The blueberry is considered a “super fruit,” since one serving contains 25% of a person’s daily Vitamin C requirement, as well as fiber that’s beneficial for your heart and manganese that’s imperative to bone health. This fruit that’s loaded with healthful antioxidants may lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, and according to new research, even Alzheimer’s disease.
"Our new findings corroborate those of previous animal studies and preliminary human studies, adding further support to the notion that blueberries can have a real benefit in improving memory and cognitive function in some older adults," says Robert Krikorian, Ph.D., leader of the research team.
Dr. Krikorian also adds that blueberries’ beneficial effects could be derived from flavonoids called anthocyanins, which have demonstrated an improvement in animals’ cognition. According to the National Institutes of Health, consuming foods that are rich in antioxidants will help delay aging.
Krikorian and his colleagues at University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center performed two human studies. One study involved 47 adults with mild cognitive impairment aged 68 and older. The researchers gave them either freeze-dried blueberry powder, which is equivalent to a cup of berries, or a placebo powder once a day for 16 weeks. Krikorian discovered that there was an improvement in cognitive performance and brain function, such as memory and access to words and concepts, in those who had taken the blueberry powder compared to those who took the placebo.
The second study comprised of 94 people, who felt their memories declining, from ages 62 to 80. They were divided into four groups, where they received blueberry power, fish oil, fish oil and powder, or placebo. Krikorian observed that cognition slightly improved the adults who took the powder or fish oil separately, and stated that perhaps the participants had less severe issues compared to the first group.
Currently 5.3 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of Americans with this condition could increase 40% to more than 7 million by 2025 and could almost triple by 2050.