Blueberries May Fight Cognitive Decline
According to a study published in the December 2010 issue of the journal Nutrition, adding blueberries to your diet may potentially slow and even reverse cognitive decline due to age..
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Houston and Tufts University U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.
Blueberries have been receiving an increasing amount of attention for their health benefits ever since they were identified as the most antioxidant packed common fruit. For this most recent study, the researchers sought to determine if the benefits of blueberries included improving brain health.
For the study, the researchers fed one group of rats a blueberry enriched diet for one month and a second group a blueberry enriched diet for two months. A third group of rats did not receive any blueberry supplementation. The performance of the three groups in a rat maze was compared following the supplementation period.
The researchers found that the rats receiving the blueberry supplementation performed significantly better than the control group and increased their memory scores. The control rats by contrast displayed a decline in memory scores.
Additionally, the rats who received the blueberry supplements for two months maintained their improved performance after the supplementation period was over. This effect was not seen in the rats who received supplementation for only one month.
There are numerous other reasons to eat more blueberries apart from their potential for reducing the risk of cognitive decline due to age. For example, blueberries have been shown to decrease the risk of dementia, aid in weight management and reduce cholesterol.
They are also easy to add to your diet because they go well with pancakes, salads and smoothies.