Berries are better than you may think
According to a study, berries are shown to improve mental health.
A new study suggests that women who eat more berries have a lower risk of facing cognitive decline during old age.
Increasing one's consumption of berries is shown to improve mental sharpness.
"We provide the first epidemiologic evidence that berries may slow progression of cognitive decline in elderly women," said Elizabeth Devore, an instructor at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "Our findings have significant public health implications, as increasing berry intake is a fairly simple dietary modification to test cognition protection in older adults."
Flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to counter stress and inflammation that can eventually cause cognitive impairment. Increasing one's consumption of flavonoids could diminish the harmful effects. Previously, research of flavonoids, specifically a group of compounds called anthocyanins, has been done with animals and small trials on older people. It is suggested that an increased consumption of foods with these compounds can also improve cognitive function.
Data from 16,000 women taking part in the Nurses' Health Study, which began 1976 and is conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School and its hospitals. Health and lifestyle questionnaires were completed by participants, who's average age was 74. Between 1995 and 2001, researchers studied their cognitive function every two years. The results were that increased consumption of blueberries and strawberries appear to slow and delay cognitive decline in older women. Also associated with reduced cognitive degeneration was the greater intake of anthocyanins and total flavonoids.
Also noted, is that in the study, participants were not eating pounds of berries every day. In fact, on average they were only eating a single half-cup serving of blueberries or two half-cup servings of strawberries each week!
"This is pretty compelling evidence to suggest that berries do appear to have memory benefits," says researcher Elizabeth E. Devore, ScD, instructor in medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
So if you want your Golden Years to be healthy and well-remembered, eat those berries!
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
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Keywords: berries, health, mental, brain, blueberries, strawberries
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