Brain-Boosting Berries: Study Reveals Which Berries Are Best for Your Brain
A study published in the Annals of Neurology sheds new light on the notion that berries can help ward off cognitive decline and improve memory, suggesting there’s a specific antioxidant you should be consuming.
Investigators examined data collected from the Nurses’ Health Study and discovered that women who consumed a half-cup of blueberries two or more times a week delayed cognitive decline by as much as 2.5 years.
While many fruits and vegetables contain similar protective antioxidants known as flavonoids, berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, cherries and elderberries, contain a specific type of flavonoid called anthocyanidins. Not to be confused with their sugar-free counterparts, anthocyanins, anthocyanidins can cross the blood-brain barrier, offering free-radical protection to parts of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
Lead author of the study, Elizabeth Devore, an instructor in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in Boston, noted that, “Given that we know that fruits and vegetables are good for our health in general, our findings add to the idea that we should be consuming more, especially berries, as a way to help maintain memory in older ages.”