’s focused on these types of compounds.”
Various other experts are in agreement that further scientific studies ought to be carried out to demonstrate the berries on their own are responsible for the benefit.
Nonetheless all of them say there is no actual harm in including extra berries to your diet, even prior to all the proof is in.
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