Blueberries and strawberries reduce cognitive impairment in older adults
(NaturalHealth365) Did you know that eating blueberries and strawberries is one of the smartest things you can do to prevent cognitive impairment?
Let’s face it: Nobody wants to experience dementia or any other brain disorder, but most people haven’t been told by their doctor how to prevent these conditions. In fact, too often, a person’s loss of memory, inability to learn or make good decisions go unnoticed (sometimes ignored) – until it’s too late to correct with better nutrition and other lifestyle changes.
The problem with conventional wisdom: Where is the solution?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) openly admit that more than 16 million people are living with cognitive impairment, with age (according to the CDC) proving to be the largest factor. The CDC goes on to say that about 5.1 million of us 65 or older may have Alzheimer’s disease, the most well-known form of brain dysfunction. Unfortunately, the CDC does little to teach people about the true cause of disease or the value of eating healthy foods like blueberries or any other natural food.
These staggering statistics have led many people to search for more natural ways to improve brain function. Fortunately, there is an extensive amount of research indicating that strawberries and blueberries can offer brain health benefits and should be considered a vital part of an overall healthy diet. (of course, we’re talking about organic varieties only – without the chemicals)
How do blueberries improve brain health?
We know that berries contain high levels of flavonoids and bioflavonoids like anthocyanidins – which provide lots of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Since we know that stress and inflammation play a major role in contributing to cognitive impairment, studies were conducted to see if increasing the intake of strawberries and blueberries could slow down the progression of these brain-related diseases.
The results? Actually, they are quite impressive. (keep reading)
The Nurses’ Health Study, initiated in 1976, is among one of the largest investigations into the risk factors for major chronic diseases in women. Currently at over 275,000 participants, people were given ‘food frequency questionnaires’ every four years. In the period from 1995 to 2001, they began measuring cognitive function in over 16,000 participants who were over 70 years of age.
Ultimately, the results of the study were published in 2012 and it offers hope for those looking for a natural way to improve brain health and prevent dementia.
It’s official: Blueberries and strawberries reach “superfood” status for brain health
The results of the study showed that increasing the intake of blueberries and strawberries resulted in slowing the rate of cognitive decline in these older participants. In fact, it showed that increasing strawberry and blueberry intake could slow cognitive decline by as much as two and a half years. This was the first research of any significance involving humans.
Overall berries, and blueberries in particular, have long had a reputation as a “superfood.” They are rich in nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals that can help us prevent heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure. And now, thanks to the Nurses’ Health Study, we can say that berries are a super brain food.
As the baby boomer population continues to age, the problem of cognitive impairment will likely continue to increase, placing more pressure on families and the healthcare system. This research clearly suggests that a diet rich in whole foods, such as berries, is a smart choice to avoid dementia and other brain-related disorders. If you feel like your diet needs improvement, don’t wait – get started today.
Food & Nutrition
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