A Harvard study published in the Annals of Neurology indicates that eating a diet high in blueberries and strawberries can slow brain aging and cognitive decline by up to two and a half years.
Dr. Elizabeth Devore and her team of researchers at Harvard Medical School analyzed data from the lengthy Nurses’ Health Study in 1976. Questionnaires were completed every four years since 1980 to assess the frequency of berry intake and the intake of 31 different phytonutrients called flavonoids. In 16,010 participants over the age of 70 between 1995 and 2001, cognitive function was tested every two years.
The researchers found that those participants who consumed a high amount of blueberries or strawberries had slower decline in cognitive function test scores during the follow-up period than those whose intake of these fruits was lower. The results were an average delay in cognitive decline due to aging of up to 2-and-a-half years.
Both blueberries and strawberries are excellent sources of flavonoids, which reduce inflammation. This is possibly the mechanism that is causing the positive brain health effects. The same study also found that a high intake of anthocyanidins and total flavonoids were also linked to the beneficial cognitive effects.
Keep reading to discover other amazing health benefits of flavonoids…