Are you fond of eating blueberries? If you are – good for you! If you aren’t – then you should be. Blueberries are loaded with vitamin C, and a delicious source, too! One serving of blueberries supplies about 25% of your daily vitamin C requirement. In addition to that, you also get additional heart-healthy fiber and manganese – which is important to bone health. Blueberries also contain antioxidants so this ‘magical’ fruit may lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and, according to new research, even Alzheimer’s disease!
A team of scientists from the University of Cincinnati, which was led by Dr. Robert Krikorian, found that the antioxidants in blueberries provide a real benefit in terms of improving one’s memory and cognitive functions, especially in older adults. Based on their work, they now believe that adding blueberries to your diet might help you prevent this neurocognitive decline. The study involved 47 men and women, all aged 68 and above and who had been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment.
These candidates were given a placebo powder or one made of frozen dried blueberries to take once a day, for four whole months. The results showed that the blueberries seemed to give the aging brain some sort of boost.
As per Dr. Krikorian, “There was a significant improvement in cognitive function in those who had blueberry powder, as compared to those who took the placebo.” In addition to that, patients’ scans also showed that the brain was more active in those patients who had taken the blueberry powder. The researcher believes that the benefits are due to anthocyanins. They are said to act on the brain in different ways including cutting inflammation, boosting blood flow, and enhancing the passage of information between cells.
Dr. Krikorian and his team now wants to study people who are in their 50s and early 60s and whose blood pressure, weight or other medical conditions puts them at a higher than the usual risk of Alzheimer’s.
Take Home Message
Blueberries acquire their rich colour from anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that acts as an antioxidant within the fruit. Generally, antioxidants help in preventing age-related damage at the cellular level within the plants. Some scientists believe that consuming foods rich in antioxidants may help delay aging.
However, it is still a known fact that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is good for your health. So, go ahead and snack on those blueberries!