Eating berries can halt dementia for 2Ĺ years
EATING half a cup of blueberries and one cup of strawberries a week can help delay the onset of dementia, says a report in the Annals of Neurology journal
The study has found that eating 75 grams of blueberries and 150 grams of strawberries every week can help delay the onset of cognitive ageing by two and a half years. This is because both fruits are rich in flavonoids, compounds found in plants that are rich in antioxidants and which have powerful anti- inflammatory properties.
According to the report, stress and inflammation both contribute to dementia and flavonoids could help counter these.
Although the anti-ageing benefits of berries has been suggested by previous, until now studies have been limited to animal models or small-scale trials in the elderly. However, the new study from Harvard Medical School looked at data from 121,700 women (all registered nurses), who had completed questionnaires beginning in 1976.
They were surveyed every four years and between 1995 and 2001 cognitive function was taken every two years in the 16,000 over the age of 70.
The authors warned that, while external factors were taken into account, it was not possible to rule out that those who ate more berries led healthier lifestyles.