April 30, 2012- A new study suggests that eating berries appears to help reduce the cognitive decline in aging adults. The results of the new study seem to suggest that adults can have a delay in the decline of their cognitive functions by as much as two and a half years by eating berries.
Flavonoids, which are compounds of plants that contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities, are getting the credit for delaying the decline in cognitive function in the elderly. Scientists believe cognitive function gets impaired by inflammation and stress, thus foods with large quantities of flavonoids will tend to counteract inflammation and stress.
Studies done previously on laboratory animals show that flavonoids are helpful in increasing cognitive functions. The latest research used data from a nurse’s study done of over 121,000 female nurses between the ages of 35 and 50. They had been surveyed on food intake since 1980. Between 1990 and 2001, over 16,000 nurses that were aged 70 received tests for cognitive function.
Analysis showed that an increased diet of strawberries and blueberries appeared to slow down cognitive decline and the more that were consumed, the more the decline was reduced. Scientists in the research said their findings have substantial health implications.