If your memory’s starting to slip, or you can’t remember if your memory is still strong, take a trip to the grocery store and stock up on blueberries.
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati claim that chowing down on blueberries, or as they call it, ‘superfruit’, can help treat cognitive impairment.
Building on research that found improved cognition in animals post-blueberry consumption, scientists conducted two studies. In the first, 47 people with mild cognitive impairment, aged 68 and older, were given blueberry powder daily (equaling about a cup of regular blueberries) for 16 weeks.
The powder recipients showed improved cognitive performance, brain function, and increased brain activity, along with “improved memory and improved access to words and concepts,” researcher Robert Krikorian explained in a press release.
In the next study, 94 people who felt their memory wasn’t as sharp, aged 62 to 80, were given blueberry powder, fish oil, powder and fish oil, or a placebo.
“Cognition was somewhat better for those with powder or fish oil separately, but there was little improvement with memory,” Krikorian says. The second study wasn’t as through as the first, since the patients’ cognitive impairments weren’t as severe.
But Krikorian maintains, “blueberries can have a real benefit in improving memory and cognitive function in some older adults.”
Interestingly, the answer could’ve been in the colour all along. The ‘blue’ in blueberries comes from anthocyanins, an antioxidant proven to improve cognitive function in animals.