For 6 months, patients suffering from a moderate form of Alzheimer’s disease incorporated a fruit known to slow cellular aging into their diet. The result on their cognitive abilities amazed the researchers.
Several studies have already shown that red fruits such as strawberries or blueberries have protective effects on the brain and improve memory performance. A new study from the University of North Carolina (USA), published in the journal Nutrients, adds a new fruit to this list of protective foods: blueberries.
Rich in antioxidant flavonoids that fight against the oxidation of our cells, blueberries also contain anthocyanins, which fight against cellular aging. For this study, the researchers recruited about 40 patients suffering from a mild form of Alzheimer’s disease. Some received a daily dose of blueberry powder and others a flavored placebo powder. Patients were asked to consume the powder with their morning or evening meal, mixed with water, for 6 months.
At the end of this nutritional experiment, the blueberry group performed better on cognitive tests and performed better on daily memory tests.
“This is the first study of its kind to examine blueberry supplementation in middle-aged people at risk for future health problems and dementia later in life,” lead author Professor Robert Krikorian said of the study. “Importantly, this research provides evidence that blueberry supplementation can improve cognitive function and correct elevated insulin levels in these participants with prediabetes.”
More research will be needed to examine blueberry supplementation over a longer period, with a larger sample size. But in the meantime, nothing prevents you from adding blueberries to your menus: we give you the recipes to fill you up with antioxidants.