Blueberry Juice May Boost Cognition Later in Life
Previous studies have found that cognitive function tends to be better in older adults with a diet rich in plant-based foods. A recent study suggests that regular consumption of concentrated blueberry juice may help improve brain function in healthy, mature adults.
Participants in the study included 26 adults in their late sixties who were given either 30 ml of blueberry concentrate or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. The blueberry concentrate contained 387 mg of anthocyanidins.
All of the participants underwent cognitive function tests, as well as tests to measure brain stimulation while performing simple tasks just before and after drinking the drink. The researchers also measured blood flow to the brain, blood biomarkers of inflammation, and oxidative stress.
The researchers noted significant increases in brain activity in the blueberry group when compared with the placebo group. They also noted improved grey matter perfusion and activation in brain areas that are associated with cognitive function in healthy older adults. Finally, they found evidence suggesting that working memory was improved after consuming the blueberry juice.
Researchers from Exeter University led the study. It was published in the March 2017 issue of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.
Blueberries are high in flavonoids, particularly anthocyanins and flavanols. Previous studies suggest that they may help decrease the risk of dementia, aid in weight management, improve blood vessel function, lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
Blueberries are easy to add to your diet because they go well with pancakes, salads and smoothies.