Credit: © Olexandr / Fotolia

Credit: © Olexandr / Fotolia

Eating blueberries significantly improves brain function

Eating blueberries significantly improves brain function, according to the latest research from the University of Exeter.

It is not a stretch to say that blueberries may be one of the most nutritious foods in the world – if not the most nutritious.

Don’t let the size fool you; blueberries are powerful. These little berries are packed with health benefits and nutrients. Popular from Asian to Mediterranean cuisines, blueberries provide great flavor, satisfying those sweet cravings. They are renowned as a super-food around the world, and in the United States, they are second in consumption only to strawberries.

In the study, healthy adults aged 65-77 who drank concentrated blueberry juice every day showed significant improvement in brain function and blood flow to the brain.

The results also suggested that there was improvement in working memory.

Dr Joanna Bowtell, head of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter, said: “Our cognitive function tends to decline as we get older, but previous research has shown that cognitive function is better preserved in healthy older adults with a diet rich in plant-based foods.

In this study we have shown that with just 12 weeks of consuming 30ml of concentrated blueberry juice every day, brain blood flow, brain activation and some aspects of working memory were improved in this group of healthy older adults.”

Twelve of the twenty-six adults in the study were given blueberry juice, while 14 received a placebo.

After the study period, participants took a number of cognitive tests while being monitored by an MRI.

Compared to the placebo group, the blueberry group had significant cognitive and blood flow improvements.

The study showing that eating blueberries significantly improves brain function was published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

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REFERENCES:
1. “Blueberry Concentrate Improves Brain Function in Older People.” University of Exeter. University of Exeter, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2017.
2. “Enhanced Task Related Brain Activation and Resting Perfusion in Healthy Older Adults after Chronic Blueberry Supplementation.” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2017.

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