Eating blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berry fruits appears to boost brain function and may help prevent age-related memory loss and other mental declines, a new study has found.
American Chemical Society researchers extensively reviewed a variety of recent laboratory, animal and human studies on the effects of eating berry fruits on the aging brain. Writing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Barbara Shukitt-Hale and Marshall G. Miller said their review concluded the high levels of antioxidants in berry fruits help the brain stay healthy by protecting cells from damage by harmful free radicals.
Berry fruits also change the way brain cells communicate, the authors said. These changes can prevent inflammation in the brain that contributes to age-related declines in brain function and improve both motor control and cognition.
The researchers suggested that more studies be done to determine whether berries’ health benefits are a result of individual compounds shared between berry fruits or whether the unique combinations of chemicals in each berry fruit simply have similar effects.